Accused of Abuse

  1. Dear Nurse Beth,

    I recently interviewed for a dream job for me - being a government inspector for long-term care facilities. One of the last questions was if I had ever been accused of abuse. I answered honestly that I had been accused of verbal abuse by a resident of the LTC home I currently work in. She was in LTC due to psychiatric issues and due to a medication change was decompensating. Shortly after she was forced to go to hospital under police escort, and was sent back a second time within a month. Basically I was caught in her symptoms, while following the behaviour plan put in place by our behaviour support specialist and the plan was changed the same day I was interviewed for the allegation.

    Now my mentor is saying to me that I should not have been honest, because it is likely that the incident was likely dealt with in-house and never reported to the government in the first place.

    What do you think? Honest is important to me, and it's my assumption that most people will have a negative report by a patient/resident in their career. I'm still working at this facility and continue to receive more and more responsibilities. But on the other hand, now this dream job has on file that I have had that accusation.

    Dear Accused,

    You are saying a resident with a psychiatric diagnosis not controlled by medications accused you of verbal abuse, and it was handled internally? I agree with your mentor.

    If a complaint had ever been filed with the BON, you should disclose it when asked on a job application or in an interview. If the claim of verbal abuse was unsubstantiated, there is no reason to report it during an interview. It wasn't their intention to find out if unstable patients made unfounded accusations; it was their intention to find out if there are formal complaints against you.

    You need to be honest but not naive. Hopefully when you recounted the situation and the accusation, it clearly showed this was about the patient, and not you.

    Best wishes,

    Nurse Beth

    Author, "Your Last Nursing Class: How to Land Your First Nursing Job"...and your next!
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    About Nurse Beth, MSN, RN

    Joined: Mar '07; Posts: 1,573; Likes: 4,724
    Nursing Professional Development Specialist; from CA , US
    Specialty: Med Surg, Tele, ICU, Ortho


  3. by   Daisy4RN
    Agree, no need to offer up any more info than is needed!