If you don't want to lose it, then don't bring it to the hospital....

  1. i really want to tell patients and families that if they have something that is very special to them such a piece of jewelry, rosary, or any other item that has monetary and/or sentimental value, leave it at home, for crying out loud!! one of our elderly patients has lost something that has sentimental value to it and now the family and patient are upset with the hospital staff. i try to tell families and patients at admission to take that stuff home or lock it into our hospital safe, not to leave it in the room. i doubt if someone ripped this off. i think the pt laid this item down on the bed on the bedside table and it fell off and got swept away. or it went it got tangled up in the sheets and was sent to laundry...i never saw this item. i just had this patient this weekend and the pt did not have the item at that time....what a mess...i barely have enough time to take care of my patients without having to spend time looking for stuff that shouldn't have been with the patient anyway!
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  2. 21 Comments

  3. by   Q.
    That happened to me. I once took care of a labor patient and then after delivery, helped to transfer her to her postpartum room. About 1 week after discharge, she called our unit and stated that she handed her silver Gucci watch to me to transport and never gave it back. (Funny, I have a silver Gucci watch of my own!)

    I told my manager the patient never handed me her watch and never would I have accepted to transport it. We usually allow the patients to pack up their belongings and load them on a cart and walk about 150 feet to her new room. Anyway, it was a major deal and it almost seemed like my manager didn't believe me.

    Also, when patients are admitted we take an inventory of personal/valuable items, and her Gucci watch wasn't listed.
  4. by   emily_mom
    I agree. I had a pt that accused me of stealing $1000 he had tucked under his bed. Of course on the personal items form that he signed, no money was listed! I don't know what I did to p*ss him off that he would accuse me. I had only gone in to take his vitals and this was the first (and last) morning I had had him on my clinical rotation. For one, if I had stolen the money, don't ya think I would have went home "sick" from clinical and beelined for the mall?

    I know no one thought I stole it (or that it even existed), but it still makes you uncomfortable...wondering...

    The next day he accused someone else of stealing his ring (also not claimed).

    Kristy
  5. by   tattooednursie
    no kidding!!! We don't have time to be serching for stuff. I have had to search for missing dentures before . . . those are valuble, but kind of a necessity too . . . I did not get anything accomplished that night! not even fining the dentures. they turned up 3 days later in another residnets room. then they were lost again!!! lol. Things that are not necessities need to stay at home.
  6. by   RainbowzLPN
    Makes me think of an older gentleman that was a pt on hte floor I work on. He'd been there abt a week already, & I was in helping a nurse do a procedure, & he was so grateful, he offered us $. We figured he was just thinking he had hte $, & said no, etc. Turns out, he goes in his pants pocket & pulls out a couple wads of bills!! Where the heck was this when they admitted him? LOL They ended up counting it & putting it in the safe, but it ended up being over $400!
  7. by   deespoohbear
    Oh, this item was listed on the valueable sheet, so we are basically screwed. I am not in any trouble, but it is frustrating.

