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Would this be considered abandonment?

Nurses   (1,437 Views | 31 Replies)

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18 minutes ago, Jedrnurse said:

Don't leave before you're relieved, but once you are, leave for good.

Best solution. They can’t force you to come back. If you want to line up your next job, fine, but I don’t think you are going to get a neutral reference from this employer no matter how you go. So just go. After you are relieved from your last worked shift.

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On 2/10/2020 at 12:38 AM, JKL33 said:

That's a nice/interesting document; I appreciate that they have stepped up and called out bad behavior.

But in their statements they do not (in black and white) essentially change the definition of patient abandonment. That is to say, they are kind of on a roll and then all of a sudden stop short of saying that walking away from patients at the end of the shift (when one is being told there is no replacement) is not patient abandonment. I suspect that's because it still is. (?)

They say:

They outline the impetus for their statement at the beginning of the statement: Employers using mandatory OT or mandatory extended shifts as their first-line staffing plan and then when staff balk telling them that they will be reported to the BON for "patient abandonment" if they don't agree to the extended hours. So, from my reading they seem to be addressing the inappropriate use of mandatory overtime and the inappropriate threats that go along with it more than they are addressing actually walking away from patients. The quoted statement above, in context, basically says if you are advised that you will need to work 16* instead of 8*, you can inform your employer that you will not be doing that (and that they need to find someone to come in instead of using you as the staffing plan) and they can't fire back that you will stay or be reported for patient abandonment. Great/wonderful.

But that ^ scenario is not the same as: "Welp, no one is here and I'm leaving."

Even if it does say what I'm pretty sure it isn't saying (that you freely walk out of an LTC full of patients leaving literally no nurse) there's no way I would do it. I would inform them that I was calling the Ombudsman (or whomever you all call for pt rights violations), the state and whatever emergency resources were available, even 911--and then I would do those things/raise absolute h*ll before I would just walk away from all the patients.

I can't believe the document is actually allowing that. What say you all?

Yeah, let's see how a lawsuit goes if the only nurse leaves and something that could have been prevented simply by having a nurse provide expected care happens.

The facility is sued, but I'm betting the nurse is too. Not a chance I would want to take financially, and not a position I would want to put my patients in.

I'd absolutely quit, though, and report to whomever I could to try to get that practice shut down.

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skydancer7 is a BSN, RN and specializes in Operating Room, CNOR.

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I would quit IMMEDIATELY, no 2 week notice.  This is UNSAFE, and I usually don't recommend quitting without 2 week notice, except in situations like these where it is unsafe and you are being so obviously screwed over.  I would simply call or email saying this is my notice effective immediately and I will not be back.  Any new job that you apply to will understand if you say you left due to unsafe conditions that put your license at risk.  I have done that before no problem.

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4 hours ago, Horseshoe said:

Yeah, let's see how a lawsuit goes if the only nurse leaves and something that could have been prevented simply by having a nurse provide expected care happens.

The facility is sued, but I'm betting the nurse is too. Not a chance I would want to take financially, and not a position I would want to put my patients in.

I'd absolutely quit, though, and report to whomever I could to try to get that practice shut down.

It's not saying that the only nurse can leave.  It's just saying that the only nurse can refuse to work a second shift.  Connecticut law is that all supervisors have to be RNs.  If they can't find someone to cover, guess who's responsible for working on the floor that night.  It's addressing those managers threatening to report the nurse for abandonment because they failed to get coverage for a shift and the nurse said that they have to go home.  Care still has to be passed off to another present nurse, but the state is making it clear that it's not abandonment to refuse to work overtime, it's only abandonment if you leave the patients without a nurse present.  But common sense is still going to apply in emergencies and sudden blizzards where you're just not going to have a choice.

Basically, as long as your scheduled shift is over, you can't leave until another RN takes over your patients, but demanding your manager find an RN or they go into work and take over the shift, is NOT abandonment.  It's just clarifying that abandonment is only leaving the patients with no nurse.  As long as you can handoff to another nurse before you walk out the door, you're allowed the quit in the middle of your shift and they can't call it abandonment.

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LibraNurse27 has 5 years experience as a BSN, RN and specializes in Community Health, Med/Surg, ICU Stepdown.

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120 patients for one nurse?! Oh. My. God. How do they expect things to go if there are multiple changes of condition, emergencies, etc at the same time? And that is definitely possible with 120 patients! Also, IV meds for so many patients?? You are so brave! Wherever you go next you will have great time management skills! And I hope you go soon.

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canoehead has 30 years experience as a BSN, RN and specializes in ER.

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My next move would be to write to your BON and describe the situation, then ask for guidance. You can't work double shifts every time and keep your health.

