Published Feb 21, 2005
i was recently suspended for refusing to take my 9th patient on a med surg floor. the whole shift was suspended? is this legal. policy stated 7-8 patients (administration stated it is flexible) can anyone help me?
VivaLasViejas, ASN, RN
I guess my main question is: did you let your manager know---both verbally AND in writing---that you were overwhelmed and felt you could not safely care for more patients?
In the future, you and your co-workers should ALWAYS fill out an unsafe staffing form whenever you have a situation like this. It's an 'official' notification to the powers that be that you believe the nurse-to-patient ratio is a potential danger to both patients and staff, and gives you a leg to stand on when the administration starts throwing around accusations of pt. abandonment and threats of punishment. They don't like it, and it almost never gets you help for that particular shift, but it does force them to at least acknowledge that there IS a problem and serves as notice that you expect to be staffed adequately in the future because you are concerned for the safety of your patients.
BTW, are you part of a union? If so, you'll also want their help in resolving this conflict.
Good luck to you......you will need it.
canoehead, BSN, RN
They suspended the whole shift?!
I say good for you guys! Do it again if it happens again, but do it together. You are making admin sit up and take notice, they will HAVE to make changes if you are consistent or they will have the whole hospital on suspension. (Obviously no a practical solution;) )
tridil2000, MSN, RN
They suspended the whole shift?!I say good for you guys! Do it again if it happens again, but do it together. You are making admin sit up and take notice, they will HAVE to make changes if you are consistent or they will have the whole hospital on suspension. (Obviously no a practical solution;) )
do it again and do it together!
also, put your complaint in writing and keep copies of it.
if this turns out to be a big deal, call your state and report them.
if they threaten you with termination, go to the press.
we HAVE to stand firm and stand tall when adminsitration thinks they can walk all over us. they can't if we don't let them!
Spidey's mom, ADN, BSN, RN
Marla's right - there is paperwork to fill out regarding unsafe staffing.
Good for you!! Standing up for yourself and your patients is always the right thing to do.
They suspended you for refusing to violate policy?
What's next, suspending you for refusing to keep your hands dirty when you go into a sterile procedure?
You only have one license;you can always get another job.
Tweety, BSN, RN
Marla and Steph, I beg your pardon but there are no forms to fill out for unsafe staffing. At least on my unit there isn't. Where are they kept on your unit? Does the manager pass them out for you to fill out?
Now I know all about those internet forms you can print "refusal of unsafe staffing, etc." fill them out to your heart's content.
If I ever refuse a patient and get suspended, they can kiss my happy butt goodbye because I'm not filling out any paper work and I'm not coming back.
Fortunately, I work in a place where if I say I can't do it, they listen. But if I'm having an o.k. night and I can, I won't refuse either. It's that mutual respect thing going on.
I can't believe administration would suspend an entire shift over something so ridiculous! Couldn't the patient have stayed in the ED? When confronted with situations such as these if I truly feel that I am not able to care for yet another patient I do what I have to to get by in the situation and then when I get home I type myself a little "memo" about what happened, to whom I spoke, what I said, what the response I got was, etc. This has come in handy many times as people turn around and lie sometimes. I, too, have never heard of any "form" relating to unsafe staffing. If you really want to get gutsy there is always the local paper, or investigative journalists who many be willing to look into these matters. I have done that. They may try but employers cannot fire you for exercising your freedom of speech.
As a former patient I applaud and thank you! Administration had better wake up and will only do so when more nurses take a ground of issues such as this.
Sounds like you need to ALWAYS do paperwork for documentation, though.
Good luck to you. And maybe give a thought to some of the great surgical centers around your area. These professionals are always happy and pleasant and work as great teams with the doctors.
DutchgirlRN, ASN, RN
Way to go !!! I would have done exactly the same thing. I am shocked that they would suspend the whole shift. Damm they are dumb! I would be calling the state. I'm not sure if that would be the BON or the labor board or where the hosp gets their license, or maybe all 3. You can be anonymous. I did it once against a nursing home and they had to clean up their act big time and never knew who called. Good Luck
mandykal, ADN, RN
AS you stated "policy stated 7-8 pts." first thing I would do is to get a copy of that policy. thats one of your defense
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