General chatter - Problem With Work - Advice Needed!

05-15-2009, 05:52 AM
I work in a Nursing Home for the elderly (in England) and have been there for about 14 months and doing this line of work for about 10 years now. I currently work nights.

On the 14th of October 2008 I witnessed a nurse attack an elderly lady, force medication down her throat then threaten to hit her if she spat it out. I spoke about the incident to another nurse on duty who laughed about it and I told another woman (who is not a trained nurse), who confronted her and said it was unacceptable.

After my shift I left, took my son to school and when I came home I had 3 missed calls on my phone. I rang the number back and it was the scarey nurse (illegally taken my number out of a file and gone home with it) shouting at me because she thought I was going to report her, she went on to tell me that she hadn't attacked anyone and had done nothing wrong, which is crap, I was there.

That morning I went back to work, told my manager the whole story and after lots of investigations this nurse was suspenede and then sacked.

Now I've had a letter from a solicitor representing the NMC (Nursing and Midwifery Council) asking me to make another statement and come to a court hearing. Because no one else witnessed the attack it's all down to me. Which would be fine, except;

a) the nurse who was sacked is Nigerian, which caused a massive racial debate and i was accused of being racist (which I'm not) and has made other non-english workers really wary of me,
b) the nurse who was sacked still has friends where I work, one of which assaulted me (she is also Nigerian and I felt I couldn't report it because of the racism thing)
c) the Assisstant manager recently said to one of my friends at work that "Tanya [that's me] managed to find a way of getting a good nurse sacked and you should only report people if you are better than them."
She's now looking for a way to get me sacked, apparantly.
d) I've had absolutely no support from my work with all of this.

Do I give evidence?? I know I'm already involved but I'm worried about my job and I really don't want any sh:t at work. What do I do??

For the record; i'm obligated by law to report abuse. If I hadn't reported it and the management found out I would have been in serious trouble.

05-15-2009, 07:18 AM
What if you don't give evidence?
She will be free to go and get another job in another nursing home and do exactly the same thing to other old and vulnerable people.
Yes, this may cause you trouble and give you problems at work, but could you live with yourself if you heard that she had really done someone some damage? Because people like her will continue to shift the boundaries on their behaviour. She may slap someone now, what will she do next?

You did a brave and good thing, but it will all have been for nothing if you do not follow it up with giving evidence at this hearing. And you will still have problems at your job, it is too late to avoid those.

My mother is in a locked ward in a nursing home because of her dementia.
She has always been a strong and firm woman that no one messed with. She is now just such a frail, vulnerable little bird.
I would hate to think that anyone would be abusive towards her, be it physically or mentally. But I would be very, very upset if I found out that someone hurt her, and it had been seen but no one did anything about it.
So for the sake of those you care for: give evidence. Please.

05-15-2009, 07:38 AM
You know you did the right thing in the first place in reporting this abuse and you know that having started the process that the right thing to do is to follow it though, however unpleasant it may be for you. I applaud you for doing the correct thing in the first place and agree you were legally obliged to do so.

The racial thing is just a smokescreen to deflect from the real issue of the matter that a nurse treated a patient in a manner that does not fit in with the profession she was working in - just ignore it.

Your place of employment should have a 'whistle-blowing' policy which should protect you from bullying or harassment from the others you work with. Ask to see the policy and demand the support and protection that it should offer you.



05-15-2009, 09:16 AM
Do what is right. What you've done all along. And God bless you for it. Remember that phrase- "Evil prospers when good men do nothing".

I don't say this lightly as I've been in a similar situation which ultimately sent someone to jail and set off a firestorm in the community. I know exactly what type of fire you're talking about. It's hard and it hurts but now that the experience is behind me, I have no problem living with myself and I'm so very proud of who I am- I did what was right, not what was easy.

If your country is anything like ours in terms of justice, they won't do much to her anyway. Our guy stole $27,000 and only had to spend 21 days in jail and pay back $20,000 interest free over a 2 year period.

Also, don't let yourself be a vicitim. Be proactive. Look for new work. They can't force you out but you can choose, for your own sanity, to work elsewhere. You have skills which are in demand. Take charge of your own fate and you'll feel much better for it.

05-15-2009, 09:44 AM
Cheers you guys!!

Have been so stressed out over this. Litterally sitting in a chair with tears rolling down my face with no idea what to do. Can't eat (good for the diet :D), have no get up and go and have even been dreaming about work! I went through this back in October when I had to report her and now it's happening all over again. I'm hating this and I'm so angry. I also badly want to see this nurse struck off, I swear that seeing an old lady being attacked like that will be an image that will stay with me until the day I die.

