Live in freedom, but do not use your freedom as a cover-up for evil; live as servants of God. 1 Peter 2: 15
The voice on the other end of the phone stated, “Sonya, we are discharging Patient X from physical therapy services tomorrow. She has met all of her goals, to which I responded, “This patient is no longer on our services and was discharged 8 weeks ago.” The therapist reiterated that an email requesting the patient to continue home health services was sent previously, and the patient’s nurse was aware that therapy would continue for another 8 weeks.
My responsibilities as the Clinical Supervisor included the responsibility for the daily clinical operations, the nursing staff, and the initial contact person for all issues and updates regarding patient care. The expectation was that problems would reach my ears first, and if I was unable to reach a resolution, then I would defer to the Clinical Director.
The infraction of the patient’s services ending prematurely was a grave issue because the agency’s policy was breached. Physical Therapy could not be provided as a stand-alone service, the patient had to continue services with a Registered Nurse as the patient’s case manager. Also, the therapy company was billing our agency for over $4.000 for services rendered, which would not be reimbursed by Medicare.
As I spoke to my Director, she informed me that the patient’s nurse and myself would be terminated following the investigation by the corporate office. Within a couple of days, I received a call from the Vice President who asked me to accompany her for an out of town seminar the next day. My Director received an email confirming that I would be out of the office for the training. The events that occurred next, I will attempt to summarize; the Director was visibly upset that I had been invited and proceeded to interrogate me as to why she was bypassed, and I was attending the seminar.
On the morning of the seminar, I prayed for God to give me the strength to accept the loss of my position. As the Vice President and I chatted during the three-hour trip, my thoughts were elsewhere, I could not begin to comprehend why I was attending the training. The answer that I long-awaited for was revealed on the return trip, she requested a verbal and written account of why the patient’s services had not continued.
As I explained the oversight of the unread email, I verbalized full responsibility for the error. I realized that I would be carrying out my box of personal belongings upon return to the office. All I could do is apologize and accept responsibility for my mistake. The words that I heard next, I will never forget, “Sonya, there are going to be some changes in staff due to a falsified report of what occurred. The other individuals remain adamant that they never received the email and are placing responsibility on you. I invited you to the seminar because I know that you will tell the truth. However, I will not be the person responsible for making the decision on whether you will be terminated or not.”
Five days later, I was the only one of three managers, that retained my job for the simple fact that I told the truth. And the policies were modified to prevent the reoccurrence of the error.
Truthful lips endure forever, but a lying tongue is but for a moment. Proverbs 12:19
An admission of guilt does not guarantee a positive outcome, there are many times when we must face the full consequences of our actions without a reprieve. Even so, when we are honest and possess a contrite heart, God honors our confession and repentance for our sins. If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land. 2 Chronicles 7:14.
Even amid our failures, when we repent, God forgives, and He will always provide.
© Sonya Johnson Ruiz 2020