can an RN be charged with theft based on descrepancy in machine?

  1. I am a travel nurse and was taken aside and asked about descrepancies and told them I was having difficulty wasting cuz i would get pulled to different room before i had a chance or could not find a willing witness. I work in fast paced cath lab and squirt in sink-always. has anyone ever been charged? im there 6 days a week and get these drugs on my skin and we know they can be absorbed.I was shocked since they liked my work...
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  2. 12 Comments

  3. by   loriangel14
    It could be a possibility if they wanted to pursue it.

    More importantly you need to stop doing unwitnessed wastes.You could be putting yourself and your license in jeopardy if you haven't already. I know it's a pain trying to find someone on a busy floor but it's a risk you shouldn't be taking.If you can't prove where the drugs are going they could hold you responsible. It doesn't matter if they "like your work". Missing drugs are missing drugs.I worked with a nurse that was accused of diverting and she lost her license.
    Last edit by loriangel14 on Nov 19, '13
  4. by   imintrouble
    We had a nurse who was diverting and was charged with theft.
    It didn't go to trial, so I don't know how much time was spent in jail.
    Just because you're not doing anything wrong, doesn't mean you can't get in trouble.
    Find another nurse to waste every single time.
  5. by   jessi1106
    Just like others have said....find a waster. Every time.
  6. by   Esme12
    I worked cath lab and it is important to always find someone to waste......even if it is done after the case. I am unsure how you would get drugs on your skin, through all the lead and clothing worn, and certainly not enough to test positive on a drug screen.

    We cannot offer legal advice as per the Terms of Service. If you have concerns I would contact your malpractice carrier, let them know, and ask them what you should do.

    To answer your question.....yes they can file criminal charges.
  7. by   meandragonbrett
    No excuse for not getting somebody to witness your waste. That's really a basic expectation and not something out of the ordinary.

    It's even more important as a traveler to make sure you waste scheduled drugs. That's the only excuse they need to cancel your contract and send you packing.
  8. by   xoemmylouox
    You must have a witness every time.. I don't understand how you get medication on you all of the time. Are you worried you wouldn't pass a drug screen?
  9. by   Pepper The Cat
    Never getting your waste witnessed is a huge red flag.
    And how are you getting meds on your skin?
  10. by   HouTx
    Comply with the organizational policy. If you're appropriately gowned, gloved & goggled as required for the procedure, the only 'skin' that you could contaminate would be your face.... so I find that comment kinda strange.
  11. by   elkpark
    Anything that is signed out of the machine under your name and not otherwise accounted for is presumed to be in your possession. That's why witnessing and documenting waste is a big deal in the first place. If you're not following the established policies for wasting controlled meds, regardless of how busy the workplace may be, you are setting yourself up for big problems at some point; and, as a traveler, you are not someone the facility knows and trusts and might be inclined to extend the benefit of the doubt.
  12. by   not.done.yet
    The inner sense of tension and anxiety just reading your post makes me marvel that anyone would take that kind of a risk. Always have a witnessed waste. Always. And if you haven't, you have to be prepared that you may face charges, reporting and license discipline. Any time a waste is done without a witness a choice is being made on taking that chance. Every single time.

    I can't imagine how you would be getting the medication on your skin. That doesn't even make sense.
  13. by   monkeybug
    It's hard being a traveler. You are automatically on the outside, sometimes in very hostile territory. Rightly or wrongly, there is often an assumption that travelers are flakes and are out there hopping around the country because they are running from something. Honestly, think of some of the travelers you've met--this perception is founded in reality at least some of the time. If something comes up missing, you are going to be the first one suspected. And if there's something hinky with your documentation? Whoa baby. If you have to grab the manager for every waste, do it, but get a witness every single time. Simple as that. If you grab the manager enough, they're going to start to wonder why their staff won't take the time to do it.
  14. by   DidiRN
    OP, please seek out legal advice, per our Terms of Service we cannot offer it here. Thread closed.

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