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Nurse alleges fired for suggesting pt go to church

Posted

Specializes in RN, BSN, CHDN. Has 26 years experience.

Nurse 'sacked over church advice'

A nurse who says he was sacked for suggesting patients could become less stressed if they went to church could take action against the NHS trust.

Anand Rao said he made the comments to a woman in a training exercise and was suspended by University Hospitals of Leicester NHS Trust after a complaint.

He was dismissed after a disciplinary hearing. The Christian Legal Centre said it was considering legal action.

A trust spokesman said Mr Rao, 71, had "continuously" breached guidelines.

Mr Rao said that in the training exercise the woman had been playing the part of a patient with a life-threatening heart condition.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/england/leicestershire/8066613.stm

Edited by madwife2002

Actually, the article you posted states that he was not fired for the suggestion that a client attend church; he was fired for failing to show up for two disciplinary hearings. The article also stated that this was not the only incident -- there was a long series of problems, and this was just the most recent.

He was not fired for suggesting that the patient go to church he was fired for various other reasons. You do know though we are not allowed to suggest to residents or patients what they can or can't do such as going to church. That would be like me telling a patient you need to believe in God!

nerdtonurse?, BSN, RN

Specializes in ICU, Telemetry.

We had one of those in nursing school -- fanatically obsessed with the rapture and end times prophesy. She disappeared after one semester -- complete psychotic break.

madwife2002, BSN, RN

Specializes in RN, BSN, CHDN. Has 26 years experience.

I know the 'trust' said he didnt turn up for his hearing x2 but the underlying concept was the church comment he made in a training exercise, in which I had always asumed was a 'safe' environment to express comments.

"A trust spokesman said Mr Rao, 71, had 'continuously' breached guidelines ... 'The incident which led to the launch of the investigation was unfortunately not the first. Since joining us in 2005 Mr Rao had continuously shown a disregard for the Nursing and Midwifery's code of conduct, which he had breached on more than one occasion. Mr Rao was given every opportunity to assure us that this would not happen again, but he was unable to do so and showed little regard for the standards of care and professionalism that is expected of him as a nurse.'"

Sounds like the trust is saying there were a variety of problems over time, but the nurse in question and the Christian Legal Centre are trying to make it into a censorship issue regarding this one incident (which could possibly be successfully challenged in court?) Do you have additional personal information about this situation beyond what's in the article?

I don't know much about how these things work in England, but I have a hard time believing the trust would make such sweeping comments about Mr. Rao's performance if they couldn't back them up with evidence.

madwife2002, BSN, RN

Specializes in RN, BSN, CHDN. Has 26 years experience.

I agree the article needs futher investigation it comes from a good source ' The BBC News', but I will see if I can find further information. The other questionable thing is the mans age 71, I really haven't heard of anybody working until that age in the UK in a hospital environment, things have obviously changed.

For the church incident to be cited it had to be brought up as an issue or else they couldn't use it as a form of investigation, one would presume.

Clearly, the "church advice" incident was brought up as an issue, but it sounds like it was the "final straw" rather than an isolated incident.

I know that, in the US, it is often the case that, once someone has been been identified as a "problem" employee, administrators watch closely for any infraction, however minor, things that might well be overlooked with another employee, in order to create a "paper trail" of problems and issues that will support the idea that the person needs to be fired (rather than a single incident), and can defend the administration's decision if the employee contests the firing.

luvschoolnursing, LPN

Specializes in School Nursing. Has 23 years experience.

I'm all for praying with patients and discussing Christian issues, etc. IF THEY ASK, but in this article, I don't think think the one church comment was even the issue. Sounds like there was lots of stuff going on we don't even know about.

azhiker96, BSN, RN

Specializes in PACU. Has 10 years experience.

He may have had a defensible position if they'd fired him for the comment. However, the hospital says he failed to show up for two disciplinary meetings. That is likely their stated cause for the firing.

eriksoln, BSN, RN

Specializes in M/S, Travel Nursing, Pulmonary. Has 15 years experience.

I read the topic title and was like "Well, yeah, why wouldnt they be?". Then I read the article and it made even more sense.

If I were a pt. I would turn the facility in if I had a nurse trying to perform a missionary exercise on me. Its not appropriate.

I read the topic title and was like "Well, yeah, why wouldnt they be?". Then I read the article and it made even more sense.

If I were a pt. I would turn the facility in if I had a nurse trying to perform a missionary exercise on me. Its not appropriate.

:yeah: I would too. It'd be one thing if the patient had asked for religious counseling, and then the nurse chose to give it, but to just throw out that kind of "advice" at a patient without regard for the patient's own beliefs (or lack thereof) should be cause for discipline. I'm actually more amazed that the nurse in question is 71!

ghillbert, MSN, NP

Specializes in CTICU. Has 20 years experience.

I'm taking physical exam at school now, and was surprised that we are supposed to ask patients when taking a health history about social supports, including religious practices. I can't see how that's relevant to my health, and I find it intrusive.

gonzo1, ASN, RN

Specializes in CEN, ED, ICU, PSYCH, PP. Has 18 years experience.

some patients have religious beliefs related to health and illness. I was taught to ask

"Are there any religious beliefs or practices that I need to incorporate into your health care while here for you?"

Canned, of course, but works okay. Never had 1 person say yes. So I finally quit asking.

Every now and then I will ask someone if they need me to get their priest, etc.

I'm taking physical exam at school now, and was surprised that we are supposed to ask patients when taking a health history about social supports, including religious practices. I can't see how that's relevant to my health, and I find it intrusive.

Because social supports including religious ones can provide comfort and psychological support to patients. In some situations significantly so - having done clinicals in a Catholic Hospital. Faith is highly personal and yet very much based, for many, in a sense of community.

I think the guy had a problem. In the same kind of situation I would have fallen back to, "are you religious" or "do you go to church?" - and then the perhaps your minister can help you with the emotional issues you are facing with regard to your heart condition. Not told the patient to go to church. Too many faiths and religions in this country - I can't choose for you for goshsakes!

I'm taking physical exam at school now, and was surprised that we are supposed to ask patients when taking a health history about social supports, including religious practices. I can't see how that's relevant to my health, and I find it intrusive.

Ooh and from my past job - how are social/religious questions so much more intrusive than "How many sexual partners have you had...Do you use condoms....have you had previous STD's and what kind....."???

eriksoln, BSN, RN

Specializes in M/S, Travel Nursing, Pulmonary. Has 15 years experience.

I'm taking physical exam at school now, and was surprised that we are supposed to ask patients when taking a health history about social supports, including religious practices. I can't see how that's relevant to my health, and I find it intrusive.

I dont have a problem with being asked what it is I practice. Some religions have creeds that must be upheld. A witness not wanting a blood transfusion would be a good example. Male nurses not caring for Muslims is another one. Some christian followers are against long term life sustaining measures (my parents being in this category).

When the focus is better pt. care, thus we need to know if you have any beliefs that should guide your healthcare choices, I dont have a problem with it. I do have a problem with trying to "convert" though.

azhiker96, BSN, RN

Specializes in PACU. Has 10 years experience.

in the training exercise the woman had been playing the part of a patient with a life-threatening heart condition.

I think the nurse was trying to make some kind of point and has now hung himself. It wasn't even a real patient. It was a comment he made during a training exercise to a pretend patient. He probably could have gone to one of the disciplinary meetings, claimed his comment was said in jest, and gotten off with a warning. At least he would have been able to document his side of the story. Instead he chose to miss both meetings and got fired. He cooked his own goose.

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