Ethical Issue -Missing Prescriptions

  1. 0
    I had a new caregiver for weekends. She seemed fine at first, and everything seemed fine.

    I have chronic pain, and I have to take medication to control that pain after I exhaust all other options like taking tylenol and distraction, heat or cold, etc. I had a new prescription filled in October. I placed it in a new place. When I needed the medication, I couldn't find it. I then thought that maybe I threw it away with my empty med bottles, or it fell and the cat rolled it under some furniture as I explained to my physician's nurse.

    I was given a new script that my regular caregiver picked up for me. I placed that new prescription in a completely different place without saying anything to anyone. When I needed a dose the bottle was in exactly the same place, and positioned the same way I left it, but it was completely empty. Then I knew, because I checked it just a couple days prior to needing it, and it was still okay. However, I needed some last Saturday night, and when I went to get a dose, discovered the bottle was completely empty.

    I called the police who have already interviewed me, and I reported it to my physician, and the agency. The weekend caregiver has been fired pending an investigation, and I'm without strong pain control for now.

  2. Enjoy this?

    Join thousands and get our weekly Nursing Insights newsletter with the hottest, discussions, articles, and toons.

  3. 37 Comments...

  4. 0
    And? I doubt that the weekend caregiver was "fired pending investigation." She was more likely suspended pending investigation. Meanwhile, you have put two fresh refills in places you don't usually keep them, lost one, then suddenly ended up with a totally empty bottle of a new refill in exactly the same spot and position as you left it, on a Saturday night, the day the weekend caregiver worked... And she emptied the bottle? Are you sure?
  5. 10
    i'm sorry this happened to you, fran.

    next time, either carry it on your person, or lock it in a safe.
    it stinks it has to come to that, but there are lots of hungry folks out there, who need/want their fix.

    this is unconscionable, but i'm not surprised.
    keep the faith, sweetie.

    leslie xo
  6. 2
    so sorry this happened and hope you are better soon
  7. 4
    I second the idea of a safe or a lockbox locked with a bike lock to an immovable object. Wear the key around your neck at all times and have a good friend/family hold onto the second key for you so it won't be in your house.

    I would also keep a count sheet in with the medications to further dissuade caregivers from stealing, it will just reinforce the idea that you mean serious business.

    I'm so sorry this happened to you, it shouldn't be this way.......
    sharpeimom, FranEMTnurse, ChristaRN, and 1 other like this.
  8. 0
    In reading your post it occurred to me that the regular caregiver could have been the one responsible. She knew about the new prescription. Either way, best to take the offered suggestions to keep future prescriptions secured.
  9. 2
    I am very sorry that this happened to you. I put nothing past anyone, anymore.

    Any scripts that I have, even though I live alone and rarely have company, get locked in a safe. It's a small one, and looks like a dictionary. Key is in another place. The locked safe even goes into a compartment in my TV stand that also locks. My nieces and nephews visit now and then, and I use that measure to keep them from finding them (on accident or God forbid on purpose).

    Maybe you could try a similar set up in the future?
    GrnTea and sharpeimom like this.
  10. 3
    It is very sad to hear that this happened to you. I find it appalling that your caregiver left you completely without your pain medication. I am a nurse in recovery, but even at the height of my addiction I never could have withheld medication from a patient in need of pain relief. Definitely consider a lock-box of some kind, and insist that the medication be counted in your presence with every administration. Good luck - I sincerely hope that you are able to manage your pain soon.
    sharpeimom, FranEMTnurse, and kellyc034 like this.
  11. 3
    So sorry to hear about this. Breaks my heart. It angers me that there are people who do this.

    No matter how you hide things, desperate people will find them,

    A locking device will be a hassle, but appropriate.

    Best wishes.
    sharpeimom, GooeyRN, and FranEMTnurse like this.
  12. 0
    I'm sorry to learn of your situation. I completely understand the need for caution in investigating the loss of these narcotics, but I don't understand why your physician wouldleave you without medication in the mean time. Is s/he not willing to prescribe 2-3 doses at a time until this is settled? To leave you without adequate pain relief is not acceptable.

Nursing Jobs in every specialty and state. Visit today and Create Job Alerts, Manage Your Resume, and Apply for Jobs.