IT'S ALL FREE! 5 Ways to Get Fired

We all know people who've been fired from jobs for doing the unthinkable - theft, sleeping on the job, taking drugs on the job (or in the case of some nurses, taking drugs FROM the job). But legal nurse consultants get fired (or dropped by clients) for other reasons as well. Don't let these happen to you!

Your chances of getting fired increase when you:

1) Produce sloppy work. Attention to detail is critical in this field. If you transpose the numbers in dates (1/11/09 instead of 11/1/09, for example) or miss key information in a notation, it could make a big difference in the case. The solution? If you're prone to typos (or transposing dates), double check your work. Spend extra time to decipher illegible handwriting for key information. If you know that a notation is important but can't decipher it, inform the attorney.

2) Don't play nice with others.  You can be the most proficient, smartest person in the world with the best work product but if you're a pain to work with, some employers/clients will let you go. I've seen some very talented LNCs who were fired by employers and clients because the LNCs were drama queens, bullies, argumentative, or chronic complainers about management, attorneys, or other staff. The solution? Don't bad-mouth colleagues, employers, or clients. Watch your body language so it isn't seen as intimidating. Learn to take feedback graciously without becoming angry, crying, sighing, rolling your eyes, or raising your voice.

3) Socialize instead of working.  This is for those LNCs who work in offices. No one expects you to work every minute of every day. But some LNCs spend an inordinate amount of time flitting from desk to desk to find out the latest gossip. They frequently check and update their Facebook, Twitter, email, and LinkedIn accounts. They speak to family members throughout the day. They do their banking online at work. (OK, banking isn't socializing but it's still time spent not working). The solution? Keep your personal life and social life separate as much as possible. No one will begrudge you a personal phone call or a tweet now and then, but for the most part, work time is for working. Catch up with family, friends, and colleagues on your own time. And skip the nomad routine of wandering around the office. You're not only interfering with your own work but the work of other employees too.

4) Miss deadlines. Missing a deadline may mean missing the statute of limitations, which means your client can't file the case. Missing a deadline during discovery or trial may unleash the wrath of a judge on your attorney client. Missing a deadline means a client may drop you in a nanosecond. The solution? Don't overcommit yourself. Learn to deal with deadlines.

5) Lack skills. Sure, you were hired for your nursing knowledge. But if you don't know how to analyze a case, use proper sentence structure and spelling, type your reports, or speak intelligently with attorneys, you're at a disadvantage because there are lots of LNCs who have all those skills. The solution? New legal nurse consultants put way too much emphasis on getting their first case and way too little emphasis on mastering the skills needed to review, analyze, and communicate case specifics. Fortunately, LNC skills are like any other skills. In order to become proficient, you need to do them over and over. If you're new to legal nurse consulting and can't type, practice typing. If you can't write reports, write some sample reports and have others critique them. If you have trouble cogently communicating the facts of a case, practice by communicating with others.

...Katy Jones