A former Kaiser nurse is complaining in Orange County Superior Court that she was tasked with duties beyond her experience and training, and that when she complained and asked for more training, she was disciplined and fired. Amali Dissanayake, who is represented by Joel Baruch and Nikki Fermin of Irvine, is suing for wrongful termination.
Dissanayake's complaint states she was originally assigned to Kaiser's urgent care clinic, where she "was responsible for checking patients in, taking vital signs and following general physician orders." But when the lead nurse took a medical leave, Dissanayake was assigned to fill her position in what was known as "the Nurse Clinic."
"[P]laintiff was responsible for taking care of surgical outpatients such as cancer patients, patients with staph infections, and patients with open wounds. These types of patient cases were different from the typical flus and common colds plaintiff was accustomed to handling on the urgent care floor," the complaint states.
When Dissanayake spoke to the department administrator about not being up to the task, she was assigned an RN to supervise and train her in the Nurse Clinic. But that nurse also "did not feel comfortable working on the floor either" and split, according to the complaint.
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Dissanayake claims administrators then started blowing her off about her concerns regarding her lack of training. Sometimes she was assigned a supervisor in the next several months, often she was not, she claims.
Dissanayake was called into a meeting in January 2012 and told that another nurse had reported that she failed to properly assess a patient the previous month, the complaint states. She was issued a "Corrective Action-Level III" for alleged "sub-standard performance" the following March. That May, she received a "Last Chance Agreement" setting forth a six-month progress plan, followed in June by "paid investigatory suspension" and, finally, in July she was fired.
Her complaint states that in Dissanayake's previous 10 years with Kaiser before voicing her concerns about lack of training, she "had never been disciplined, counseled, or given a poor performance review."