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Is it grounds for dismissal if an RN physically is unable to keep up with the stopwatch during a CPR refresher/recertification class?



Dear Nancy,

I was physically unable to keep up with the stopwatch when I took my CPR refresher/recertification class. Is this grounds for dismissal? I work for a University ambulatory setting.


Dear Nancy replies:

Dear Naomi,

It is difficult to respond to your question without more details, but a few comments can be made. First, and foremost, is the importance of healthcare staff being competent in CPR. As you know, requirements exist in order to become certified. Apparently you were unable to complete the requirement of performing CPR correctly within the mandated timeframe.

You indicated your problem was being physically unable to keep up with the stopwatch. Do you have a known medical condition that prohibited you from doing so? Has this been a problem in past certification/recertification events, or did this just occur? Does the facility know of your medical problem, if it exists?

Another concern here is why you were unable to keep up with the time requirements. If you have never had this problem before, you need to see a healthcare provider for an evaluation. If you have had this problem before, and it has worsened, this also is a matter of concern. Make an appointment with your primary care healthcare provider and get an assessment.

Unfortunately, not being certified in CPR most probably is a reason for dismissal. Check your job description and your employee handbook. If you believe you may be unfairly terminated, seek advice from a nurse attorney or attorney who can help you evaluate your possible termination and how you can challenge it.



About Author

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.

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