CRNA accused of sexual misconduct

  1. I have been asked advise by MDA how to handle a CRNA accused recently of groping a lightly sedated patient's breasts. The same accusation happened ten years ago but the charges were deemed groundless and the patient dropped the case. However, he has now had to change work sites. Even though I'm female I tell my non-general patients that I'm going to remove their EKG pads and apologize for the intrusion - to put the patient as ease as well as to protect myself. How should this person's department handle this problem?
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  2. 14 Comments

  3. by   nurse4theplanet
    The first step is obviously going to be to gather both sides of the story. Am I safe to assume there were witnesses to this incident?
  4. by   Pete495
    Boy, if I didn't touch anybody everytime I put an ECG patch on, I'd be in prison by now.

    I guess groping is a totally different issue, assuming it was actually groping, and not a brush of the hand or something. Occasionally it is necessary to lift up the breast to get the ECG patch on though. I would gather the witnesses, and talk to everyone that was in the room in the accused setting, and find out what actually happened. I would just make sure I had all the details before I blew this out of proportion, because even if this CRNA didn't do what he was accused of doing, this kind of accusation, especially since it is the 2nd time can really ruin a person. I just think it's fair to get all the details of the incident, and then decide whether it is worth persuing. Many situations like these can be resolved by simply talking to the parties involved.

    I do think it's important, esp. for Anesthesia personnel to tell the patient what they are doing, esp., since they sometimes have little interaction with the patient. With so little interaction, gaining trust is very important.
  5. by   subee
    Quote from asoldierswife05
    The first step is obviously going to be to gather both sides of the story. Am I safe to assume there were witnesses to this incident?
    No witnesses. Only the patient's accusation.
  6. by   nadja9
    Besides the CRNA, who was in the room with the patient?
  7. by   SFCardiacRN
    This is a far too frequent event. I don't mean groping...I mean the accusations. I have been involved twice when the anesthetist was accused (1 MD & 1 CRNA). Both times were very young and very nervous women. Both were sedation cases. Nothing unusual happened during either case while I was in the room.The anesthesiologist submitted research papers on sexual fantasy related to sedation and the matter was quickly squashed. The CRNA went through hell and eventually left even though cleared of wrong doing. I hope it's not to same poor soul. I suggest finding those studies on sedation related sexual fantasy!
  8. by   nadja9
    Perhaps I don't have enough information here but..............

    If the sedated patient was not left alone with the CRNA, I would think there would be a witness, although I realize not necessarily. If the sedated female patient was alone with a male CRNA, I would ask why. First, it certainly goes a longggggg way in helping protect against sexual battery/abuse charges by having another person (female) present. Second, I would think a CRNA who had been previously accused of the same actions in the past wouldn't risk being alone with a sedated female patient, if nothing else, to avoid falsification of charges.

    While I realize that all information and evidence needs to be taken into account, we also need to acknowledge that this wouldn't be the first time a health care professional has been accused of such acts. In fact, there are enough documented cases similar in nature committed by aides, doctors, dentists, etc. It is also a fact that sex offenders (which is what this CRNA is if he did it) have the highest rate of recidivism of all criminals.

    I am certainly not accusing here, just call it food for thought.
  9. by   deepz
    Quote from SFCardiacRN
    ....anesthesiologist submitted research papers on sexual fantasy related to sedation and the matter was quickly squashed. .... I suggest finding those studies on sedation related sexual fantasy!
    Excellent point. Seems most common with propofol by infusion and especially in susceptible patients whose libido might ordinarily run a little weird. Then ... add perhaps a touch of ketamine, and who knows what hallucinatory mis-perceptions a patient might experience.

    Be careful out there!

    deepz
    Last edit by deepz on Dec 21, '05
  10. by   Kiwi
    Quote from deepz
    Excellent point. Seems most common with propofol by infusion and especially in susceptible patients whose libido might ordinarily run a little weird. Then ... add perhaps a touch of ketamine, and who knows what hallucinatory mis-perceptions a patient might experience.

    Be careful out there!

    deepz

    :roll ROFL!!!!!!

    We all know how double F bosoms necessitate being lifted in order to apply those darn green and red leads! Simply put, this matter looks like somebody forgot to do the whole "all nursing interventions explained prior to implementation" spiel.
    Last edit by Kiwi on Dec 22, '05
  11. by   athomas91
    i have seen some funny stuff w/ propofol... i am glad i am a female in most of the situations that way i am safer than my male counterparts...

    funny (and very true) story... in GI one day - sedation for endo and colonoscopy... i was with a male ologist which made me turn even more red... but anyway... young, attractive female patient - Dr starts the colonoscopy and she starts kinda groaning... i think - shoot - she is a little too light... then she says..."yeah, thats right... right there..." etc.. etc...
    i thought i was going to die.
    the ologist was quick to point out it was likely the propofol and the "sexual" feelings that some exhibit when they receive it....
    off the subject - but i thought was kinda funny..
  12. by   apaisRN
    propofol can produce sexual feelings? Wow, gotta read up on that one.
  13. by   jwk
    Quote from athomas91
    i have seen some funny stuff w/ propofol... i am glad i am a female in most of the situations that way i am safer than my male counterparts...

    funny (and very true) story... in GI one day - sedation for endo and colonoscopy... i was with a male ologist which made me turn even more red... but anyway... young, attractive female patient - Dr starts the colonoscopy and she starts kinda groaning... i think - shoot - she is a little too light... then she says..."yeah, thats right... right there..." etc.. etc...
    i thought i was going to die.
    the ologist was quick to point out it was likely the propofol and the "sexual" feelings that some exhibit when they receive it....
    off the subject - but i thought was kinda funny..
    Sounds a lot like losing your inhibitions with alcohol. I've seen a couple of very similar situations in GI as well although the patients have not remembered them.

    I've also heard of the sexual dreams with propofol although I've never seen it. I have also seen a guy drift off in the middle of telling a joke, and wake up and finish it right where he left off, including the punch line. What a hoot!
  14. by   rn29306
    Quote from jwk
    I have also seen a guy drift off in the middle of telling a joke, and wake up and finish it right where he left off, including the punch line. What a hoot!
    My previous EMS Director of Operations in Atlanta (very talented Paramedic, CCEMT-P certified) had a procedure done, was induced with propofol and much to the delight of the anesthesia staff, and I'm sure helped along with some versed, started instructing the MDA and CRNA on the sequence of steps to perform intubation. He went unconscious mid-process and upon awakening, finished the sequence supposedly without missing a beat. Gotta love the minimal neuro hangover effects. Oh lord, don't let the GI nurses see this, they'll have a hayday....
    Last edit by rn29306 on Dec 26, '05

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