I've been browbeaten by a WC nurse - Printable Version
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I've been browbeaten by a WC nurse - nannylu - 10-14-2007 08:40 AM
I left our Emp Health Dept on Friday feeling angry and abused. In June I fell at work and was seen by EH. I followed our policy exactly as I was supposed to and felt sure that my bruised ego and knees would recover. I was drug tested per policy and was not examined or xrayed at all. I was told if I had further problems to follow up there or after hours in the ER. (I work in a hospital)
The next day, Saturday, I had more than a bruised ego, my knees were bruised and swollen and my muscles ached in my legs. I went to the ER just hoping for some relief from the muscle strain. The ER doctor was great, asked how it happened and said it was WC. I told him that I had not lost time from work and I did not want to file WC. He said I had no choice. Did x-rays on my knees and told me he thought my left knee had a torn miniscus. He said only an MRI would confirm and if I continued to have problems I should see and orthoMD. I filled my RX for muscle relaxer and darvocet and paid for it myself. I work as a supervisor at the hospital with another supervisor and so everyone was well aware that I had been seen in the ER.
The pain improved except for some distinct tenderness on the outside of the knees that kept me from kneeling or sent me to a howl if I brushed up on something and some crunching when I stood. That improved but I've been left with the crunch and pain and stiffness when I'm sitting for awhile or climbing stairs. I didn't think that was horrible but after much encouragement from my husband I went to Emp Health and asked them if I could get a referral to see a doc and have my x-rays just to get it checked out. I told them that the ER doc had also told me that I had some mild degenerative disease in one of my knees and maybe I was just getting old.
They chauffered me and my daughter who had accompanied me in to see the WC nurse. OH MY!
She never said, hello, my name is or I am. Before we hit the chairs she said, This injury is more than 30 days old and now you are trying to file WC on it. And you did not even follow policy and report to us after you were seen in the ER. I didn't even get a work out before she said, No, you did not follow policy. Did you even bother to fill out a variance and take it to the ER when you went. I told her no. When she asked why not when our policy says that I should I told her because I filled it our the day before when I was seen in Employee Health. She went on with, who is your manager. Did you bother to inform her that you were injured. Yes I did. Did you bother to tell her that you had been seen in the ER. She was off that day. Did you tell the House supervisor. YES I did I was one of them and 3 others were notified.
I was so imbarassed, upset, beratted that I told her that I needed to go that I was not able to answer the spec phone that I use at work from that building and her answer was You didn't even bother to tell your supervisor that you were coming over here?? I told her that my supervisor was off today. Then she said, so you couldn't bother to tell the employees that you work with that you would be here. Thinking back I can't believe that I even answered her vicious questions. But I did and told her that every area of the hospital calls me on my phone and I could not possible call all of them. I told her that I was leaving that I was not there to file a WC claim that I only came for a referral and my records and that I could get my own doctor if she would just give me my xrays. She told me that she couldn't because I had not followed policy and she did not have my ER records. She said it was not the ER's responsibility to give her my records. She told me to just sit down and we would do this.
She then proceeded of throw papers down in front of me that I was going to have to fill out now that I had gone and done everything wrong.
I was so angry that I was near tears. In my job I deal with employee, patient and family issues all day and I am known not to lose my temper. I stood up and told her, NO, I will not stay here another minute and let you talk to me this way. I did not come here for anything free from you and I will not let you talk to me like this. NO ONE deserves to be talked to in the way you are talking to me. I walked out. My Daugher was flabbergasted and I was seething.
Then I went to medical records and legally got a copy of my chart and xrays. Ther face sheet of my ER visit said. Workman's Comp,
Att: and was addressed to the very lady to whom I was just speaking. So she had been given a copy of the records.
I made a copy and highlighted her name and dropped them off to the secretary in her office and politely asked her to give these to her as she did not have them for her records.
I went back and pulled every policy we have on workmans comp and employee injury and found that I can document that I followed policy to the T. Our policy states that if you are initially seen in the ER you must report to employee health when it is opened next. This was not an initial visit. It also states that the emergency dept will forward a copy of the chart to EH not that I will hand carry it over.
Best of all, this lady approved and had the claim paid and did not even have a record of it.
I am so angry! I have pulled policy on filing a formal employee grievance and plan to go through the steps to do that. I have heard terrible things about this woman before but I had never had problem so I didn't really know.
I have my own health insurance, disability insurance and I know that I am better off coming to work everyday and earning my pay than I am trying to file a fictitious WC claim. I would lose everything I have if I was off work and so the idea that she thinks I'm trying to bilk them for something just fries me. But I also do not think that someone like this should be working with us or be allowed to do what she is doing to people. What can I do??? Besides the formal grievance is there anything I can do to stop this person from attacking other employees. I realize there are people out there who try to work the system but there are also geniune, honest people who get hurt at work that should never be subject to this.
I am sorry I have rattle on so long but can anyone shed some light on this for me???? I have felt so bad for days.
RE: I've been browbeaten by a WC nurse - capricorn - 10-14-2007 09:33 AM
Hi Nanny.....OMG! What a nightmare you walked into upfront. Your NCM sounds like my Adjuster. Horrible, mean, nasty person who thinks she pays people out of her bank account. I know you can report her BUT I am drawing a blank right now. I think it would be to the WC commision in your state. You do need to know that lots of us here have had NCM's, Adjuster's, even Dr.s like this. Someone will be along soon who can answer your question better than I could. Have you spoken to a WC attorney? We all understand. We would all prefer to be working and not in the situation we're in. WC destroys lives, IF you let them.
