fired for refusing to practice out of my scope

  1. i was working in a gatro clinic where the Doctor wanted LPNs to assist in the procedure room and cut the polyps found while he only pressed the pedal for the electric current, I learned that this was out of my scope of practice in North Carolina and told the nurse manager , I refused to do it anymore and stayed out doing pre-op, while the other LPN there went in and continued to cut the polyps. I started working there 4/13 and was there over amonth before I had to go in the procedure room where I was asked to do this and only cut 2 before I checked the scope because I really felt that the Dovtor should be dong that and I was right. Anyhow, I was informed this past Firday that since I could not do it, I was not needed anymore so basically I was fired for refusing to practice out of my scope. What really upsets me is that it seems like the nurse manger and the Doctor should have known this was out of scope and should have never hired me in the first place to do it, now I'm left without a job hwile he's still making plenty of money and now has an unlicensed 20 year old working as an endoscopic tech and cutting polyps for him while the other LPN who kept on cutting is doing pre-op. Is there anything I can do, what would you do??? Any advice is appreciated.
  2. Visit tonka3 profile page

    About tonka3

    Joined: Jun '09; Posts: 12; Likes: 3
    gastroenterology; from US
    Specialty: 9 year(s) of experience in geriatrics, hemodialysis, gastro

    12 Comments

  3. by   nursel56
    I look at it this way. Yes, you lost your job, but you still have your integrity, your self-respect and your license. There will always be unscrupulous jerks who are perfectly happy to stroke someone's ego to get cheap labor. That 20yr old may think she's the sh*ts now, but eventually something bad will happen.

    Hopefully someone will chime in regarding the legality of your termination, what to do regarding their unsafe practices, etc. but I think you should actually be happy to be outta there.

    Kudos to you for sticking up for yourself.
  4. by   MedicalLPN
    Good for you for standing up and not letting them taking advantage of you. I am so sorry they fired you, that's truly deplorable if I were you, I would contact the state BON and report the situation to them. Good luck finding a job and once again I am so sorry that happened to you.:icon_hug:
  5. by   caliotter3
    While you are at it, you might want to contact the state Medical Board and report the doctor to them. You have the right as a member of the public to report unethical behavior to the Board
  6. by   momtojosh
    i have a similar situation for all you....it isnt as bad as the first poster,but it is something i questioned..

    i work in a state run facility for the MR.....the house i work in is for 12 very medically frail MR individuals....we are all lpns and rns......there is a house nearby who needs nurses for insulin coverage from time to time.....well,their MARS are alot different than ours....they go by how mjuch food the person eats PLUS a sliding scale....ours is just 12 units of such at these times and a sliding scale...anyway.....we got o provide this service on the word of the direct care aides....we do not do the BS test they do it before the person eats,then we go...i dont think that is right.....but the supervisors all say it is ok cause these direct care aides are trained to do the BS test just not the shots...only nurses....what do you all think
  7. by   tonka3
    thanks for the responses, i did actually call the state bon and told them what happened and unfortunately, even though the nurse manager and the doctor should have known that cutting polyps was out of an lpn scope before hiring one to do it, they did not and now since i've informed them he has the right to let me go according to the bon, i have considered contacting the medical board as my next step as well as an attorney because it's just not right , if i had sense enough to question this, then certainly you would think the doctor would and now i hate to think of all the patients going in thinkig they have a doctor removing their polyps when it's actually going to be a 20 year old who was considering dental hygiene beore but wasn't really sure and has had about a weeks wrth of training to cut polyps and no other formal medical training, that is VERY scary, especially when the preop nurse there tells the patients and the consent form they sign states the doctor will be removing them. i just wonder how it can be proved if no one else there is willing to speak up. Again, thanks so much for replying and i am proud of myself for sticking up for myself and not being afraid of ******* the doctor off, lol. it is kinda funny that now he's trying to get away with letting his license cover an unlicensed person since i also had to inform them that a doctro's license cannot and does not cover a nurse, we have our own rules to follow and just because they order us to do something does not make it okay. Also scary that a doctor does not know that.
  8. by   caliotter3
    The doctor might pull that one over on a medical assistant because they have no license to protect and they are covered by the doctor's license. But even in that case, there are limitations to what the MA can do and the doctor is supposed to be present to supervise. Next time around, he probably will hire an MA and pay her/him less than you. Now you see how helpful our nursing boards are.
  9. by   nursel56
    Quote from momtojosh
    i have a similar situation for all you....it isnt as bad as the first poster,but it is something i questioned..

