A hospital employee said she was terminated because she was seeking help for a family member to get a CT scan done at the local hospital.
Kay McCarley said that the family member had gone to the hospital to have a CT scan done on Jan. 25. The family member’s physician had given her instructions to go to Madison County Memorial Hospital to have the scan done.
The family member had surgery four weeks prior and was in a great deal of pain.
The family member was told by the x-ray technician that the CT scan, the physician had ordered, would cost $2,500 or 70 percent up front because she had no medical insurance and that he would love to do it for her but could not unless this was paid.
The family member was told to go to the “White House” business office, outside of the hospital, and see someone there to help with the paper work that she would need to do before the test could be done. She went to the White House and there was no one there to help her. She was told it would be Monday, Jan. 31, six days later, before they could meet with her to get the paper work done.
Frustrated and in pain, the family member went home and waited for McCarley to get off work to take her to South Georgia Medical Center, where she was treated immediately and without demand for prepayment.
Kay McCarly had looked for someone at MCMH to help the family member get the CT scan done and no one was available; she was told they were all in a meeting. McCarley saw one of the department heads and asked her what she needed to do to get the CT scan done, expecting the department head to respond that she would try and help her, but instead was told, “I don’t know what to tell you,” and the department head walked away.
Frustrated, McCarley made the statement, “Why can’t someone who pays taxes like myself and my family members get help when there are others who do not pay taxes who are able to walk in and be treated.”
She also had made a statement that, “This would make a good story for the newspaper.”
When McCarley, who worked part-time at the hospital and full-time at a nursing facility, returned to check on her work schedule at the hospital, she didn’t see her name on the schedule. She asked the Director of Nurses why she wasn’t on there and was told that she would have to speak with David Abercrombie, the hospital’s Chief Executive Officer (CEO).
McCarley said that an appointment with Abercrombie was set and that she went to his office at the appointed time. She said that Abercrombie began reading the write-up that the department head, she had made the comments to about her family paying taxes and others who did not, had written up.
McCarley said that she had tried to present her side of the story about the conversation but Abercrombie refused to let her talk. She said that she had tried to explain that she had been frustrated that day that she had made the remarks about the taxes and going to the newspaper. She said that he refused to listen and she was terminated on Feb. 1.
McCarley was told by another employee that Abercrombie had been upset about the statement regarding the newspaper.
“I never would have really come to the newspaper,” she told this writer during an interview. “I was just frustrated.”
Kay McCarley has been a nurse for 37 years and worked a number of those years at MCMH and has never, to her knowledge, been written up for any reason.
Abercrombie, who was contacted by telephone, returned this writer’s call. Asked about McCarley’s termination, Abercrombie replied, “I cannot speak on personnel matters.”
Is this a fair decision? Your response to the newspaper is appreciated. Email Jacob Bembry at firstname.lastname@example.org.