I (and the other nurse I work with) began working for a Correctional Health Company a few months ago. The detention center I work at has 2 RN's working evenings. Both of us alternate evenings working. The dayshift person is a deputy employed by the detention center with no real medical background. The physician assigned to us is the same one that worked there previously and decided to come aboard when the contracts were signed. We thought what a great setup they had when we came to do an orientation of the facility...things seemed to go so smooth.
Now the problem I'm not sure how to handle. We have both noticed that there are orders for meds entered into the system with no written or verbal/telephone orders, inmates are denied being able to see the physician when asking for TRUE sick call needs, there has been a few occasions in which inmates have been placed in isolation and were told "If you hadn't listened to that stupid nurse you wouldn't be here." Along with a few other words that are not fit for reading. If this were solely coming from the inmates, I may not be so upset. But these reports have been coming from correctional officers and by the other RN I work with. Apparently her and the Medical Officer had a lengthy discussion about me and why I insist on calling the physician or charting H & P's as per our company protocol and that the physician is becoming upset about all the paperwork.
There are medications that adpparently this Med Officer refills for the inmates...I don't mean gets them from the pharmacy. I mean the packs are empty and instead of calling the refill into the pharmacy, he uses meds that he has saved from previous inmates and goodness only knows how old those meds are or if they are eventhe correct medications.
I talked with the other RN today and what I got is she is afraid to call the doctor, chart assessments, or even follow company protocol for fear that "We will be out of a job if we don't run it like he wants." She was referring to the medical officer that used to run the medical department alone. So because of her not following the job description that was laid out by our company, I, the part-time nurse, ends up with anywhere from 20 to 30 H & P's to do, follow-up on all chronic condidtions, etc...
I feel like I'm fighting a losing battle! I don't want to lose my job anymore than anyone else, but isn't there something that canbe done for safety??? They are inmates, not animals! And in no way shape or form will I compromise my license or professionalism just because I am afraid of this person! Isn't there any governing body that inspects these facilities? They just had a jail inspection and I'm guessing they passed. I just don't understand how.
Any thoughts, suggestions, or prayers?
Jul 22, '11
Can you not talk to your supervisor (the one that works for the same company you do)? There seems to definately be some illegal things going on here and you will be much better off leaving your job than losing your license.
Jul 22, '11
After having some difficulty in reaching administration, I was able to get the supervisor to commit to a meeting with us to discuss these issues. I'm keeping my fingers crossed that this will help make some changes...It's that or the Detention Center or the company may cease the contract and I'll be looking for another job anyway. Either way interviews are in progress and I'm hoping to be away from a very bad situation soon!
Aug 3, '11
Just an update...Spoke with Nursing superviser and the "whistleblower" (me) was terminated. The reasoning was that because I spoke up, I created a stressful environment. Oh well, lesson learned. I should have just kept my mouth shut in the first place and just found different employment...onward and upward, I suppose.
Aug 4, '11
Sounds like retaliation..... you can file a EEOC complaint.
Aug 4, '11
I'd be keeping my own personal notes too, not about patients but about people you have went to regarding this issue and their responses. Time and date EVERYTHING. If you decide to stay there this could save your license. Although, there are many other nursing jobs that I'd be hightailing it outta there!!
Aug 7, '11
They are right, you can file an unfair termination lawsuit. However, it is time consuming, so if you don't choose to fight it, then onward and upward. Unfortunately it has been my experience that whoever rules the roost in a particular unit, gets things done their way, illegal or not. Sorry you had to go through this.
Aug 7, '11
Thanks again for the advice. I'm looking into a few things and see where I stand with the EEOC. And you're right...it is time consuming! Not only the forms that need to be filled out, but also keeping track of all the dates and times!
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