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Patient complaint-freaking out!

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First of all, I would have refused the suspension and would have immediately contacted my HR department. Secondly, when I am with my family, I make it a point to tell them to please not divulge that I am a nurse. I am not out to spot check anyone or step on toes. Yes, I may be more observant of things, but nothing ticks me off more than to have another nurse of a family member question every single thing I do when they KNOW fully well what I am doing.

Our boss recently suggested that when we have a complaint, that we will call the patient and apologize. Um no. NOT happening. I am an experienced and darn good nurse. I try my best with everyone. I am NOT calling a patient and further perpetuating this ridiculous notion of "patient satisfaction". If I ever get a complaint and am asked to do that, my job will immediately receive my notice on the spot.

Your boss had no right to suspend you without telling you why. I would reach out to your HR department and file a grievance immediately. This mentality will not change unless we stand against it.

In the setting I work in, the employee is suspended pending investigation to protect the patients and to protect the nurse/staff member during an investigation. Usually you will be paid for any time missed from work if you are able to come back to work. We actually spend time during orientation to prepare staff for this type occasion so that it might be less traumatic should a patient make a complaint. I would agree that the accusation could be abuse or neglect if you are suspended. I personally would not recommend giving too many details to someone who is being suspended as it may cloud details and memory once you meet with the employee to discuss. It gives an employee 3 days of fight or flight thinking time, however usually we've at least let them know it was abuse, neglect or standard of care etc. No matter what, it is very difficult for the employee to wait it out. Hope the outcome is favorable for you.

Reason # 523 why I don't work in a hospital. Patients and their families treat it as a 5-star resort. Ultimately, every dissatisfaction falls on the nurse's shoulder.

"I've never had a complaint against me in the 5 years I've been a nurse but the hospital where I work is termination happy." If I were you, I wouldn't be "freaking out", I'd be livid. They are messing with your livelihood. You know you didn't harm or kill anyone yet they are keeping you in suspense for some likely petty complaint. Whatever the outcome, I hope you find peace and resolve.

Unfortunately patient complaints come with the job. You did not put this patients life in danger or neglect them from what it sounds. This is why you can never overchart interactions with patients and family members.

I've had my share of complaints and it's so disheartening. I have come to realize patients and families tend to direct tension and stress toward you because you are the one they see the most compared to the physician/team. Things the doctor should be telling the patient and family I.e, ICU status change.

Your manager should be more supportive if you. You should not be pulled from the schedule without being paid, can you talk with your union rep and get them involved? As for coworker, you don't know if there were other concerns about her practice and issues with missing narcotics prior to this last incident.

Wow what kind of hospital is that? It costs alot to train a nurse so my hospital would not fire nurses easily unless it has to with VIP patients.

One of my colleague was forced to resign because a "VIP" patient's sister whose the boss in nursing education filed complaints against her for not giving the patient a urinal when being asked to and not starting the patients on antibiotics when he arrived the unit in the middle of the night.

But in other more serious incidents in which patient's safety were jeopardized -- a nurse hanging vancomycin instead of levephed drip, and hanging morphine instead of Flagy, not reporting a fever of 104F and the patient ended up having a seizure , etc..the nurses only had to be re-educated” and didn't get suspended.

Maybe you should start applying for other hospitals. Its not worth the stress working in a termination happy hospital.

Sounds like that educator didn't educate too well.

I wonder if the antibiotic was available or did it have to come from an outside pharmacy? How come the urinal wasn't given? That sister needs an enema.

Your rights were violated. You should be in your HR department/Chief Nurse Officer or CEO office. Do NOT sit back for 2 days.

Please keep us updated.

In the setting I work in, the employee is suspended pending investigation to protect the patients and to protect the nurse/staff member during an investigation. Usually you will be paid for any time missed from work if you are able to come back to work. We actually spend time during orientation to prepare staff for this type occasion so that it might be less traumatic should a patient make a complaint.

This practice is BS and there is no justification for it. How is an "investigation" done without hearing any testimony from the accused? An unethical way to treat workers. There doesn't even have to BE a legitimate allegation in order for this process to be conducted against someone, you realize that, don't you? It's not about protecting the patient and the nurse (do we all look stupid, or what??) - it's so the employer can do whatever they damn well please while their employee is absolutely defenseless. Shame on anyone who thinks this is okay and all the tools who fall in line by doing things in attempt to "normalize" this (such as spending orientation time "preparing" staff).

Well, it's getting difficult enough to keep people happy these days, hopefully abusive places like yours will find themselves being unable to staff their units someday soon due to all the ongoing "investigations".

Edited by JKL33

CelticGoddess, BSN, RN

Specializes in Palliative, Onc, Med-Surg, Home Hospice. Has 6 years experience.

Your rights were violated. You should be in your HR department/Chief Nurse Officer or CEO office. Do NOT sit back for 2 days.

How were her rights violated? Please explain

~Mi Vida Loca~RN, ASN, RN

Specializes in Emergency Dept. Trauma. Pediatrics. Has 6 years experience.

How were her rights violated? Please explain

I am glad I clicked to the next page. I was about to post the exact same thing!

I have to say though for some of the other posts, I know this seems harsh but I have to be honest, I rather a paid investigation done where they are actually taking the time to look into it and I am not missing wages, then to find trumped up BS to fire me on, or just terminate me or have disciplinary action.

Having paid administrative leave so they can investigate is not an automatic termination and it's more than what a lot of other employers are willing to do and if the investigation comes out in your favor nothing is put in your record where them writing you up would be.

The hospital where I experienced this, I actually got put on it twice for two different reasons, the HIPAA pt complaint that was bogus and the second was from a complaint from a Co-Worker that was out of line and I started standing up for myself so they started trying to find ways to complain and get me fired. Both BS and I was cleared from both. The second time I just though "you have got to be kidding me, maybe I need to start having a vacation pending if it happens again"

However, the stress and anxiety was to much and I wasn't willing to deal with it a third time and I started feeling like soon they would be looking for something to justify terminating me so I started looking for another job so I could set myself up and resign before one day I might just walk into work and told I was fired.

canoehead, BSN, RN

Specializes in ER. Has 30 years experience.

When they do call you in they should have the original complaint and information from their investigation in writing. You should get a copy. No matter how tempting it is, do not engage verbally, because they will be taking notes, and the notes will be skewed in their favor. Also, you neewd time to read and reflect on the issue. They had three days, you deserve some time too. Then go home, think, and reply IN WRITING. I've had complaints that I tried to clear up verbally, and got nowhere. They wrote "you explanation was insufficient" on the HR paperwork. Hell with that!! I went home and wrote point for point what they said, and then what really happened, and got a coworker to double check it. A written reply is much more powerful, and they have to put it in the record.