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50 shades of heyyyyy...(warning long)

OK I am breaking my silence and getting down to the rawness of my situation, if only just to vent, but open to advice as this IS the best place for the truth!!

In a nutshell, I am an unemployed (as of 9/2013--way too long for my blood) RN with several years of experience in healthcare. I was terminated from my last job after over 5yrs of dedication and hard work, and I loved my job, boss, co-workers (most of them), and house supervisors. I am a telemetry nurse, however went (not by choice) into the staff float pool--which gave me great experience in different areas of nursing!! Now, my attendance suffered, I WILL take responsibility for that with no excuse--despite my calling off often d/t heavy bleeding which led to the dx of a 4lb 20cm ovarian cyst (complex, btw, suspicious for neoplasm at the time of dx) which led to a TAH/BSO, appy, frozen resection (thankfully NEGATIVE) which led to a lengthy hospital stay and significant time off (FMLA thankfully)--however I am guilty of the attendance.

That being said, I had two suspicious "occurrences" on the same unit (ironically the same unit that ushered me off to float pool) one being a charting error--I began to chart and didn't finish d/t the patient running a fever, charted all that I did do, i.e. call the doctor asap, get orders, and help change the patient who was stable but soaked in sweat. So I chose patient care over the computer and got a ding for that. The next and final ding baffles me to this day...I work nights, had a patient on a heparin drip at a fixed rate with monitoring of serum ptt per protocol. Upon exchanging report with the day shift nurse (20 yrs my senior) was instructed to give a bolus and change the rate of the drip. At that point I politely pointed out the fixed rate, she took it upon herself to re-order the entire heparin protocol, without calling the doctor, and ordered me to give the med.

I know, I know, hindsight being 20/20, I should have just called the doctor myself! But she insisted it would be okay, and I really didn't want any report of my being insubordinate (it happens to nurses on that unit) so I reluctantly gave the med and made the change WITH two separate nurses witnessing (computer and physically) per the protocol! I charted appropriately, ordered a timed ptt for that afternoon, and went straight to a dentist appointment, late and exhausted at approx. 8:30am...did I mention my shift ended at 7:30am?? All of that occurred after shift's end.

It stirred within my mind, I knew I was headed for trouble, and sure enough, was called in the office by my well-meaning boss. Although no patient was harmed, I was asked why I gave the heparin, to which I replied with the truth. After further investigation, my writing a letter explaining what happened---the HR guy went Trump on me--FIRED!! I was devastated, frustrated, and panicked. No one else was let go except me. Of course, I know that rule of whomever administers the med is at fault, however what of the rule about a nurse writing an order to re-start a med without a doctor?? That nurse is fine and dandy, mean as a whip, and probably laughed at the whole situation--trust me, I know her, she would laugh. Can you say "thrown under the bus"??

In any case the hospital did not deny my unemployment, although the state went molasses on paying me, I am sinking in debt, not ever getting any real job offers despite applying to over 100 places. I am literally considering giving up the career that I have loved and fought for, overcoming huge adversity--teen mom, never attended high school, whew, if you all knew my true story of success over obstacle!! I cannot see myself doing anything else but I will have to drag my buns over to a college and see what/if I can return for. But wait! That's not the end, HERE is my juxtapose situation, is it worth a shot?? Will it work?? Can this be a break for me?? Read on...

I made tons of acquaintances during my time at my job. One of them is now a manager at a sister hospital under the same corporation. I called my former boss, I know, unorthodox, but she was very kind to me and when I asked her if I could re-apply at the other hospital, she said to go for it. I immediately sent an email to the acquaintance/manager, upon which she called me right back and after a positive lengthy discussion, she too, stated to go for it. She directed me as to which position to apply to, the differences in the two hospitals, and gave me a sense of hopefulness. She is a very no-nonsense nurse (one of the best I have known), so I went forward with the application(s). Come on AN, give it to me straight---do I have a chance here?? I am desperately in need of work!! I have been on five interviews with other companies, to no avail. Even thought about travel nursing, but that was way out of my budget. Thank you all in advance...also Happy Saturday!!

Edited by chelli73
clarification of dates

TheCommuter, BSN, RN

Specializes in Case mgmt., rehab, (CRRN), LTC & psych.

Come on AN, give it to me straight---do I have a chance here?? I am desperately in need of work!!

First of all, I am so sorry this all happened to you. In addition, I hope your personal health has improved since this time last year.

If you are desperately in need of work, I would pound the pavement and apply in person to the types of non-hospital nursing jobs to which many longtime acute care hospital nurses turn their nurses up. This includes home health, private duty, nursing homes, hospice, psychiatric facilities, jails, prisons, group homes for adults with mental retardation, assisted living, physical rehab, methadone clinics, and so forth.

Furthermore, the flu vaccine companies are starting the hiring process now. These companies need nurses to administer flu vaccinations starting next month and lasting well into February or March. It's a temporary position that probably pays less than you are accustomed, but it is a job to tide you over through the holiday season.

I am not going to engage in any Monday morning quarterback judgments about the actions you took at your last workplace. I do, however, wish you the very best of luck and will keep my fingers crossed for the best possible outcome in your situation.

Thank you Commuter, I am doing well physically, although I do have an incisional hernia with dilated bowel loops, I am opting for "watchful waiting" as surgery at this point would be the beginning of the real "end". The post-op dx was a mucinous cystadenoma, benign, thank GOD.

