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Friday, December 25, 2015

YOU'RE FIRED! My perception regarding termination within Dialysis units

***Warning*** If you are a technician who never had issues within your unit to this extent, you will not understand what I am expressing. If all has been well in your unit, then that is great. This write-up is for individuals who are struggling under management pressure. 

Please check out my disclaimer HERE

Throughout the years, I have seen so many terminations as a dialysis technician. I want to give a few tips on the topic of termination. 

There are two kinds of terminations

1. Getting fired for doing something wrong or a mistake.
2. Getting fired because of politics (someone doesn't like you and finds a reason to fire you.)

I will speak on the first type of termination which is, getting fired for doing something wrong or making a mistake. Usually, an individual has three warnings before the actual termination, however that is not the case in all facilities. I have seen doctors that assist in firing someone on the spot, as well as clinical managers and compliance officers. I remember hearing about this person that made a mistake regarding the water logbook and got axed the same day. This person had several children to feed and was wise to have a second dialysis job. Mind you this person gave their all to the company for more than ten years. That one mistake halted their career and financial means. Termination is no laughing matter. Although I do feel that this is extremely harsh, there is nothing I or you can do about it, but do the best we can as dialysis technicians. I remember hearing of a cool co-worker in another facility I did per-diem at got fired the same day over something small regarding again the water log book. That co-worker was awesome and gave the company 20 years of service and lost it all that quick over a mistake that the medical doctor saw. The person in authority told her to leave immediately and that she was fired, mind you the person is the medical director, and those directors have the power to fire. I was taken back by these crazy, harsh terminations, but have to realize to do the best I can and save up as much money as possible, in case I get the mighty AX! Now I am not saying that correction shouldn't be done regarding mistakes. I am just stating that I agree with 3 strikes you're out in opposed to you're fired NOW!

Here are my 3 tips

1. Do the best you can, and don't take any manager for granted meaning (you get too comfortable in the state of not giving you all into your work.) Every day you work make sure you are on point.

2. Document correctly. Make sure you go back over your work to make sure all is well.

3. Always find a per-diem job at another unit and work at least one day a week. That way if you do get fired from your home unit, you can just let them know to put you on the schedule full-time.

Not all managers are evil, bad or unfair. I have worked with many awesome managers and many unreasonable supervisors. Don't take this information as if I am targeting all managers. I am just giving you my perspective & experience on these issues. 
Now I want to go in on the second type of termination, which is getting fired because of politics. I have seen this happen over and over again. It almost happened to me! I will share my past situation and testimony below. Here are some instances I have seen with my own eyes and really grieve thinking about these situations. A technician may be working in unit A for let's say 15 years with no issues or problems and is a great worker. Now a new supervisor may take over the position in unit A, and begin to improvise things, which is what all supervisors do. However, this particular manager thrives on gossip and politics. Now depending on the personality of the supervisor, they will judge all co-workers based on how nice they were to them. However, that particular technician that has been working there for 15 years isn't the kind of person who gets involved in gossip and politics, but they are good at providing patient care. Now that manager would take in an offense that this one technician is not in and out of their office smiling in their face and telling them the latest gossip about others. Now that manager will seek to look for ways to get them fired. It may take months to do but they would rather fire someone who is a good patient care technician than a sloppy technician that gossips to them.  I have seen it!!!!!!!!!!!!! For instance my situation. I was working in my unit for four years before a new manager took over. I was a good worker who minded my business and didn't spread heavy gossip and lies. I did my work and cared for my patients to the best of my abilities and according to the policies and procedures.

The new manager that took over was a short African American man who didn't like me period. I didn't know why. I greeted him with respect, and he just didn't like me. Turns out another co-worker who I had slight disagreements with, was telling him evil things about me. I later found out he (the manager) even worked with this PCT somewhere else. They both teamed up against me and what happened was this. During turn-over that co-worker would go into that manager's office for hours and I ended up taking off my patients as well as hers. Our sections were close together, and her patients began to complain and cramp, etc. WHERE WAS THE NURSE? lol, The nurses had their own assignments because we were constantly short of staff. SO WHERE WAS THAT CO-WORKER CASSIA? Ha, in her friend the manger's office, while I struggled on the floor. I felt powerless because I knew that this manager was so rude and disrespectful and quick to fire anyone. He mentioned this time and time again, that he wanted to fire all useless staff. I remember the days he would walk the floor just looking for any small mistake to make an accusation towards me and all who didn't really like him. I remember him having a big meeting with all of the staff and asking what is wrong with us. I told him my complaint and he threatened me in front of everyone to fire me, stating the comments I made equal termination. My situation worsened, and my teammates felt so sorry for me, but couldn't really help me. I was always taking off 6-8 patients while the manger just allowed that technician to do what they wanted on turn-over. One DAY I got FED UP! I knocked on the manger's door after the turn-over was done and requested to speak to him. I told him I didn't appreciate the fact that he is pulling as well as allowing this technician to leave to go into his office during turn-over. I clearly stated the danger that this is causing, and how this is putting a strain on me. He immediately said, "I WANT TO RECOMMEND YOUR TERMINATION NOW, I WANT YOU OUT"! He then called my union rep into the office and explained to her that he wanted me terminated. I then begged for him to allow me to resign. I told him "PLEASE JUST ALLOW ME TO RESIGN"! I knew that if I was fired I could be banned from working in dialysis, he ended up letting me resign. I resigned but before I did I called the compliance hotline and express my grief.

Thankfully I had another friend who left my facility to work at another unit in New York. She invited me to her unit and spoke highly of me to her manager and he allowed me to work there for as long as I wanted. I still had to travel close to my old dialysis unit to take my son to the daycare over there, until I transition to one closer to me. One hot sunny day when I was dropping off my oldest son (who was 4 at the time) I saw that manger (who wanted to fire me) walk by. He spotted me and gave me a nasty look and I was shocked that I even ran into him again. Anyway later that morning when I was riding on the train to get to my other job, I got the word that the company investigated him and he got fired a few moments after I saw him. I thought the news was a joke because I had just seen him an hour before leaving my son at the day-care.  Later that same week the company contacted me, deeply apologized, and offered me all back pay from the days I have missed as well as the reinstatement of my position. I was so lucky.
4 Lessons Learned 
1. Be kind to all of your teammates, you never know who God will use to bless you in your time of need. I kept in touch with that teammate who left my facility and it was through her I was able to get another job in my time of need.

2. If you have a manager that is ruthless and unethical I can't really advise you to record, if you want to do this make sure the company doesn't have a policy saying "no recording devices". I feel more comfortable with taking a 2nd or 3rd person with me into the manager's office to discuss anything that isn't right. If the manager says no then I would find another way. It is never good to go into an unethical manager's office alone because it's their word against yours, and you already know who would win.

3. DOCUMENT how many times you have told management of your complaint and what you requested to be done about it.

4. NEVER feel that your complaint doesn't matter to corporate or the president of the company. It does take diligence. IT IS NOT SNITCHING if you report something that is threatening your good job! If I and a few other teammates didn't send in a complaint concerning the issues that I was facing nothing would be done.

My video below on terminations.


Stay updated with the latest information regarding the tips I give for new and experienced technicians below~

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I founded a total of 5 dialysis groups on Facebook but I am currently in 3 of those groups.

2. POWER DIALYSIS TECH & STAFF GROUP (Now renamed and headed by Dwelyn)