Employment law is not my area of expertise but if you do have an employment situation that can result in a Board matter, that’s where I come again. With that in mind, I want to share these tips with you to help you protect your license and to provide you with some information on what to do if this should happen.
Being human, mistakes are going to happen. Nurses tend to be somewhat obsessive, compulsive and perfectionist. Or, at least I know I am.
When our boss invites us to their office for a talk, it can be scary. We don’t want anyone to question our professionalism or nursing competence.
So, when you do get written up, it is important to look at the documentation which supports the write-up. If you disagree with the write up, make sure that you put your version of the story on the written notice. You are usually asked to sign the written notice and, while it’s okay to sign it, if you disagree with the facts, you need to write down that you disagree but that you are signing to provide acknowledgement that you received the notice.
This will help you if there is a problem down the line. If they won’t let you write you version of the facts, I suggest you write down your version of the facts, then date and sign it and keep it. It may be important at some time down the road to have your side of the story that was recorded close to the time of the event.
If your employer will not let you write your version of the facts on the write-up or not allow you to supplement their write-up with your version of the facts, make sure you write down your version right away and keep it yourself. It may be important down the line if there is a Board or a medical malpractice matter.
Your employer must follow their policy and procedure manual as far as discipline. Therefore, it is important to know what your employer’s policies and procedures are. I suggest that you look at you copy of your Employee Handbook to make sure you know what the steps are. Your employer is required to follow the steps but, if they don’t, you may have some recourse.
Another thing that I would suggest is to talk to your boss to let him know that you want to work together with him to be the best nurse that you can be. Ask him what you can do to help the situation.
I am always bothered when someone gets written up; it is punitive which does not help address the situation. What classes can you attend? What continuing education can you go to that will help prevent the problem in the future?
And remember, if your job is not the right fit for you; try to find something else because your license is too important. If you lose your job, you will have to disclose on every job application in the future that you were terminated from that job.
So, your assignment is to look at your employee handbook and know your policies and procedures regarding discipline. Also, partner with your boss so that they can help develop you into the best nurse you can be.
Have an empowering day and happy nursing.