    Yes, Mandi dentures are a necessity and are valueable. They can be replaced though, and usually don't have any sentimental value. I have a few pieces of jewelry that are not worth a whole lot monetary wise, but the sentimental value would not be able to be replaced. Stuff like necklaces, rings, expensive watches, earrings, etc that aren't necessary should left at home......
  8. by   suzannasue
    Oh how well I understand...take everything home, please...
    Had a victim from an MVA claim a few days after transfer from ICU to medical floor, that he had a key chain with an $18,00 diamond and emerald ring attached when he came into the ED...we were questioned in depth about this key chain...he was full of crap... his only belongings on admission were his clothes and his shoes...
    Cannot understand why folks bring large amount of money, credit cards, jewelry, sentimental belongings to hospital...usually there is either no family or the pts don't trust the family...
    Several years ago I had the opportunity to care for an elderly gentlman who was admitted with altered mental status...in his socks was several thousands of dollars...counted,recounted, witnessed, put in hospital safe...he had no family but a neighbor checked on him frequently...she said that he was a pack rat...his apartment was very cluttered....BUT she had worried about him frequently because one day he showed her the contents of his cigar box collection...within each box were gemstones...emeralds, rubies, sapphires, diamonds...loose stones mind you...she encouraged him to put them in a security box at the bank, but he told her liked looking at them...other cigar boxes held large amounts of cash in large bills...as she got to know him she noticed that his cigar box collection was shrinking in size...he said he really hadn't noticed. When it was determined that this man was incompetent to care for himself, he told us he had a son, gave his name...we conducted a seach through every known data base in the USA and also had an international search done...son didn't exist and according to the search, neither did our pt...so, our manager had the neighbor go to his apartment. and try to establish his identity and and to try to find a name of someone to contact in his family...she went in the presence of law enforcement officers and when she and they returned, they had found only documents with his stated name, but they also found reciepts from larger galleries of art from around the world where he ahd bought/sold major pieces of art....Monet, Van Gogh, Matisse, etc, etc... so, the galleries were contacted and by golly, they only knew him well but other than financial transactions they had no idea of wher he came from nor did they have a clue about his "profession"...wow...our imagination went wild...he was admitted to LTC eventually...I was realy glad that the money he had in his socks was ALL he had brought with him after hearing this intriguing story!!!!
  9. by   RNsweetie
    Some people just don't get it!
    What realy gets me is the nerve of some people to take advantage and try and get something from nothing.
  10. by   indynurse
    I once had a psycho husband who kept leaving his pillow in a lounge area we have on our unit. He would get mad whenever someone else using the lounge would use his pillow. It was a "very expensive buckwheat" pillow. Whatever.... Anyway, we kept telling him to take the pillow back to his wife's room, but he would never listen to us. On the day of discharge, he came to the nurse's station steaming because his pillow was missing from the lounge. Well, the "expensive pillow" was found in the cabinet in the lounge, but the pillowcase was missing. It was a white pillowcase and the housekeeper apparently thought it was one of our pillows and stripped the pillow and put the pillowcase in the laundry. (I don't even want to know how she thought she "cleaned" the pillow). He threw a huge fit because we lost his pillowcase. About a week later, I was getting some linens from the linen cart and came across a white pillowcase that did not belong to the hospital. Well, I called the pt's husband and told him we found the pillowcase and he could come pick it up at the nurse's station. After about six months, we finally sent the pillowcase down to our central lost and found.

    BTW, is it just my hospital or does it seem like the only items ever lost are "expensive, designer" items and never the K-Mart blue light special items.
  11. by   simao pt
    I've had a couple of stories concerning dentures, too. One was a patients' daughter that wrapped de denture in paper napkins, and put it on the bedside table. The next morning it wasn't there. Guess where it probably ended! But the daughter made a fuss when she arrived! It's always unpleasent. Putting valuable things looking like trash is not the best wy to keep them safe!

    The other was also a patients' son that just started yelling that his fathers' denture was gone. According to him, once we could calm in down, the denture had been put in the safe when the pt was operated. According to our papers it had been returned to another son( a daughter ). He said that was true, but that afterwards it was gone, and that his sister didn't know where it was now. It had been gone about three days, already! And now he just decided to yell! Well, i just asked him if he had searched right. "Sure i did" he replied. "I've looked everywhere, and my sister too". After a long time dealing with this person and with this subject i opened the bedside table. The ONLY thing that was in there was the damned denture!!! Needless to say he was extremely embaressed, but he DID NOT apologize for wasting my time!
    Sometimes i think the patients are easier to put up to than their relatives.
  12. by   BadBird
    I was admitting a new patient once and when I took a manual BP the cuff felt funny, I found a small tear and upon inventigating I found a partial denture plate !! I have no idea who the plate belonged to since several patients were in the room and discharged before this patient was admitted, Why am I the only one that finds weird shyt?
  13. by   Dr. Kate
    There are times when I wish we could strip them at the door and send everything home.
    And no one ever lost a set of dentures that didn't fit and weren't brand new. The ratty night gown always is a brand new Dior.

    The really unfortunate thing is that there are times when patient's are victimized. Four years ago we had a patient who had a ring on her finger (documented) and within two days it was gone, but the permanent indentation on her finger wasn't. You hate to admit it but those things do happen.
  14. by   oramar
    I to spent a lot of time figuring out which relative had the missing valuable. I deeply resented patients and family members who immediately started accusing the staff of stealing rings and watches. Usually the object ended up being with another family member. Once I even asked a family member to please in the future ask his brothers and sisters if they had something before casting accusations at the staff. On the other hand, I have worked with staff members were caught stealing from families and staff so I can see why people jump to conclusions. Once I had a young, with it patient who had just applied her makeup. Left it sitting on overbed stand for few minutes while she went in bathroom. When she came out it was gone. She said to me, "that is gross, stealing used makeup from a person in the hospital of all things". "Why in Gods name would anyone want a lipstick from a person they knew to be sick". I told you she was really with it. I said that I thought some people would just steal anything that was not nailed down.

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