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A patient’s family member said I discriminated against her while giving care, and I was written up for it. How can I fight the false charges?

Question:

Dear Donna,

I recently assisted a CNA with a patient; she did not speak English. The patient’s daughter was present and started speaking quickly when we entered the room. I did not understand what she said. I politely explained that I was sorry but I did not understand her. She became angry and started enunciating every word. She said she did not want me in the room and asked me to leave (I was not her nurse), so I left.

Two days later I was called into the manager’s office, and she had written me up because the daughter said I had discriminated against her. The only thing I said was, “I’m sorry, I don’t understand what you are saying.” I talked with the aide to get his perception of the incident. He said he was confused because he did not understand why she was getting mad and said that I was not rude to the daughter. Now, I am scared to death to go to work and I am in tears by the time I get there. I think my job is in jeopardy because of the discrimination claim. Do I have any recourse in the matter?

Leslie

Dear Donna replies:

Dear Leslie,

It feels awful to be wrongly accused, especially of something like discrimination. I have had similar experiences, as have many others. As tough as it, you have to stand up for yourself in the face of false charges, and you have the right and the power to do so.

It’s too bad your manager didn’t ask for your version of the incident and speak to the aide before writing you up. Write your version of what happened. Sit down and talk with your manager and tell her that you have a witness and see if you can get the reprimand rescinded. If you have a formal reprimand in your file, it may be possible to use your facility’s grievance procedure to protest it. You always have recourse when wrongly accused or reprimanded at work. You need to protect your reputation and your employment status.

My best wishes,
Donna

By | 2009-07-09T00:00:00-04:00 July 9th, 2009|Categories: Blogs, Nursing Careers and Jobs|0 Comments

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