Have already fished the solicitor's letter out of the bin and am going to write a witness statement tonight when all is quiet and call the solicitor again on Monday. I'm also going to talk to my boss about everything that's been said.

Some of the people I work with are so unprofessional and nasty that it breaks my heart.

05-15-2009, 10:46 AM
You have to live with yourself at the end of the day. You are doing the RIGHT THING, and usually, the RIGHT THING isn't the EASIEST THING. But knowing who you are and what you stand for takes strength of character.

You have a good plan. See what your boss says... keep us updated!


05-15-2009, 10:56 AM
My grandmother was in a nursing home before she died. If someone had done what that other nurse did to her, I would be so angry and upset. But if someone like you had stepped forward to protect my frail old grandma, I would have been so grateful to you. Grateful and proud of you for doing the right thing in what is an upsetting situation. Bless you for stepping forward.

Is it possible to just start looking for another job so that you feel safe?

05-15-2009, 11:02 AM
(((Tanya))) :hug:

Dear, you did the right thing. Not reporting it would have been on your shoulders. I currently work in the school system but I started out my nursing career in a nursing home. I first went to work when I was 16 as a nurses assistant, then I went to school and because a nurse. I stay in the nursing home field for 13 years. I have saw people abuse the elderly. I have always reported them.

This is one example. I had just graduated nursing school. I saw a nurses assitant grab a patient by the hair of the head and yell in her face. I was horrified and appalled. The patient spit in the girls face and the girl slapped the lady. I worked evening shift & all the boss's had gone home. I called the boss as home and explained everything. (my boss was horrible and ended up being replaced) The boss told me there was nothing she could do (which was wrong, there was a lot she good do) The nurses assistant then reported me for harrassment. It went on like that for about a year, then I got fed up of working in such an enviroment and I found a new job, which I loved and stayed there for 11 years. I would still be working there today except my knee couldn't take it. At my new job (I had been there about 2 years) and guess who got a job as a nursing assistant. You got it, the same girl who abused that patient. One night I saw slap a patient and yell at her for peeing in the bed. I immediately called the boss and he came in. He did an investigation and she was fired.

While I am not in your shoes I have had similar experience. I did report it and I would do it again. If I had been called to a trial I would of went and gave my testimony. Don't let others belittle you into doing something that you know is not right. I ended up having to change jobs. I can tell you that it made a world of difference for me. I hate, hate, hate changing jobs but it was the best thing. I don't know if that's an option for you but think about it. You are better person that those you work with and you deserve to be treated better.

05-15-2009, 02:09 PM
Changing jobs isn't really an option as there's no jobs available around here at the moment. My job also fits around my life quite nicely. I'm only there two nights a week so I guess it's bearable.

What my Assisstant Manager said about me finding a way to get a good nurse sacked has hurt though. If she thinks that what this nurse did was okay won't everyone else think that too?

05-15-2009, 09:47 PM
c) the Assisstant manager recently said to one of my friends at work that "Tanya [that's me] managed to find a way of getting a good nurse sacked and you should only report people if you are better than them."
She's now looking for a way to get me sacked, apparantly.
d) I've had absolutely no support from my work with all of this.

If your manager is telling staff to only report certain people, she is encouraging others to break the law. It is mandatory by law to report the abuse. Who is over her head? I would talk to them about my concerns. And I would definitely report the assault on you by the other nurse. Keep a record of all incidents, even phone calls to you. A "good nurse" does not assault patients or co-workers.

05-15-2009, 10:11 PM
You know what you need to do. You did the right thing then, and you will do the right thing now.

Jobs are temporary. Co-workers are temporary. Your integrity and soul are eternal.

You WILL get through this, and there WILL be a silver lining somewhere at the end. My prayers go with you.

05-16-2009, 04:20 AM
Have already fished the solicitor's letter out of the bin and am going to write a witness statement tonight when all is quiet and call the solicitor again on Monday. I'm also going to talk to my boss about everything that's been said.

I am so very pleased you made that decision. I know it is difficult. Doing the right thing is often difficult, but so rewarding in the long run.
You can take pride in the woman staring back at you from the mirror.:hug:
Thank you so much for seeing this through, especially for the sake of your patients!

05-16-2009, 12:38 PM
I am so happy to hear what you did. It is uncommon, and right, and brave. I really think you need to check into any whistle-blower type policy at work, and I have no idea how the legal system works where you live, but wow, I wish you had some legal advice of your own. I would consider all possibilities seriously, but I would also remember that people like to bark loud up front and hope you'll go away, and give up when you don't. But I'll say it again - what you did is uncommon, and right, and brave - and thank you.