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TexLaw, Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 4430
Experience:  Contracts, Wrongful termination and discrimination
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I am a Licensed Practical Nurse at this detox facility and

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I am a Licensed Practical Nurse at this detox facility and I was in the process of counting narcotics for the next and a patient wanted medications I told the client I would be with him in a few minutes. Then after patient was found on the floor unresponsive for 60 second EMS was called and pt was taken to the Hospital. My Superior is stating that it was because I did not attend to the pt. that incident happened, and I should leave my post and no further patient contact, and sit in the admitting office for the balance of my shift.

Thank you for your question.

You are not being terminated are you?

Customer: replied 4 years ago.

He says he has to do an investigation

Customer: replied 4 years ago.

because the patient fell off a chair and hit his and is claiming that this happened because I did attend to him

Customer: replied 4 years ago.

because the patient fell off a chair and hit his head and this pt is claiming that this happened because I did not attend to him

Thank you for your response.

Under NYS law, as a Licensed Practical Nurse, your job is "performing tasks and responsibilities within the framework of casefinding, health teaching, health counseling, and provision of supportive and restorative care under the direction of a registered professional nurse or licensed physician". Under the "supportive and restorative care" aspect of your job is the work of watching patients to report any need for immediate treatment, such as what happened here.

Legally, you have not done anything "wrong." Further, patients fall sometimes. You will need to give a clear and adequate explanation as to why the patient did not appear to be in any immediate distress and that there was no need to actually go check the patient at that time.

Do you have a written employment contract that states you may only be fired for good cause?
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

I am not quite sure, because I was hired as a per diem. and I only work on the weekends.

You are likely a "At Will" worker. Under the At Will rule, the employer may terminate you for any reason, even if it is false or unfair.

Hopefully that is not the case here and you will only be disciplined and allowed to go back to active duty. I think the best thing you can do is start thinking about how to adequately explain why you did not help the patient immediately. Think back to any training you may have had which talks about the sort of standards you use to recognize that a patient is in immediate distress and be able to site that standard to your supervisor as to why you did not believe that the patient needed to be immediately looked at. Also, it would be good to be able to state when the last time you did actually check up on that particular patient and what other employees were on the floor which were sharing that responsibility with you.

Please let me know if you have any further questions. Please also kindly consider rating my answer positively so that I am compensated by the website for my work on your question. Rating positively does not cause an additional charge and does not prevent us from further discussing your questions.

Best Regards,
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