Retaliation for voicing concern over unsafe pratices - page 9

Hi, I am looking for some insight into retaliation acts by employers.I am a RN in a ICU setting at a major teaching hospital.I have been a resource to my entire unit.I received a promotion only... Read More

  1. by   Keysnurse2008
    gloria....I dont know all the answers....but I do know that when you say is ethically wrong.Its like ..if you were at a store and were watching it being "held up" from the outside of that store.Should you call 911?Yes.Why..??? bc is the ethical, moral and legally right/correct thing to do.It is sad when HC facilities try intimidation, and any other tactic to force a nurse to back down from their statements.I share your concerns ...believe me.But...we have to step up and say something .I honestly fear that until some major event occurs and a catastophic event occurs that shocks the media bc of everyones silence that nurses will still fear retaliation and not step up...and it will be due to self preservation.Can anyone tell me about how you find info on labor unions for nurses????
  2. by   CseMgr1
    I find the above posts very moving and frightening.

    We are considered dangerous to the Powers That May Be, if we want to do what is best for our patients and effect change.

    JFK, RFK and MLK also wanted to effect change and look what happened to them, for they were considered dangerous, also.

    Think about it.....
  3. by   jodyangel
    Yep its frightening. People who go into nursing for the Most part do so because they CARE. And to know there is No job security and No real voice when these wrongs are just mindblowing.
    I was fired wrongfully and had to have 6 weeks of punishment with NO income before christmas. Why? Because the hospital can say whatever they want to unemployment and thats that.
    Believe me, there is little a nurse can do about it. I'm glad I just started the new job, but that doesnt help me with the lost weeks of pay.
    I really feel we need Unions...but how will that ever happen??

    Quote from CseMgr1
    I find the above posts very moving and frightening.

    We are considered dangerous to the Powers That May Be, if we want to do what is best for our patients and effect change.

    JFK, RFK and MLK also wanted to effect change and look what happened to them, for they were considered dangerous, also.

