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.
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  3. Visit  FranEMTnurse profile page

    About FranEMTnurse, LPN

    From 'PA'; 71 Years Old; Joined Jun '02; Posts: 12,042; Likes: 5,405.

    37 Comments so far...

  4. Visit  TakeOne profile page
    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. Visit  leslie :-D profile page
    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. Visit  classicdame profile page
    2
    so sorry this happened and hope you are better soon
  7. Visit  DeeAngel profile page
    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. Visit  caliotter3 profile page
    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. Visit  cherrybreeze profile page
    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. Visit  STK1982 profile page
    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. Visit  merlee profile page
    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. Visit  Jolie profile page
    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.
  13. Visit  TDCHIM profile page
    1
    I have a similar need for strong pain control, and I sympathize from the bottom of my heart (and the twisted wreck of my spine). I'm so sorry you're going through this. Is there no way your physician's office will replace the medication, given the circumstances and the police report? Will you be informed if the caregiver tests positive for your type of medication? I hope the police can turn up something so your pain can be adequately controlled again.

    I have a good safe for all of my meds and prescriptions - it took me a while to find one I thought was useful and appropriate. I bought mine with the thought that while right now the primary danger is my preschooler accidentally getting into my meds, as he and his friends get older someone could deliberately take them. Either possibility makes me feel ill. A safe isn't a panacea, but it's a good start.

    I am so, so sorry. I hope things are resolved quickly so that you can know what really happened and have access to your medication when you need it.
    FranEMTnurse likes this.
  14. Visit  FranEMTnurse profile page
    0
    Quote from TakeOne
    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?
    You are wrong. I put the refill in a different place, and told nobody about where I placed it. She was suspended pending the investigation, but I placed the refill in the new place a few days earlier, checking it just prior to the weekend, and that prescription was full. YOU DIDN'T READ MY MESSAGE CORRECTLY.
  15. Visit  FranEMTnurse profile page
    1
    Quote from Jolie
    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.
    I learned from the policeman that a doctor will only prescribe a full narcotic prescription twice and the third time it is a partial prescription. The reason being is that I am also suspected of abusing them. If it takes me longer than anticipated for that prescription to be refilled, then I will be allowed to go back on full prescriptions. I will be receiving the partial prescription Monday, the 20th.
    Jolie likes this.


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