Tagged: Depressed ER RN loosing hope!
August 19, 2016 at 8:56 PM #103491
I’ve spent most of the last 25 years of my career working in the ER. I have witnessed patient neglect and abuse. Doctors and nurses falsifying patient records. Doctors and nurses “slow coding” patients. I have been a bedside nurse and charge nurse. I have worked staff and agency. And apparently not learned my lesson. Because every time you say anything to management or administration about what is actually going on, you have just placed a huge target on your back and it won’t be long until you are fired. The last termination just happened a few days ago. I am being accused of sending nasty emails to people I used to work with years ago, through Facebook. Someone hacked my account took pictures off my account used my information to send a few nasty emails. My understanding is that happened months ago. And old job just found out I was back with the agency owned by the same company that owns the hospital I used to work for where an employee there received one of those emails. I received a phone call from the vice president of HR at my agency, telling me she can’t put the 12,000 employees at risk. I have a sterling reputation as an excellent clinician. But occasionally have been a bit sarcastic with coworkers. I never sent those emails and I even received some myself. I love working in the ER and I have gotten complement after complement from my patients. Working in the ER is the very oxygen I breathe. But every time you are accused of something by a patient or by a coworker administration does absolutely nothing to stand up for you. If you’re rock the boat, everyone in the boat doesn’t want it to tip over, it’s time for you to be thrown overboard. I bust my butt to help my patients,to help my coworkers, and to keep the ER cleaned and stocked every shift I work. My mother raised me to always leave things better than you found them. And she taught me to always treat people better then I treat myself. Four months ago I was working for a hospital who messed up my paychecks two months in a row. That made my rent late and finally the landlord had enough. Put up for eviction and behind on my bills I decided to file a Chapter 13 bankruptcy to try to stop the infection and re-organize my debts. Two months ago I left that terrible job and went back to the nursing agency. Since my landlord would not renew my lease and I didn’t have the money to put her deposit somewhere else I had to move into a hotel with my two dogs. The parking lot is filled with dope dealers and people screaming and yelling at each other. But it was all I could afford. I put all my personal property in storage. After a few weeks in that hotel I moved a little bit south so that I could work at more hospitals in the area through my agency. Now out of nowhere I have just been terminated. I have about enough money to keep me in this disgusting hotel for about another 30 days. Then I will be financially broke and living on the street. And I have no family or friends in this area. I was just hired at another hospital but that job does not start until September 12, right about the time I’m going to run out of money. Two weeks ago I worked five shifts in one week and in that week I had four patients come in the ER in cardiac arrest and when I left every single one of them were on a ventilator and had a pulse. Today I’m sitting in the roach motel looking around and wondering what did I do to deserve this. Besides the fact that I feel that I have just lost everything in my life especially my personal sense of security, I have been so depressed and in tears almost every day. And I won’t even begin to tell you how many times the thought of ending my own life comes into my head. And if not for the fact that I have two small dogs that I love dearly… Well I’m just going to leave that one alone. My heart is broken. My spirit is broken. And I am absolutely terrified of being put out on the street. I’m not too good to sleep in my car if I had to. But my dogs would not be able to take the heat. I have always put my patients and their needs well above mine. And for however much longer I spend in this career I will continue to do the same. I don’t take breaks, don’t eat at work because there’s never usually anytime, and every morning I get off work I have nothing but pure pain in my back,my neck, my hips my feet, and my knees. I’m 50 years old and it’s starting to show. But I’m at the point of either having to leave nursing and find something else to do where administration is not so hateful. Or just go to work and let everybody walk all over me, neglect the patients, falsify documents and do everything that I was taught was wrong. I had a patient years ago that came into the ER with a gunshot wound. He was bent down in a strange position and shot through the shoulder and then through the neck. He had four holes but it was only one bullet. Incredibly his airway was not compromised at all. He was calm, his vitals were great, his speech was clear. At 6 AM he walked in. At 7 AM he was pronounced dead. The ER doctor wanted to intubate the patient for transport to a trauma center, not unreasonable. However he never did a chest x-ray and he never even put a stethoscope on the patient. He couldn’t get the ET tube in, so he decided he needed to perform a tracheostomy. Once he was done with that he decided the patient