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What can I do if a patient’s false accusations about an abusive statement by me to him has cost me my job?

Question:

Dear Nancy,

I just had a patient falsely accuse me of saying something abusive. The company I worked for did a so-called investigation. I was terminated and reported to the state. When I asked the director of nursing if this man had any witnesses to back this up, I was told he did not but that he was alert and oriented. They took his story over mine, even though this patient has a history of making false accusations. There is no paper trail of his
previous issues.

This man also had a motive to get me into trouble because he was mad because I told him and some other patients to move their loud conversation away from the nurse’s station.

Without going into further detail, this is not only my job on the line but my license and livelihood. How do I get out from under something like this when it’s my word against his word?

Sara Lee

Dear Nancy replies:

Dear Sara Lee,

“He said–she said” situations are always difficult. However, in your situation, you already have obtained some important information. You were told there were no witnesses to your alleged abuse of the patient. Additionally, as you mentioned, the patient has a history of false accusations. Even without the paper trail, this can be helpful. His anger at your asking the group of patients to take their conversation away from the nurse’s station may be the motive for this attack against you.

You should contact a nurse attorney or attorney in your state who can help you with this matter, especially in view of the fact you not only lost your job but you also have been reported to the state (board of nursing, it is presumed). You will need to recall as many facts as you can about this situation, including any other nurses you know about who have been accused of something by this patient, and who were the other patients in the group you asked to move away from
the nurse’s station.

Your attorney has more tools and approaches available than you do to try and obtain information about this situation from other nurses and to attempt to learn more about this patient. This is especially so if the board decides to take action against you by requiring a hearing in this matter. You should consult the attorney of your choice as soon as possible.

Regards,
Nancy

By | 2013-11-11T00:00:00-05:00 November 11th, 2013|Categories: Blogs, Nursing careers and jobs|3 Comments

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    Margaret Crowe March 5, 2019 at 10:36 pm - Reply

    I work in day surgery and I rang a patients husband for him to pick her up as had finished procedure but immediately I saw I had rang the wrong patient I asked the husband clarified his wife’s name then with this I knew I rang accidentally and his wife was not out yet and we would ring when she is out. This man reported me to my manager, saying first allegation He had to correct me which was incorrect I asked for clarification and then second allegation I replied, “what the ” fuck” The nurse manager rang me at 4.30pm on a Friday afternoon told me I was temporarily suspended only saying there were concerns she told me she would get in touch i was left with no income not knowing what i did, when 4 days later i went to the meeting with hr and nurse manager accompanied by my support person my rep wasnt able to attend and helped me do the response editing and then sending to my manager. I know I did not say this its affected me mentally and impacted my whole family, I feel completely shut out and unsupported by the nurse manager and still waiting for the follow up meeting

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    John Rhogan May 27, 2019 at 2:16 pm - Reply

    I have a question for you. My mother currently resides in a nursing due to dementia. As a family member, I was accused of molesting my mother by one of the residents, her former roommate. The administrator now has her & I confined to their downstairs dayroom under “supervised visitation”. I’m not allowed to sign her out. I can’t sit with her in her room. She’s also not allowed to walk around outside. I feel like we are being treated like prisoners over an accusation which they have no proof,and to me this is punishment over nothing. The administrator wanted my mom to take a test at the hospital, but she refused, and to me that means they have no reason to restrict her or my activities.

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    Theresa Anthony November 20, 2019 at 9:58 am - Reply

    A few years ago after I had gotten certified, for the 3rd or 4th time, I was working @ a nursing home as a feeder, from 5 pm til 9pm. I have always loved working as a CNA, For I love taking care of people. This was a second job for me. However every day when I would begin to pick up residents from their rooms for supper, The lazy A** other CNA ‘s would always approach me with a long list of names to get B/P’s & Temps. Wasn’t my job! Call lights were always flashing, the aides just ignored. On my last evening…. I say last because, It was. After we finished feeding, we were to put residents to bed. As I was walking by a lady’s door she called out to me for me to take her to the bathroom. I told her that I was only there to feed. By the way the lady was twice my size. Now during this time I told her that I would find someone to help her. I went to th nurses station, to tell all 5 or 6 that she needed to go to the bathroom & nobody moved. I proceeded to go & tell the lady that I told the nurses. She took herself & became lodged in the bathroom. I lost my Certifcation & can’t get a job. This was about 15- 20 yr.s ago. & No I can’t afford to be re-certified. REDICULOUS!!!!!!!

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