Catch a nurse stealing meds/what to do?

  1. Okay, I have a upcoming ER interview and I just want to be prepared if and when they ask this question, what would you do if you caught a fellow nurse stealing medications? I am concerned with who I should notify first. Please help, I am a new grad
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  2. 11 Comments

  3. by   grammyr
    I have never had to deal with this but I would guess that you would notify your immediate supervisor, and pdq
  4. by   papawjohn
    Hey County

    25 year nurse here. You've gotta go to your manager. I assume this nurse is stealing Narcs, yes? Absolutely no question. You gotta explain to the right management person what's going on.

    If everybody is lucky, there is a way that rehabilitation can be arranged. If not, the Pt's whose pain med are being stolen will at least not be given saline from tomorrow on.

    Sad Story
    Papaw John
  5. by   tomrn33186
    Official Interview Answer = Tell your manager, EVERY TIME!!!

    Reality = Depends.

    Narcs. and meds. assigned specifically to a patient, I would tell the boss. On the other hand, a nurse takes a couple of motrin, not a big deal in my book. But that is just me.
  6. by   DutchgirlRN
    Report it immediately to the NM or Super. We are allowed to take Motrin, Pepcid, or any other med that is not prescription. We simply sign into the pyxis and override and give a reason. No questions asked. If we need a prescription drug. Say you forgot to take your BP med before you came to work, you call the pharmacy and they will bring the med to you free of charge. I'm sure someone could try to take advantage of our liberal med policy but so far other than those who have been fired for stealing narcotics I haven't heard of any problems encountered with nurses getting meds at work. I don't think anyone takes advantage and only very occasionally, if really needed, asks for anything from the pharmacy. The other thing is that our doctors are really good about letting us run over to their offices and picking up samples of anything that we need that day. The last time I went to one of the offices for a Diflucan, I was given a whole baggie full. Oh Joy!
    Last edit by DutchgirlRN on Oct 22, '05
  7. by   prmenrs
    It should be reported to Security as well. And don't be surprised if they come down hard and fast. (This has happened to me when I was a supervisor.) I believe Pharmacy has to do a report as well.
  8. by   BabyRN2Be
    Say that you will read the Policy and Procedure Manual and do exactly what it says. Usually that's informing the NM and whoever else the Manual says to report it to.
  9. by   Daytonite
    Old manager and supervisor here. The answer is that you tell your nursing manager if she is in the building. If not, you go to the phone and page the nursing supervisor, or the manager who is covering for your manager while she is absent, immediately and report what you saw. You will have to write up some sort of an incident report or a written account (statement) of what you saw. The supervisor or manager will want to isolate the nurse and do whatever the personnel policy is with regard to the conversion of or ingestion of controlled substances in order to obtain evidence of the person's wrongdoing. If you drag your feet on this and do not report it immediately, it is more difficult for management and administration to deal with this.
  10. by   KLPNNEW
    I am also a new grad as a LPN, and the answer to this was pounded into our heads in school for 14 months... Tell your immediate supervisor or NM they happened to be the one you seen tell the person above them each and every time.
  11. by   VICEDRN
    I would answer that you should be careful in how you answer this particular question. Rather than say "I would tell someone what I saw." which makes you sound like a judgmental tattletale, I would say, "I would inform the manager that the patient states they have received no pain medication but the Pyxis and/or chart reflect that medications were removed and given to the patient." or if you saw someone remove medications from the pyxis, I would say, "Inform the manager of a potential discrepancy in medication reconciliation records due to so and so's removal of an unordered medication."

    I would say be as specific as possible. Using words like "stealing" is fuel for a fire...
  12. by   Pixie.RN
    Just wanted to point out that this thread is from 2005 ... doesn't make it any less relevant today, but the OP probably won't read it.
  13. by   ImThatGuy
    Go to your supervisor unless of course it's your supervisor doing it which could very well happen. In that case, go to his/hers. I'd write it up and send a copy to personnel as well that way it becomes known and the supervisor can brush it off or cover for the other person in case they're buddies or happen to be working together. Then again I'm a suspicious person and have little trust in society anymore, lol.

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