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Nurse alleging retaliation occurred after voicing safety concerns

A woman who was a former nurse at a hospital outside of Texas has recently filed a lawsuit against the hospital saying that she was wrongfully dismissed from her nursing position. She claims she was fired in retaliation for her reporting various concerns regarding patient safety. These concerns included infection control and inadequate staffing.

The woman says that she began working for the hospital back in 1985 and became an RN in 1989. Sometime in 2012, she became a charge nurse over the chemotherapy unit. She said that while she was employed at the hospital she received nothing but positive peer and employment performance reviews.

However, in 2013, she began talking to her supervisors, as well as other employees, about her concerns regarding staffing shortage and the lack of experienced nursing staff. She felt as though the oncology floor that she was working on was not meeting necessary expectations for patient safety. She observed several things that backed her concerns, such as too many chemotherapy infusions or infusions being started by under-qualified staff.

She continued voicing her concerns through August 2014. She reapplied for the position in which she was currently working and was awarded the position with a few less hours. At the beginning of 2015, she went in for a 90-day review and was advised to find a different position. She went on to accept a new position, but she continued to reiterate her concerns of improper and inadequate patient care for another month. She was eventually let go from her position on February 9, 2015.

When employer retaliation occurs, it can be extremely unpleasant for the employee. More importantly, it is an illegal act. Texas employees who feel they have been retaliated against for whistleblowing may want to become familiar with the steps of protecting their employee rights as well as their job. In some cases, a legal claim can be filed and may even result in financial relief.

Source: news-leader.com, "Former Mercy nurse says she was fired after reporting patient safety concerns", Thomas Gounley, June 8, 2015

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