    i work in a state run facility for the MR.....the house i work in is for 12 very medically frail MR individuals....we are all lpns and rns......there is a house nearby who needs nurses for insulin coverage from time to time.....well,their MARS are alot different than ours....they go by how mjuch food the person eats PLUS a sliding scale....ours is just 12 units of such at these times and a sliding scale...anyway.....we got o provide this service on the word of the direct care aides....we do not do the BS test they do it before the person eats,then we go...i dont think that is right.....but the supervisors all say it is ok cause these direct care aides are trained to do the BS test just not the shots...only nurses....what do you all think
    I think the extra couple minutes it takes to do your own blood sugars is well worth it in peace of mind. It's one thing if a tech on a unit you are working WITH takes the blood sugar, you know and trust them. Here, you don't. Nope. Too much room for error.
  10. by   hopesgramcracker
    Wow the arrogance of this doctor is going to get him in alot of trouble at some point. I would call the medical board on him, not to get even but to protect inocent pt's from injury. Sounds like he is cheap and lazy at the same time. Him firing you is the best thing he did for you, at some point what he is doing WILL backfire and you never know when you may be needed to testify in court on a pt's behalf. Do you live in an area where nursing jobs are available? HHHMMMM wonder what your local media would do with this story?
  11. by   tonka3
    I plan on talking to a very good family friend who is also the attorney for the city his practice is in and see what he thinks about the whole deal, I know attorneys are much better at researching laws governing medical boards and any similar cases and let him file the complaint if he feels it should be and i will be willing to share my experience, I will let you all know what happens but in the meantime, any nurses reading this who are unsure whether or not what a doctor or nurse supervisor is asking you to do is in your scope, please refuse to do it until you find out for sure, obviously they don't care about your license, you have to protect yourselves, again, Thanks ya'll, wish me luck!!
  12. by   pagandeva2000
    I have learned that our employers only have their best interests at heart and in those cases, they'll get anyone to do what they want. I just got through a situation where a nurse with a private agency wanted me to travel to a different state to administer vaccinations. I knew that we can't practice in other areas unless they are cluster states that allow this. I asked her about this, she avoided the answer, so, I said 'no', did some investigation on my own by contacting the BON and discovered that she was wrong.

    I suspect that the BON would only get involved if you actually did continue to do what this man asked of you. I am not proficient in law, or the medical boards, but I suspect that you would have to report him for not doing his own job by cutting the polyps himself. Lazy bum...you don't need to work for him, anyhow.
  13. by   ANPFNPGNP
    Quote from caliotter3
    While you are at it, you might want to contact the state Medical Board and report the doctor to them. You have the right as a member of the public to report unethical behavior to the Board
    In some states, such as Texas, it is mandatory to report a health care provider who is practicing unethically or illegally. The way some nursing boards look at it, if you know about it and don't do anything about it, you're just as guilty as the person who was doing it! I totally agree with that. We're supposed to be patient advocates, not turn our heads the other way b/c we don't want to get involved.

    Report the doctor to the Board of Medicine and report that nurse to the Board of Nursing.
  14. by   eforest
    As a medical student, the first time I had a nurse tell me that she "couldn't do such and such" because it was out of her scope (well not in those exact words, but the same idea) I was frustrated and didn't understand. Then I learned that even though a nurse, other staff member, might be ABLE to do something, and even willing to do so, it is in fact basically ILLEGAL to carry out certain duties (ie pushing certain drugs on a particular floor, etc). I think that sometimes there is conflict because those on the doctor side don't really know or understand that when they pressure a nurse to do something and she or he refuses on the grounds that whatever is being asked is out of the scope of practice/not permitted on certain floors/ that the doctor cannot override the law. THey don't understand that certain regulations cannot be overridden, and if they are, it is the nurse's a**. It is entirely inappropriate for the OP to be fired for standing his/her ground! I am sure those that are pressuring you into going outside your scope, would sell you up the river in a sec if something went wrong. I am sorry that this happened to you! You were just being honses

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