needed to chest tubes. Again this patient walked in with no airway compromise, got no x-ray, and got no stethoscope placed against his chest by the doctor. Continuously telling the doctor how the patient’s vitals were dropping, I was ignored the entire time. The entire team in that room were all completely mortified. At 7 AM another doctor came into the ER and was standing watching what was going on. And said to the first ER doctor you might as well just go ahead and pronounce him dead. Before we started to put the ET tube in, I explained to the patient we would be giving him medication to make him sleepy then we would put a breathing tube and then we would send him to the trauma center and he would eventually wake up after probably having some type of surgical procedure. I did everything to reassure him that we would take excellent care of him. One hour later he was dead. He was only 19 years old. The police came in and I explain to them how the ER physician just murdered that patient. The autopsy showed that when he performed the tracheostomy he cut so far into the patients throat that he cut into the spinal column. Not to mention that he had it in wrong and suffocated the patient to death. The police contacted me later at the hospital and told me that I was exactly right but they were not going to tell the family because the family were, as they put it, the type to come back and shoot at the ER. I filed a formal complaint with the State Medical Board. They investigated my complaint and sent me a letter telling me that they found no wrongdoing on the part of the physician. I came back to work a few days later and his convertible Porsche was parked outside. Not happy to work with him again I went inside and didn’t see him anywhere. I was told another physician had to drive him home because he came to work drunk. I looked up his medical license and it already showed two DUIs. Yes it sounds like he did nothing wrong. Unbelievable. And I happily give you his name. Dr. Paul Sicola. I cried for days because I told that patient that he would wake up. I carry those types of burdens with me every day. Which is one of the reasons why I fight so hard for my patients. But I don’t think I have much fight left in me. Clearly, I’m losing this battle. I would love to hear any comments, any thoughts or suggestions, any recommendations of a better place to work, or even a different career path. I won’t stop fighting for what is right when it comes to my patients. And while I don’t know these people, I do know that they are someone’s mother or father, brother or sister. That is someone’s child laying in that bed, no matter their age, and they deserve the utmost dignity and respect and the absolute best care that they can receive. Any thoughts…..?August 22, 2016 at 5:01 PM #103500
My heart and soul truly go out to you. You are an example of the meaning of what a nurse is. You are a healer, a comforter, a leader, the confidence that someone else is lacking and you show them that it’s still there and bring it out. I’ve never met you, but your truth is surreal to many who (for what ever reason) will capitulate to mediocrity. I want you to keep believing in your gift and don’t allow any obstacle stand in your way. YOU ARE FAR BETTER THAN YOUR CIRCUMSTANCE.August 29, 2016 at 7:47 PM #103532
Your words are so kind. I truly appreciate it and you give me hope. I have worked with so many people that just don’t care. They are more interested in their cell phone then the call light. I was raised to believe that others are to be treated better then I treat myself. I have stuck to that all my life. Unfortunately, it has gotten me into a lot of trouble over the years. Don’t rock the boat. Don’t speak up. Never point out what is wrong. Because, if you do, YOU are the problem. That has been my experience. I want to just keep my mouth shut. I want to just do my job and not be a problem. But, I just cannot sit by and watch people be mistreated. Something as simple as not answering the call light could be someone having chest pain and leads to a Code Blue and the loss of someone that could have been helped. I hear call lights in my sleep. It doesn’t have to be this way. And, I just don’t understand why the “powers that be” are just letting it go. I have been a part of saving a lot of lives. I have also been a part of just easing someones pain and letting them pass with dignity and respect. I know I am where I am supposed to be career wise. I just don’t think I can survive much longer in the “career.” It is starting to really take a toll on me and I am beginning to loose hope. I am just not really sure where to turn next…….CarlAugust 29, 2016 at 9:39 PM #103533
Olan R MilliganMember
get a lawyer. keep looking until you find the right one. i lead nurses support groups and one of my nurses just got fired for being a whistleblower regarding poor care of patients. after she reported this up the chain of command, the local admin found a reason to fire her. bogus. she is a recovering addict so they think they have some ammo against her but the facts will speak for themselves. i have been fired more than once for standing up for patients and was escorted from a well known hospital after i did. hang in there. never back down. do not become weary of doing good. it will pay off in the long run. God be with you.
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