Lol, I think you meant 'nose' instead of nurse when discussing the other fields of nursing jobs, and believe me I am will to do just about ANYTHING at this point so long as it is a safe and secure environment. I got into nursing to enrich, never to get rich. I can work for a minimum of 15-20 dollars an hour, which is the lowest end pay for an ACLS certified nurse. I have applied to most of the areas you have listed, and will try the ones that I haven't as of yet. Having an ADN in lieu of a BSN has posed some difficulty, but I don't even want to open that Pandora's box, save that for Monday :-)

Again thanks for a speedy response, and good wishes of health. I will check into the flu clinics asap!

Esme12, ASN, BSN, RN

Specializes in Critical Care, ED, Cath lab, CTPAC,Trauma.

((HUGS)) Have you checked into a LTAC/LTACH? Like Kindred hospitals?

Thanks Esme, yes I have applied at Kindred, not hiring at the facility 5mins away from me (darn!) but am waiting to hear back for a position farther from home. ((hugs)) back to you! It seems as if the world of healthcare is closing on me...??

blondy2061h, MSN, RN

Specializes in Oncology.

I cannot believe they fired you, who followed an order, but didn't fire the nurse who falsified orders. Crazy.

I cannot believe they fired you, who followed an order, but didn't fire the nurse who falsified orders. Crazy.

That's exactly what I thought!! And it's all true!! I kid you not, when the error was discovered---THE NEXT DAY--one of her buddies stated, and I quote: "Oh we d/c'd the protocol because it was a PITA, why did you re-order it?" I replied, "I didn't" and silence followed...I was floated back to that unit for two nights consequetively which was how I found out all had gone awry!! I never floated there again...or anywhere else for that matter. So sad, but all true.

Here.I.Stand, BSN, RN

Specializes in SICU, trauma, neuro.

It might just be taking a while (understatement I know); the market is tough.

First off, I'm sorry that happened to you. That's an awfully hard way to learn a lesson...but in the future, remember it no matter how experienced the RN. This is also why my hospital frowns so much on even VOs from our docs or our NP. We're told not to take them; if they can speak the order, they can do the CPOE. Likewise since this RN was there and insisting that the pt should be on the protocol, or even just felt the fixed rate wasn't the appropriate dose, she should have contacted the provider herself. At the very least if she insisted on just changing the gtt, she should have done it herself and be willing to take the fall when her medicine-practicing was disapproved of. Her actions were completely wrong, but ultimately you're responsible for your own practice. It's too bad you've had to take such responsibility while she and the other witnesses were forgiven though.

Also, she can cry if she wants to, but the relationship of the oncoming RN to offgoing RN is lateral. You can't be guilty of insubordination if you are not subordinate.

My advice--other than to keep trying, since many nurses are in tight employment spots--is to be very specific about what you have learned from this experience, how you plan to avoid situations like this going forward, and how your practice has changed.

Good providence!

blondy2061h, MSN, RN

Specializes in Oncology.

That's exactly what I thought!! And it's all true!! I kid you not, when the error was discovered---THE NEXT DAY--one of her buddies stated, and I quote: "Oh we d/c'd the protocol because it was a PITA, why did you re-order it?" I replied, "I didn't" and silence followed...I was floated back to that unit for two nights consequetively which was how I found out all had gone awry!! I never floated there again...or anywhere else for that matter. So sad, but all true.

So not only did the nurse order the protocol with no actual MD order, but they had d/c'ed the protocol with no MD order too? Occasionally I'll order moisturizing creams with no order, but heparin?

Thanks Here., Believe me lesson learned!! The scenario plays over in my head more times than I care to admit. I am just hoping to find out about the other hospital job, is it a good opportunity?? I don't know...:-(

Yes blondy206, yes. They hang out with a lot of the docs after work, go to their parties, etc. Never was my preference to hang out like that. I am not into cliques, but in retrospect, I wish I had hung around with that particular cardiologist!!

It is interesting that this all occured for you OP after you reported off. Hospitals are weird about that--if you are no longer to be on the clock, and you are, seems like whatever one does is held against them. Regardless of what one is doing. And you know now that whatever the oncoming nurse chooses to do once they take over, it is up to them. In the future, I would direct all of this to the charge, and leave when I am supposed to.

If you are getting good vibes from the managers you have spoken to, go forward with your resumes. What could it hurt? But don't put all of your eggs in one basket. I would look into clinic work. Another thought is home health. Even per diem would get you some money coming in.

Best wishes going forward!

Thank you jadelpn, and my thoughts were exactly the same! The morning labs and/or med changes are for morning staff, correct?? Yet this nurse is known for asking for or instructing what to do AFTER report. Umm, hello?? I would like to go home to sleep soon, lol!! I will keep a steady line open to the charge nurse or supervisor in the future God forbid this happens again.

I just pray that I get a safe and secure job soon, rent is past due, car note, food, etc...I am sinking!! Thank goodness I am a single woman, my kids are grown, so I may just leave this small town and start over fresh somewhere else...anyone have some good areas to recommend?? Must be SAFE!! :-)

Have you tried insurance companies?

I wish you the best of luck

Hi nrssmile7499, oh my goodness, yes!! That is one of my dream jobs, however, BSN or higher required, but I am even willing to go back to school, if I can afford it, of course!! Thanks so much and thank you as well Texas86RN, really I thank you all!! :-) The nurse mgr from the other hospital notified me that she sent an email to HR and would call me this week with some info...has anyone ever successfully been rehired at a sister hospital of where they were originally terminated from?? I am applying everywhere and anywhere, and this seems like a viable option...??

Well here is the final update on this thread, thank you for responding!! Was emailed by the NM at the sister hospital, HR pulled my file at her request, not even being considered for the job. Too many write ups (six in 5 years) with the most recent being "patient endangerment"--total bunk. I am going to seek litigation on some level. However I am most likely going to leave nursing for good. Fin.

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