Patient Abandonment

Updated | Posted

Hello everyone. I have hit a bump in the road. I am a MedSurg Nurse. From my understanding, if we had a patient with certain communicable diseases we take a certain number patients. The problem is, the last few days I only took that given number of patients including the patient with the communicable disease but when I arrived to work today they had me on the board for a larger number of patients. Before I took taking report on any patient I told them that if I have to take the larger number of patients with this specific disease, I’ll go home. I said this because I was under the impression that we were still taking the lesser amount of patients. So, the charge nurse agreed to take on another patient before I took report. I thought the problem was resolved until I notice the charge nurse texted her friend, whom is in a higher position to make decisions. Shortly after, I get a text from this person but I didn’t see it until minutes after because at that point I was writing my medications and tasks down for all of my patients (“planning my day”). The text asked why didn’t you want to take the regular amount of patients.” At that moment, I just wanted to get the day over with and leave. So, minutes later the charge nurse said she wanted to talk to me. Mind you, this person is a very condescending and lazy person, but this is who we have as a charge nurse. At this point I’m saying to myself yep I’m about to go. So, they presented a few options. At that point I didn’t care about the options. I felt it would be best if I leave, because the environment would not have been conducive, and I know that would have affected patient care. As always, I want to provide the best care for my patients. So the charge nurse makes the comment “this is going to come back and bite you in the ***.” Now, she done struck a nerve I was trying to prevent her from striking, which is why I wanted to go home. My response was, “let me tell you something these people don’t care about me, do you really think I care if they try to target me. I’m here to do my job and care for my patients. That is it.” I asked her how about you take the other patient (which she had already agreed to do in the beginning of the shift)? She comes back while she’s on the phone with her friend and says “you don’t tell me what to do. I am the charge nurse.” At this point im just frustrated and ready to go. Before the supervisor came she said the same thing, “I don’t tell her what to do.” So, I told her “I can tell anybody what I want. If anybody else appears I will tell them how I feel.” It’s not that I was telling her what the do I was just going back to what was agreed on at the beginning of the shift. It may not have come out right but my intentions were to revisit the initial agreement. So she goes to say, I’m rude. So, I’m rude for saying If I want to say it I’ll say it? I didn’t even respond. At this point im waiting on the supervisor to come down to talk to him/her. Supervisor informed me that it was told to him that things have changed since January. Mind you, I was only taking a certain amount of patients the last few days. So, at this moment I tell the supervisor the situation then I told him I just prefer to go home. The supervisor said I can go home if I want. He called the relief for me. I gave report and I went home. I get a message from her friend this morning stating, suspension and reporting to BON per CNO. Now, I’m wondering.. under what grounds? The only thing I can think of is patient abandonment. Talked to the director and she tried to hint at patient abandonment. So, my question is… is this patient abandonment? The supervisor was aware that I was leaving, and I gave report to another nurse that the supervisor sent to relieve me. If they were aware of this, why would they even mention contacting the BON? 

Edited by Rose_Queen
formatting

Kitiger, RN

Specializes in Private Duty Pediatrics. Has 43 years experience. 1,667 Posts

If you gave report and handed off your patients to another nurse, then you didn't abandon your patients. 

50 minutes ago, Kitiger said:

If you gave report and handed off your patients to another nurse, then you didn't abandon your patients. 

Thank You so much for this response. I can’t help but wonder what other grounds will they have to report to the BON?

Kitiger, RN

Specializes in Private Duty Pediatrics. Has 43 years experience. 1,667 Posts

The "grounds" are likely to put fear in your heart. 

Follow the money; they want you to work short, and without complaining.

1 hour ago, Kitiger said:

The "grounds" are likely to put fear in your heart. 

Follow the money; they want you to work short, and without complaining.

I thought so. Thank you so much for your responses! 

kbrn2002, ADN, RN

Specializes in Geriatrics, Dialysis. Has 20 years experience. 3,560 Posts

You did nothing reportable to the BON so that's an empty threat. You did however do something that is grounds for termination so expect to be looking for another job. You may as well start that job search now.