Getting a bad reputation at work

  1. Within the past month, one person has been fired, and another given a leave of absence because of documentation that I provided to two different nurse managers. In the first incident, I was pulled to another floor, and found a serious med error (KCL given instead of Kayexalate). I wrote the girl up who had made the error, and she was terminated because it was simply the last in a long list of similar errors. I went to the manager in ICU with two other staff members about one of the nurses who was being verbally abusive with patients. He was given an indefinite leave of absence. I do not feel any responsibility for what happened to these nurses. Both were seriously compromising patient care, and were responsible for their own actions. However, now some of my co workers are telling me they don't trust me, and that they think I will be watching them, waiting for them to make a mistake so I can write them up too. I've also been warned that I better "watch my step," because there are a few people who will be waiting for me to make a mistake so they can write me up. I am very surprised at the response I am getting from people I have worked with for years. Some of these same people complained about the nurse who was abusive, but did not want to take it to our manager. Are we as nurses starting to get the attitude that it is OK to protect those who provide poor care?
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  2. 21 Comments

  3. by   Huganurse
    Oh dear! I have to say I'm glad I'm not in your shoes right now. You did exactly what you should have done. You were right in both cases to report and write up the incident. I'm sure you can sleep at night with your decisions b/c they were right. Think of how'd you'd feel if a patient died the next day b/c that nurse made another error and you knew that she'd given the wrong med before but you didn't say anything. We are responsible to be prudent when it comes to these things. I think I'd mention the mobbing and lynching to my boss. You are being threatened and don't deserve it! Be prepared to be written up for minor things by your coworkers. Be proactive, if you let the boss know ahead of time what's going on, then they will know what's up when the reports come in. In the mean time you could discuss with your long term coworkers what really happened and that you are not out to get anyone, only there to protect the patients.
  4. by   RNPD
    I hate to write people up. For the incidents you related, however, I would have done so also.

    I ask myself 1) is it serious (did it have the potential to cause serious harm, or did it cause harm?). 2) If it is not serious and I correct it and someone reviews the chart, will it appear as if I tried to cover up an error?

    if the answer to either is yes I report it.

    I am sorry that your colleagues feel this way. it is unfortunate that you happened to be the final straw for serious repercussions for these nurses, but obviously you did the right thing.

    Continue to practice ethically. Be helpful and friendly to your colleaugues. I think it will blow over.
  5. by   Sleepyeyes
    Develop a thick skin. Protect the patients, no matter what. Do that again if you have to....but do it quieter next time.
  6. by   mattsmom81
    I'll bet they are just a little nervous and feeling a bit guilty about the consequences to these 2 nurses...People are funny aren't they?

    I always feel bad when a nurse is reprimanded too....I know how hard our job is...but sometimes it is out of our control...we HAVE to report these things or we bear responsibility as well.

    I'm sorry they are getting snippy and hope 'this too shall pass'.
  7. by   RNinICU
    RNPD, I usually use the same criteria for writing people up. I don't like to do it, and don't do it for minor things, but I WILL NOT compromise patient care in any way. There are others in my unit who write people up more frequently than I do, it just happened that these two cases occurred within a very short time frame, and had more serious consequences. I'm sure it will blow over eventually, but in the meantime, my manager knows the situation. I am not worried about a few others writing me up for minor things, I was just surprised, and maybe a little hurt that people I consider my friends would react the way they did. This too shall pass.
    Last edit by RNinICU on Jun 21, '02
  8. by   Brownms46
    Think of it this way. NOW ...you know where you really stand! I agree with what you did, and I would have done the same thing also. I had a CNA tell me the wrong BS, and I gave coverage to the wrong pt!!! The pt who got it...shouldn't have, and the who should have didn't. I would have never even question the results because both Uncon DM on Mod SS. How I discovered it was, she had not written another pt.'s BS on his flow sheet, or told me how much it was. So I thought I'm just get her "brains", get the results and put it down myself. I was stunned to say the least...when i happen to look on this paper...and see the error on the other pt!!! I really hated to write her up, and I even tried to talk myself out of. I went to talk with another nurse in private about. After telling me what I already knew...she told me...YOU knew the answer even before you askedme! Yep...and did as I have no choice too! After that ..when ever she was on..I did my own!!
    Last edit by Brownms46 on Jun 21, '02
  9. by   SmilingBluEyes
    I hate to write others up.... And I sure do hate BEING written up. But worse would be having realized a patient was harmed or killed by my actions (or inactions). I really would rather be written up and learn from any mistake I make than go on to do it again and harm someone or myself. We are human, we can only learn from these "write-ups" .... Also we are doing a big CYA to note these mistakes and address them in writing than to let them go and maybe face something worse later on.

    I feel for you having to do this but you are DOING THE RIGHT THING, don't doubt it! Take care!
  10. by   kewlnurse
    The right thing to do isn't alwasy the easy thing to do. I owld have written up the kcl incident, but the verbally abusive one would of gotten a verbal B#$%$#Slap.
  11. by   RNinICU
    The verbally abusive nurse was not an isolated incident either. This has been an ongoing problem with this particular staff member, and we had a lot of documentation. I had confronted him in the past, as had several others. He had been suspended for this behavior a few months ago. The full details are in the thread "When nurses are mean to patients." Sorry, I don't know how to put the link in.
  12. by   Level2Trauma
    Like I have said before....nothing like being united to improve our profession. Better yet though...let's backstab and nit-pick.
  13. by   Nurse Ratched
    Our incident reporting is a joke. The reports are on the computer now, and they are *SO* time-consuming to fill out that something has to be pretty bad before it gets reported through the official channel. I have written myself up more than other people!

    You did right; and even if you told no one about it, I'm afraid the rumors would travel from the terminated employees. I'm proud of you for being an advocate for quality care.

    Pure case-specific patient safety aside, I do also think that we need to report incidents because management really has no concept of the risks to patient care caused by pt overload, understaffing and ridiculous overtime hours. We actually had a clinical director proudly report recently that there had only been two med errors in the entire dept in the previous quarter (another nurse and I laughed - we had each written ourselves up for giving wrong doses - darn us - if we hadn't done that the unit would had been perfect! The amazing part is, if the mgt doesn't hear about it, the really don't think it exists.
  14. by   Rustyhammer
    Management doesn't REALLY want to hear about it in the first place (thus the long time consuming report). If they HEAR about it then they have to DO something about it. I would much rather hear someone realize they made a mistake and KNOW what they would do different next time than go through all the B.S. and hard feelings of a write up.
    Of course if it is a case of actual pt. harm then we have to do what we have to do, no?
    -Russell

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