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Nurse Beaten by Patient Denied Request for Unpaid Time Off and Fired

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by Melissa Mills Melissa Mills, BSN (Member) Writer Innovator Verified

Melissa Mills has 20 years experience as a BSN and specializes in Health and Wellness Writing, Leadership.

9 Followers; 108 Articles; 21,396 Visitors; 266 Posts

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Imagine being beaten on the job, needing multiple surgeries, and then being told that you can't have more time off and ultimately being terminated. This isn't just an example scenario for Tina Suckow, an Iowa nurse. You are reading page 2 of Nurse Beaten by Patient Denied Request for Unpaid Time Off and Fired. If you want to start from the beginning Go to First Page.

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4 hours ago, Kooky Korky said:

Lawyer

I'm with you. She needs a lawyer ASAP!

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K+MgSO4 has 12 years experience as a BSN and specializes in Surgical, quality,management.

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Ahh America! 

 

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osceteacher has 15 years experience and specializes in Done it all..

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Surprised it took a whole year for a Republican to push through anti-workers rights legislation.

America in action.

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Truth66 has 15 years experience and specializes in LTC & Teaching.

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I completely agree that this woman needs a lawyer.  I for one would contribute to some kind of fund to help her pay for that lawyer.  It has been mentioned here with regards to her also applying for Worker's Compensation because it is obviously work related.  However, there are countless examples of injured workers going through a lengthy nightmare when it comes to various Workers Compensation Board systems.

The worst case that I've ever read with regards to Workers Compensation was a Canadian Department Store Manager who was beaten and shot on the job during a robbery.  The Worker's Compensation system had put him through a living nightmare which had lasted over 16 years at the time of the article.

While hoping that this woman gets the help that she needs, this case should be a wakeup call for all nurses.  Not only do Nurses need to have a significant Emergency Fund set aside to help their finances in situations like this, but they also need to have an emergency Legal Fund.

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JayHanig has 18 years experience and specializes in Orthopedics, Med-Surg.

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Worker's comp is your friend.  You don't need the hospital's permission to bring a case, nor do you even need a lawyer.  You just need to apply.  In the last state I worked in prior to retiring, Worker's comp was my sole remedy but they came through for me in a big way.

I was working for a air charter company as a pilot when I was severely injured in a plane crash due to a mechanical failure.  Worker's comp paid for innumerable surgeries and rehab after the fact and paid me 2/3 of what I was making each week prior to being injured (it's a payment; not a loan... that is your money to keep though it is taxable).

I eventually was able to return to flying.  Two years later I was reevaluated to determine the percentage of permanent loss, then offered a settlement.  Way too cheap, I thought, so I scheduled an informal hearing.  The insurance company offered me another offer after it; still too cheap.  I requested a formal hearing.  The insurance company called me and tried to discourage me, telling me it would only cost me more in legal fees.  "What legal fees?", I asked.  There were no legal fees... for me.  They were the ones having to pay lawyers; not me.  I also pointed out I had thought carefully about my presentation during the informal hearing and that I would not be repeating the mistakes I may have made.  So I got ready for the formal hearing.

When I arrived, the worker's comp insurance company's lawyer offered me four times what they had originally offered if I would sign before we went inside the proceedings room.  I agreed, and that's where I got the money to buy a new car, a computer, and to attend nursing school and learn a new trade.

She should contact a lawyer familiar with the process for advice but he/she will not be able to assist her directly during any proceedings.  That's why my legal fees were so much cheaper than the insurance company's.

Edited by JayHanig

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Truth66 has 15 years experience and specializes in LTC & Teaching.

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38 minutes ago, JayHanig said:

Worker's comp is your friend.  You don't need the hospital's permission to bring a case, nor do you even need a lawyer.  You just need to apply.  In the last state I worked in prior to retiring, Worker's comp was my sole remedy but they came through for me in a big way.

I was working for a air charter company as a pilot when I was severely injured in a plane crash due to a mechanical failure.  Worker's comp paid for innumerable surgeries and rehab after the fact and paid me 2/3 of what I was making each week prior to being injured (it's a payment; not a loan... that is your money to keep though it is taxable).

I eventually was able to return to flying.  Two years later I was reevaluated to determine the percentage of permanent loss, then offered a settlement.  Way too cheap, I thought, so I scheduled an informal hearing.  The insurance company offered me another offer after it; still too cheap.  I requested a formal hearing.  The insurance company called me and tried to discourage me, telling me it would only cost me more in legal fees.  "What legal fees?", I asked.  There were no legal fees... for me.  They were the ones having to pay lawyers; not me.  I also pointed out I had thought carefully about my presentation during the informal hearing and that I would not be repeating the mistakes I may have made.  So I got ready for the formal hearing.