    Think about it.....
  4. by   CseMgr1
    It's just a fact that our country is not run by our government, but rather by big business and like-minded individuals who will stop at nothing to keep their warped ideals of The American Dream matter the cost. You go along with their crooked little games, and the sky's the limit. Buck the System, and you're dead meat. Try and fight them, and you wind up with NOTHING, after your lawyers present their bill and walk away smelling as bad as the people you have just tried to sue...and even richer to boot. :angryfire
  5. by   Keysnurse2008
    I too share evryones concern. I have definitely suffered bc I did the ethically correct thing. I lost my job, my family lost their health insurance, we lost my retirement, my emotional peace of job security. I was a nurse who had never had any form of PIC. I have excellent reviews.I had never had a verbal or written warning in all my years at this hospital. I had nothing but promotions, and excellent evaluayions at my HCO.Then I did the correct ethical thing,...and voiced my concerns over unsafe pratices.Hours later...I was fired.Is that "temporal proximity" enough for you? This week I am to meet with various members of my old hospitals risk management/legal dept in an effort for them to complete their "internal investigation". They have lost my trust...obviously. Its kinda like....bite me once -shame on you. Bite me twice-shame on me! After terminating me...what kinda message did that send to my coworkers....who had voiced the same concerns.....but were not willing to take those concerns to the departments of my HCO who could actually do something about it? I dont know if this a true "internal investigation"...or if it is just a sham.But...I have been bitten once how much faith should I realistically give this HCO?
  6. by   TsunamiKim
    this is how it goes: they, in this case risk management, call a meeting; you show up with the intention of discussing your serious concerns over a patient safety issue. first of all they will outnumber you as you will probably face several of them while being expected to present your information to them on your own. they will try very hard to convince you that no one among your colleagues shares your concerns, making your allegations seem bizarre, outlandish and unbelievable. they will insist that everything is now ok and reassure you that they have "investigated" the issues you raised very thoroughly. while their tone will be condescending, their so called "investigation" will be nonexistent or purely a cosmetic band-aid; any proposed remedy will be really minimal and simplistic.
    there is nothing about what they are likely to tell you that will convince you that they have done anything at all to correct the problem. you are supposed to be totally taken in by this fiasco and satisfied with the result! it is an insult to your intelligence because nothing they say makes much sense and you know nothing has actually been resolved. they will question your motives to put you on the defensive; of course you are understandably angry over your dismissal, blah! blah! blah! they will fain sympathy and suggest you move on as if they are genuinly concerned for your future. do not let them discuss anything regarding your conduct or being fired at all this is a risk assessment inquiry into the incompetence of another nurse.
    with me the compliance line supposedly "investigated;" their solution to a multitude of serious negligence allegations was to "just keep an eye on things." while it was ok for my supervisor to lie to remove me from my job for the blasphemy of daring to call her "unnecessarily inflexible" and scaring the office staff by standing with my arms folded and my hands on my hips it was unreasonable for me to expect accountability from or management for serious offences. they had knowingly instituted negligent understaffing policies that endangered the wellbeing of multiple surgical patients over an extended period of time, not to mention their vindictive lies to sabotage my job and my career. not as heinous as that dreadful utterance i had made over the phone and the seriousness of my "aggressive" body language! no they would "just keep an eye on things."
    they did not discuss measures they had taken to improve safety, protocol changes to protect or patients from abandonment or staff from future abuse; not necessary and besides they had done nothing. even if they had made positive changes they would not have told me about them as it might have given me the impression that i was in the right. trivialize the allegations, make the whistleblower feel isolated, like no one on the staff shares their opinion and they will soon understand that calling for an investigation was futile. all they needed to do when i made my follow up call was humor me; i was just one of the idiot staff, easy to dupe. when i kept insisting on a proper in depth review of my case and the retaliatory practices they began refusing to take my calls. then i got a letter from the strong-arm gang in their legal department telling me to cease all contact except through their department; obviously that's where the hospital keeps their biggest industrial capacity shredder!
    when they tell you no one else in the icu shares your opinion and they are simply incredulous hearing your accounts, be prepared for some really good acting they must practice for weeks to get the expression just right. forewarned is forearmed: try to get that petition together to show that there is a strong consensus of opinion among the nurses on this patient safety issue. if you are not well prepared it will be a very humiliating and infuriating experience. maybe i am being cynical after my personal experiences i can't help it.
    i lost faith in unions as our union appeared so week. they were unable to obtain my personal files or my pay files, unable to bring even the slightest hint of fairness to my hearings. i could never get basic information or answers from them, like when two minor rule violations had suddenly appeared in my file. how could i hope to prove that these documents, shown to me for the first time 15months after i was fired, were fabricated if my own union had no record of just when they had surfaced? they misled me into binding arbitration and then there was the useless lawyer experience.
    there are strong unions that dare fighting for reasonably working conditions for nurses. this fight is vital to nurse retention and recruitment as well as essential for improved safety in patient care. they will question your motives; of course you are understandably angry over your dismissal they will say. there will be numerous links when i post my petition and i know many of them will be useful to you. while adding all the links is taking time i think it is worthwhile as it may help others facing retaliation like yourself. this was one of the little gems i found on the net; i hope it gives you a laugh: hope you all like it.
    i have posed a question on another thread re: blowing the whistle on deliberate understaffing and toxic managerial practices. it questions how long someone should remain continuously scrubbed into surgery; no answers as yet. i hope that some of you might visit this other thread and comment on the question. good luck, and keep your spirits up,
    fair winds & following seas, kim.
  7. by   Keysnurse2008
    Tsunami Kim,
    I read your attachment....thats too good!lol

    I have already...moved they dont have to tell me that peice of advice. But...I want my side heard that maybe if this "Internal Investigation" is merely a least it will provide the framework for the next nurse who suffers the same thing at this HCO.Maybe it will shed enough light on what was actually occurring to make a difference.Maybe...when this HCO has to explain in court which version their nurse manager is lying about THEN they will care about the patient safety issues at I said...I have it audiotaped....and what she says on the audiotape is a complete 180 of what is actually documented.This is sad....when HCO will not look at patient safety issues that nurses bring forth...till they are left to appear in court and be humiliated as the nurses attorneys make them answer for the NM's actions/ inactions and lies..and severe misrepresentations. I am still niave I am sure....bc ...I feel bad for the Rmgmt dept and their atty...I feel bad for the patients most of all.
  8. by   RNS for Unity

