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What can a travel RN do to get details of 6 alleged work-related incidents about her work from a facility from which she was let go?

Wednesday March 12, 2014
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Question:

Dear Nancy,

I am a travel nurse who was on an assignment. After being asked to sign up for an additional couple of weeks at the assignment, I was released from my contract. The director of the facility had been on a family leave of absence. The day she returned, the manager introduced me to her and an hour later I was released from my contract.

I was told that a doctor complained about me using an unsterile technique to prep a patient for surgery. When I tried to explain to the doctor that I had stopped prepping his patient when I realized the gloves were not sterile so I could put on sterile gloves, he became angry and said I was holding up his surgery. The facility director then gave me a second reason for being let go. She wanted me to sign a paper stating what the physician said was true but I refused.

My company called me and told me that the hospital director said I was an unsafe nurse and there were six different incidents. When I asked what those incidents were, no one could tell me, and when I called the liaison for the hospital, he did not return my call. I can't get anyone to tell me what those incidents were. Now I'm afraid of what this could do to my license. I have worked in the operating room for 12 years and have been a nurse for 27 years. I have never been told anything other than that I was an excellent nurse with excellent skills.

Beth



Dear Nancy replies:

Dear Beth,

The key to getting past these latest allegations from this particular assignment seems to be to get accurate information about the incidents you had at this assignment and with this physician. Although you may not be able to obtain copies of the actual incident reports, you should be entitled to hear, or obtain a summary of, the specifics of these reports.

You did not mention any specifics about your assignment parameters, but your contract may state what is to occur if there is a disagreement about your clinical performance at any assignment. Follow those parameters but retain a nurse attorney or other attorney to represent you in this matter. You are right to be concerned about how this might affect your license and also your future work as a travel nurse or in nursing in general.

If your contract does not state how to handle such matters, retain a nurse attorney or other attorney in the state where the facility is locate and seek specific advice as to how to handle this matter as soon as possible.

Remember that these false allegations reflect on you in your profession. When such written allegations are about your work in your profession, the possible legal action is filing a suit for libel per se. Your attorney can advise you of the parameters of filing such a suit as well.

Sincerely,
Nancy




Nancy J. Brent, RN, MS, JD, is an attorney in private practice in Wilmette, Ill. This information is for educational purposes only and is not intended as legal or any other advice. The reader is encouraged to seek the advice of an attorney or other professional when an opinion is needed.