When I arrived, the worker's comp insurance company's lawyer offered me four times what they had originally offered if I would sign before we went inside the proceedings room.  I agreed, and that's where I got the money to buy a new car, a computer, and to attend nursing school and learn a new trade.

She should contact a lawyer familiar with the process for advice but he/she will not be able to assist her directly during any proceedings.  That's why my legal fees were so much cheaper than the insurance company's.

I'm pleased to read that Worker's Comp had actually helped you in your case.  Unfortunately there are far too many horror stories out there where people with legitimate claims have been so financially ruined as well as medically ruined if the Worker's Comp had actually denied the needed medical treatments as well.

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44 Visitors; 12 Posts

This situation is truly sad. As an Iowa nurse, I realize the stress and danger a nurse faces everyday. Iowa law makers refuse to acknowledge this. In fact, the Iowa Supreme Court just upheld the 2017 change to collective bargaining but certain public employees such as fire, police, and EMTs are able to negotiate under the old legislation because they risk their lives on daily basis. As a Des Moines Register Article from 2017 explains, "Under the legislation, most public-sector union contract negotiations will be limited only to base wages. Unions will be banned from negotiating with their employers over issues such as health insurance, evaluation procedures, staff reduction and leaves of absence for political purposes. However, public safety workers such as police and firefighters will have a broader list of issues to be considered in contract talks" (William Petroski and Brianne Pfannenstiel, Des Moines RegisterPublished 12:38 p.m. CT Feb. 16, 2017 | Updated 8:20 p.m. CT Feb. 16, 2017). Apparently, being beaten half to death by a patient does not constitute "risking one's life" under the current Iowa law.

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1 Follower; 5,827 Visitors; 808 Posts

I saw two people I worked with get denied workers comp and be forced to return back to work before they completely healed. They also had to take a pay cut.

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Melissa Mills has 20 years experience as a BSN and specializes in Health and Wellness Writing, Leadership.

9 Followers; 108 Articles; 21,396 Visitors; 266 Posts

Worker's Compensation is administered differently in every state. I'm not familiar with Iowa laws. It's also critical to point out that just because you file a worker's compensation claim does not mean that you can get benefits. Employers and the state can fight the claim, including compensation and medical coverage. When you have unions involved, things tend to get a tad bit trickier, too. 

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are you kidding me with all these responses  ????? - you need to get the most mean *** lawyer you can find and I would sue everyone involved - the institution,  the administration on at the time - anyone who a hand in allowing circumstances to occur where something like this happens.  If you can find a lawyer go to civil rights groups - a major law school has students in their last term who take cases for free. Appeal if you don't get satisfaction. then take them to a  a civil court - name names of administration involved and sue them civilly for lots  and lots of money.  That will get there attention may get their attention. Basically FIGHT FIGHT FIGHT BACK - this is horrible. also as a nurse and nurse practitioner of 30 years i know from experience that unions don't always have your back either.  Nurse are so passive - biggest failure in our field - and we suffer the consequences of this.  Think about this - if it had happened to a doctor they would have been coddled and well taken care of .

TAKE THEM TO COURT - THREATEN THEIR MONEY - SUE!!!!! - FIGHT BACK !!!

(also  - keep the DesMoines reporter/paper informed with all the negative feedback you may receive )

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brandy1017 is a ASN, RN and specializes in Critical Care.

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4 hours ago, Workitinurfava said:

I saw two people I worked with get denied workers comp and be forced to return back to work before they completely healed. They also had to take a pay cut.

My aunt had to hire an attorney but did win with their help for the time off and medical bills.  It is sad, but not unusual in America to have workers comp deny or minimize injury. 

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HaleH has <1 years experience.

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I was injured by an inmate as a CO before I quit after receiving workers comp for nearly 2 months. She failed to consult an attorney, obviously. If she had, she would have been aware she could take as much time as needed without losing her job. If she was still having surgeries, she wasn't ready to be off worker's comp. This is something she needs to hire an attorney for. Yes, I was highly pressured to return to work but I stood my ground, when I did return, I was on very light duty in the control center of the juvenile prison for another 1.5 months. I was attacked by an inmate from the side while on a pod alone. 2 other inmates attempted to join. It was nothing I was trained to handle while in jailers training. I called a 10-1 emergency, but it took 45 seconds for other staff to arrive, which is forever in a situation like this. I already knew I was going to quit the job so I really ensured every single medical issue that would arise would be paid for by the county I worked in. Once I quit, I then won unemployment for 5 months, because I wrote every incident down that occurred that led me to constructively resign. I know there are details of her case not explained here because she is now using the media to fight back. If there were incidents she endured prior to her attack, she should have quit immediately after recording all incidents. Never work anywhere where your fellow staff and management doesn't have your back.

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