RE: I've been browbeaten by a WC nurse - jayne - 10-14-2007 09:51 AM
are you sure she doesnt work for my insurance company? sounds like the b-tch that did my paperwork....good luck and please try and stop her bully like bullkaka
RE: I've been browbeaten by a WC nurse - Bummer Knees - 10-14-2007 10:05 AM
Welcome to the forum!
I am sorry you had to go thru this experience with the NCM.
I also had an injury of my knees. I worked as an Early Childhood Teacher and was injured at work while lifting a student from the floor.
I tore the meniscus in both knees, I also had other knee injuries, to many to mention.
After I was injured I contacted HR as instructed about the injury and requested to turn this in to my personal health insurance, I did not want this a work comp issue. HR told me they had a legal responsibility to process the injury as work comp.
I continued to work at my job with restrictions for three months as a teacher and with young children. This is a job that requires working from the floor, not easy for a knee injury.
I had my surgery and was off work for 3 months, when I was released with no restrictions from the doctor my employer told me they no longer had a job for me, although I have never been formally terminated.
After the doctor released me I continued to have problems with my knees. I contacted the nurse case manager about this and she said she had talked to the doctor after my release and it was decided any further needed treatment would be due to a pre-existing condition.
The nurse case manager used anything I said to her or the doctor to prevent me from seeking further treatment, she started quoting statements or comments I had made.
The month after the release my knees were no longer stable and I had mobility problems and my health insurance refused medical treatment of my knees so I hired a wc attorney.
My work comp was re-opened and a month after hiring my attorney I learned I needed total knee replacements of both knees. A year after the injury I had meniscus surgery on my other knee.
My injury was almost two years ago. I have another court date next month seeking more treatment of my knees and my back. The delay in medical treatment has caused low back problems & leg/nerve problems, and I have been having hip pain which the doctor says may be related to my knees. I see the doctor Monday for my hip.
What I am saying if you have knee problems get medical treatment before your injury snowballs into other injuries.
Good Luck and feel free to pm or e-mail me.
RE: I've been browbeaten by a WC nurse - vickinat - 10-14-2007 11:23 AM
Hello, and welcome to the forum. Could you please put your state in your profile, so we can help you more. Each state has differant rules and regulations as far as your rights and time limits to file. I would suggest contacting a W/C lawyer for a free consultation and address these questions. If your able to file a greivance against this woman since she works in your hospital(right?), then I would. I'm sorry that this has happened to you.
I'm in Pa. and after I spoke to a lawyer, I found that I didn't have to deal with the NCM, and had her authorization revoked. I then did hire a lawyer and wished that I would of from the beginning. I wouldn't have had to deal with so much grief. I still am having problems with the W/C, but know he deals with them.
There are some very knowledgable people here and they will probably be along soon and provide you better advice. Please remember to put your state in your profile though. Also you may want to check at the top of this page " info by state", it's worth reading your rule and statues.
Good luck and take care.
RE: I've been browbeaten by a WC nurse - Lilly - 10-14-2007 12:12 PM
Welcome to the forum nannylu!
So sorry you were treated in this way. Your NCM sounds like the one I had too....SHE was the sole reason I lawyered-up!
I am glad you got yer belly full of her mouth, and gave it back to her! Now I hope you can get her repremanded or better yet, loose her job....as she has no business treating people in that manner, ever.
I too had a knee injury (torn meniscus) and worked with it for several months....until it started giving away, and I'd suddenly find myself on the ground. Once it gave way, and I rolled my foot so hard, that I broke several bones in the top of my foot....so you see...the others on here who have had snowballing injury problems with supposedly simple knee injuries (like a torn meniscus) can lead to far worse problems like Bummerknees now has. So don't let it go too long, as you surely do not want to be worse off than you are now. It can, and most likely will get worse.
Take care & good luck, Lilly
RE: I've been browbeaten by a WC nurse - nannylu - 10-14-2007 12:58 PM
I have just a minute but I haven't figured out how to put in my state but I am from Georgia. I appreciate all of the help so far and HATE to see that there are so many out there who had the same kind of experiences. How do these people go home at night and live with themselves???
RE: I've been browbeaten by a WC nurse - capricorn - 10-14-2007 01:13 PM
Nanny...go into User CP up near where you log in and edit your profile. That is where you can enter your state.
RE: I've been browbeaten by a WC nurse - red1030 - 10-14-2007 01:30 PM
Hi Nanny, welcome to the forum. I am so sorry to hear that you have encountered such an ordeal. I know that being a nurse, as I am, that your heart is even more heavy because of what the role of a nurse is in caring. This nurse gives all nurses a bad name. It's horrible. But as in all fields all people enter and we are all very different in our approach to life.
Interms of what to do about this nurse, I believe that you have covered your bases. One thought is that you could call the labor board in your county and ask about how to handle this sort of situation. You may also ask about discrimination polices. The grievance that you discussed is most likely the best way to assure that your managers are aware of the sitaution in the employee health office. Please update yourself with past organization behavior towards people who have filed a workman's compensation claim. Often IW are treated as less than human and they loose credibility. All past work history disappears in the minds of your supervisors and co workers. Suddenly co workers and friends all walk away. Some of the IW state often that W/C is not a road to be traveled a lone, and yet you will find that you are a lone even in your grievance about this employee health nurse. I am very disappinted in our healthcare system, becasue they should be an organization with greater understanding and yet, I find that they have no more compassion or understanding than the trucker company down the street... no offense to trucker companies meant. Good luck in what ever decisions you make. We are a great group here, please visit us on the off topic area also. We have a lot of fun in that area. Loads of hugs coming your way....Red
RE: I've been browbeaten by a WC nurse - tweety00 - 10-15-2007 02:27 AM
Hey nanny just wanted so say that others have given great advice ...
My employer sounds just like yours .... but they do it over the phone screaming !
Lawyer up before it gets ugly since they already starting the games .