I recently mentored a new Certified Legal Nurse Consultant who had been unjustly terminated from her RN job at the hospital. She had a flawless 25-year record and strongly suspected the termination had to do with a particular physician she had reported to administration.
Over the years I’ve heard similar stories from other RNs who have been unjustly terminated for reporting physicians to administration. In typical hospital fashion, administration doesn’t get rid of (or even punish) the physician who commits chronic malpractice on patients, talks on his phone during surgery or practices while impaired. Instead, they get rid of the registered nurse who has the courage to bring the problem forward.
The CLNC® consultant requested mentoring because she had been contacted by a plaintiff attorney to consult on a case against the very facility that had terminated her. She sought my advice about whether this would be a conflict of interest. She admitted she was still very angry with the facility, so I discouraged her involvement explaining, “Since you’re still angry about the situation, I’m concerned you won’t be able to be objective about the case. Explain to the attorney that you have a conflict of interest, but that you’re available for other cases that don’t involve this facility.”
Her response to my advice was disappointment and upset. I couldn’t help but wonder if she was seeking vengeance instead of the legal nurse consultant job opportunity that was right in front of her. I encouraged her to see the positive and advised, “I know this has been rough on you, but at this moment the hospital is not thinking about you. Your anger is being misdirected toward yourself and could hurt you more than it already has. Move away from anger and focus on the attorney who wants to hire you. Don’t focus on the problem – seize the opportunity that’s there waiting for you.”
This mentoring issue reminded me that while we’re not always dealt the cards we want, we are in control of how we play the hand. When the choice is vengeance or opportunity, I recommend playing to the opportunity.
Success Is Yours,