    As you may or may not be aware, that most federal employees are in unions, including all the Veterans Administration healthcare facilities. The Veterans Healthcare Administration is the largest employer in the U.S.A..Consider also that the entire nursing profession in Minnesota are unionized, along with most or all of California, Michigan and New York. I often wonder what transformed these states into unionization, was it legislated in the state or did the nurses get smart enough, stong enough so that they decided they'd had enough. WE NEED TO UNIONIZE like the teachers, police and firefighters have done. LETS MOVE OUT OF THE DARK AGES!
  9. by   Soleilpie
    Wow! I wish more nurses and people in general would be willing to rock the boat for a worthy cause! This is a selfless act on your part and all for patient safety! Everyone, take a good look. We have a hero amongst us! Thank You TNNURSE!
  10. by   gauge14iv
    A union would mean moving BACK to the dark ages.

    Stronger state based associations with stronger lobbying capacity, political clout and more membership would be more effective.

    Ain't no way *I* would EVER join a union.

    I have dealt with unions. Never again - no how, no way.
  11. by   Keysnurse2008
    What were the drawbacks for the union you were in?What made them such a negative thing? I just kinda feel like "ANY" representation would be better than none...but on the issue of Unions I am not educated/well informed on what they can actually do and not do for nurses.I know that in California...the nurses are voicing approval for their union.Share your insight..please....bc....I just dont know that much about unions.
    Also...I didnt know all VA hospitals were considered unionized.?????really???
  12. by   gauge14iv
    I worked for an insurance company who was contracted by a company who employed union workers. Because they were union they all had this sense of entitlement - to the point where it made it hard for the company I worked for as well as the employer to meet their needs. In fact companies like GM are heading down the drain in part because of the demands of the unions. You can't blame it ALL on the unions but they have to accept a piece of the responsibility.

    In dealing first hand with union representatives there was a number of times where I was told - "I'm union - I'll just call the union attorney" at times where such comments were so out of line it was unreal. I was thoroughly disgusted with unions by the time I left that 3 year contract and swore I'd never do anything that involved dealing with the unions again.

    Now - lets look at another side of an economical big player in medicine and health care - and well in the economy overall. Look at the AMA. Why is the AMA so powerful? What do they have that nursing doesn't? Highly paid lobbyists. Why do they have these when nursing does not? Because doctors tend to PARTICPATE in their professional organizations. They pay their membership fees, they take part in the activities and they make their opinions HEARD. Lobbyists are the paid voice of any organization.

    Nurses complain that they have no representation, no one to get the laws changed so that the needs of nurses and ultimately patients are met. Well, what is the percentage of membership in state and national nursing organizations? How many nurses are actually card carrying INVOLVED and VOCAL members of their organization? How many think showing up at meetings or events to have their voices heard is important? How many attend the "Day on the Hill" as it is called here in Texas to meet personally with their state legislators and representatives? How many engage in actively writing letters and not just clicking on a website to get their voice heard and their opinion counted? How many? Not many...

    I hear complaints - "My state nursing organization doesn't do squat for me" Geeeeeee - if you aren't a member, I wonder why thats true? How can an organization be expected to meet the needs of non contributing (cash, time, energy or otherwise) members?

    There *IS* great power in numbers, but the answer is NOT a union I assure you. I never want to be associated with a group of people with the kind of mindset I experienced in the unions again ever. I will always be proud to be affiliated with a group of strong, powerful, vocal and involved individuals - even if my opinions aren't the same as theirs.

    Yes, we have to band together and we have to be heard, but unions will not get us what we want, and ultimately they would drive the economy of healthcare to ruins.
    Last edit by gauge14iv on Dec 18, '05
  13. by   gauge14iv
    As for making a case for unions by saying that "federal employees are all members of unions"...

    C'mon - have you dealt with some of these federal employees?? No case to made there! (No i'm not generalizing so if you are one of the exceptions don't flame me)