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1 hour ago, tonyl1234 said:

It's not saying that the only nurse can leave.  It's just saying that the only nurse can refuse to work a second shift.  Connecticut law is that all supervisors have to be RNs.  If they can't find someone to cover, guess who's responsible for working on the floor that night.  It's addressing those managers threatening to report the nurse for abandonment because they failed to get coverage for a shift and the nurse said that they have to go home.  Care still has to be passed off to another present nurse, but the state is making it clear that it's not abandonment to refuse to work overtime, it's only abandonment if you leave the patients without a nurse present.  But common sense is still going to apply in emergencies and sudden blizzards where you're just not going to have a choice.

Basically, as long as your scheduled shift is over, you can't leave until another RN takes over your patients, but demanding your manager find an RN or they go into work and take over the shift, is NOT abandonment.  It's just clarifying that abandonment is only leaving the patients with no nurse.  As long as you can handoff to another nurse before you walk out the door, you're allowed the quit in the middle of your shift and they can't call it abandonment.

Your take is how I read it. That's the context in which the document is being offered.

I was just asking because it seemed like it was implying in another post that the document means you don't have to stay no matter what.

This makes more sense.

Thx

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On 2/7/2020 at 11:54 AM, Twinkle007 said:

Hi 👋🏼 nurses ! 
So I work in a poorly managed post acute/LTC we don’t even have DON at this moment (within the past 3 months it’s the third one that quit). I work 7-3pm only RN for 120+ pt’s and very often it happens that the next shift is either 2 hr late or non show.

Say what now? No ma'am. I wouldn't even accept that assignment. It's abusive towards you an d the patients and it creates an unsafe environment for all of y'all. Contact the BON, and corporate office if your company has one, and joint commission, while simultaneously looking for a new job. How is this place still open? The DONs keep quitting because the administrator is insane and your license is at risk every time you work. I would walk too!

Now that I've had a mini meltdown, yes it's abandonment. To avoid that, don't accept the assignment, especially knowing you'll be stuck anyway.

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LibraSunCNM has 10 years experience as a MSN and specializes in OB.

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You poor thing!  I wouldn't set foot in that place ever again, call/email/text and give your notice and don't look back.  Life is too short to take care of 120 patients for 16 hours at a time in a dumpster fire of a facility.

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Torifranklin6 is a ASN, RN and specializes in Psych/Mental Health, Detox/MAT, AL/LTC.

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I don’t know what state you work in, but I’m sure some states have laws like the one NJ has below. You should find out if yours does. I added the bold highlight for emphasis purposes. Note what constitutes an “unforeseeable emergent circumstance” and what doesn’t. Don’t allow them to continue to take advantage of you this way. They’re lucky it’s not me because after consistently being “forced” to stay and pull a double, they’d suddenly find me consistently calling out the next morning! 
 

 

New Jersey Mandatory Overtime Restrictions for Health Care Facilities

 

The New Jersey Mandatory Overtime Restrictions for Health Care Facilities (“MORHCF)” prohibits health care facilities from terminating a “covered” hourly worker if he or she refuses to work overtime, unless there is an “unforeseeable emergent circumstance” or a national, State, or municipal emergency.

 

Health care workers that are covered by the MORHCF are hourly employees who are involved in direct patient care activities or clinical services and are employed by a health care facility. The law defines the term “health care facility” as a facility licensed by the New Jersey Department of Health and Senior Services, a State or county psychiatric hospital, a State developmental center, or a health care service firm registered by the Division of Consumer Affairs in the Department of Law and Public Safety (commonly, hospitals, nursing homes, outpatient clinics, assisted living residences, etc.). Therefore, hourly nurses and nurse aids are usually protected by this law, but doctors, volunteers, or on-call employees are not.

 

As stated above, the MORHCF prohibits employers from discriminating against or firing a covered employee who refuses to work overtime, unless there is an “unforeseeable emergent circumstance” or a national, State, or municipal emergency. An “unforeseeable emergent circumstance” is an unpredictable and non-recurring event that requires immediate action. Because the law makes clear that health care facilities can only require overtime work as a last resort, not as a solution for understaffing, an employee can be forced to work overtime only after the employer attempted and failed to fill in the vacancy with volunteers, on-call employees, per-diem staff, and personnel staffed by temporary work agencies.

 

In conclusion, mandatory overtime is generally legal in New Jersey. However, most health care workers are allowed to refuse working overtime hours unless there is a state or national emergency or an “unforeseeable emergent circumstance.”

 

By Luis Hansen, Esq. and Ty Hyderally, Esq.

Edited by Torifranklin6

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If you quit your job now, your boss can report you. Stay there for another 2 months, then quit. 

It is politics, you have to learn how to play it.

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4 hours ago, karmax1 said:

If you quit your job now, your boss can report you. Stay there for another 2 months, then quit. 

It is politics, you have to learn how to play it.

Report OP for what? It is not illegal to quit a job that is unsafe for practice and for patients. OP may lose their license if they stay. This is bad advice and I'm not trying to be condescending or hateful. It is your duty to not accept assignments that are unsafe in practice. OP is not obligated to take that assignment and risk their license and personal physical health.

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