Need advice


I'm a new nurse and I have a situation that I need advice on. I am working at a retirement home. I have been there since November and it's my first job as a nurse (passed boards in Sept.) One night last week I was working alone, which is happening pretty frequently to everyone. I had 30 patients on a skilled unit. The next morning I was staying over to finish up paperwork, but day shift had already come in took report, counted narcs and took the keys. Pt falls and dies. They are looking for a fall guy. I just found out they're getting statements from night shift aides when I was the nurse. In the meantime I was going to put in my notice today because of working short all the time and feeling it was unsafe. I got a call this morning warning me that they felt they were looking at me to be reponsible for the fall. Management hasn't talked to me about it this was just someone saying look out. I'm worried it's bad timing to put in my notice and if I do what should I say is the reason. I'm worried if I say short staffing they'll twist it around on me. I know I'm being vague on some details, but I'm trying to keep it off the radar.


38,333 Posts

This is a tough one. Seems like you're in a bad light either way. Do you have another job lined up? If not, get another job, then give notice. Ride this situation out, but since you were warned, take the time to come up with your rebuttal. When a patient falls on the day shift, it is the responsibility of the day shift personnel, not that of someone who would normally be out of the building. Common sense. Take this as a sign that you are not respected there and only good enough to be a scapegoat. Good luck getting a new job.


10 Posts

Specializes in Pediatric, OB-Gyne, Medical.

I think this is a serious problem but you cannot get rid of the thinking that they put the blame on you...It should undergo an investigation as well..And come what may..


827 Posts

Specializes in pediatrics, public health.

I know you're not including a lot of details to "stay off the radar", but here are some questions that come to mind. Please forgive me for playing devil's advocate but, can you be absolutely sure the pt did not fall on your shift? It sounds like the fall was unwitnessed? And if the pt was discovered at the beginning of day shift, isn't it possible that the fall occurred before change of shift? When was the last time that you, or anybody else, saw the pt before the fall? If you have some way of knowing that the pt was still ok at the end of your shift, or that the pt fell after the start of day shift (was there a loud crash that someone heard?) you need to go to whoever is investigating the case and let them know what you know and how you know it.

If it were me, I would stay until the investigation of the fall was complete, and I would proactively volunteer any and all information that I had about when/how the fall might have occurred.

Good luck!


54 Posts

The scenario you describe is my worst nightmare! First of all, the facility seems negligent to leave a new grad in charge of 30 patients. Secondly, 30 patients to 1 nurse?? The facility sounds unsafe and is (as you already know) a risk to your license that you worked so hard for.. If it was me, I would immediately give my 2 weeks notice. Why would you possibly put yourself in that situation again?? I would also talk to an attorney immediately and let the attorney handle it from here on out. I would say nothing to no one at your current place of employment about the situation.

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