The issue is wrongful termination. My name is Margaret Bryant. I was an RN who worked...

GetHuman-peggythe's customer service issue with Tenet Healthcare Corporation from June 2020

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I was trying to communicate that the patient felt more comfortable with people of his own color, ethnic background, African descent, and that he would be more likely to be medication compliant and progress. or get better. ... The issue is wrongful termination. My name is Margaret Bryant. I was an RN who worked for almost ** years, (** years and ** months, two weeks, exactly), for St. Francis Hospital in Memphis, TN. On Friday, June ,****, I was told to go to the multitreatment room and sit and wait by the Nurse Manager Debra Harrison. I was literally surrounded by leadership staff with Whit Nolan in front of me, Debra Harrison on the right of me, the assistant nurse manager, Phyllis at the right rear of me and Latriece Franklin on the left rear of me. I was told that I had violated Tenet policy, and pointed to a nursing documentation I had made on the previous day. That I had made a racial slur. I denied making any racial slur, that I had no racial issue, that the patient appeared to have a racial issue as he was refusing medication from the caucasion nurses as I was told by the night nurse, Ty, in report. The patient had just refused his medications from me, walked up next to me and said " I don't have to listen to you". and then came closer and said " You have power?". Pt. was told he had the right to refuse medications. This patient had admitted to hearing voices and was being treated for psychosis. I went to the nurse manager's office and said "**** appears to have a racial issue....( I was unable to state my thought which was that who is being assigned to the patient should be taken into consideration), however, Ms. Harrison cut me off and said, "It is, have Cadiecia (the other nurse who is from Jamaica) give him his meds". The patient did take the medications from this nurse. When documenting that the patient needed to be assigned someone of color I wrote "colored person" due to having difficulty figuring out how to describe who should be assigned to the patient so he would feel comfortable and take his medications, and get well. The reason, I had difficulty how to write this is that where I would normally write "African American", however, this nurse is from Jamaica. Thus she is not African American and was not wanting to cause any issue because of this. I was stuck. there was never any racial slur intended. I am not sure what policy Mr. Nolan was speaking of as he did not bring a copy of it. Mr. Nolan was sarcastic, mocked my handwriting When I used the term " person of color" he said, "Who uses that term ?, When I said it was once thought to be an acceptable way to describe a person that is not white, brown or red or yellow, he said "When back in the **"s? and laughed. When I sold them there was no racial intent at all, Debra Harrison stated "So when you came to my office and said he was prejudiced..", I cut her off stating " Oh, no ma'am, I never used that terminology, I never used the word "prejudiced". At this time, Ms. Harrison left and it appeared to me she was directed to leave. I do not know why Ms. Harrison would say this unless someone else had used the term. I found out after my termination that the treatment team had discussed the patient and refusing meds. I was told the treatment team stated the patient had a racial issue. This information was not passed on in the report by the night shift or was written anywhere that I could see. If I had known this, I would have assigned the other nurse to the patient and taken her patient(s). This would never have happened. I was handed the tablet to write what had happened, but I was so distraught at the fact that someone even thought I was a racist and prejudiced I really do not remember what I said. I could not, literally, think. I was told I was suspended and told to hand over my keys and badge, I kept the keys until I got everything from my locker and gave them to Phyllis who was standing guard over me. I was escorted from the building but had to wait for my ride. Before my ride came, a security guard came out and said, "It was you?" "You were the one walked out?". Mr. Nolan called me on a speakerphone Monday, June **, ****, about * PM and told me I was terminated, when I stated that this was not taken as intended, his response was "I'm not going to argue with you!" I said I was not arguing, just making a statement. I do not know who else was on the call as I was not told and was too emotionally upset at the time to ask. I am * * years old and have worked since I was ** years old. I have never been fired from a job. As a team member, if I had seen something in another's documentation that brought concern, I would have pointed out to them and given then a chance to review and rewrite or write an addendum. I want to be reinstated in my job.
Since we have nurses from Jamaica and these nurses are not African American, another manner of conveying that the patient is more comfortable with people of color ( I used cored person, unfortunately), needs to be defined. Some people of the race use "colored or colored person", some use black, some African American, but this is not accurate. It is difficult to know what everyone feels comfortable with. I understand that there is a heightened level of awareness and sensitivity in these areas due to recent events in our society, however, I do not think about people being different because they have a different look. I have extremely strong feelings over this issue and of being called a racist by my peers.
I want my job reinstated, and back pay lost over this time.
I have been loyal to Tenet for almost nineteen years. I have sat on the Nursing Education Council and Nursing Council. I have given in-services regarding team building and morale. When the air conditioning was not working well in the summer I kept cases of bottled water available for the staff. When we ran out of disinfectant wipes during this pandemic, I brought my own in from home. I brought CD's in for the elderly patients to listen too. I tried my best to be fair and to keep staff happy in their jobs.
I have contacted lawyers, I really do not want to go down this route unless I left with no other choice. I have other agencies that I plan to report this too as well.
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Tenet Healthcare Corporation

Patient documentation
Customer service issue
Reported by GetHuman-peggythe
Jun 21st, 2020 - 2 years ago
Not resolved
Seen by 22 customers so far
Similar issue to 6 others
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GetHuman-peggythe started working on this issue
Jun 21st, 2020 7:14pm

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