I usually post over in the student forum but thought I'd post this particular situation here...
For the past semester I've been taking a CNA class as part of a pre-requisiste to get into my nursing program
and have been doing clinicals at a LTC facility for about 8 weeks now. At any rate, last week I noticed that my patient had bruises on her arms while giving her a shower. I know older folks bruise more easily so I just filed away the bruises in the back of my memory. Later, when taking my pt to lunch, she started making statements that really raised my suspicions. She would say things like "you're not going to hit me are you?" "Where are we going?...are they going to hurt me?" "Please don't hurt me" etc... I of course told her that I would never hurt her and that she was safe with me. I then seated my pt in the dining room and immediately talked to my teacher about the bruises and the comments. After lunch, I went back to my pt to bring her back to her room to speak with my teacher. Upon speaking with my teacher my pt grabbed my hand an told my teacher that I was very good to her and that we were both the "nicest nurses in the hospital". She then told my teacher that "After you leave, they hurt me." I felt awful!!! She looked terrified and even asked my teacher not to tell anyone! My teacher explained that she had to report the incident by law and that she didn't have to worry everything would be O.K. We spoke with the nurse in charge reported our suspicion of abuse to her and she mentioned that yes, they were indeed investigaing the situation and even suspected a couple individuals. At this point, my teacher told me that she would also follow up with Administrator.
This week, my teacher pulled me aside and asked me if I'd be willing to report the incident to the administator and explained that I might be called to testify at a later date. I told her that I had no objections and would be happy to talk to administrator. In this meeting, we come to find that no one has reported suspicion of abuse to her and that this is the first she's heard of it! She took my name and phone number and asked me to write a brief written statement about what I found. It was at this point that I mentioned the name of a person who I felt my pt was most frightened of.
When all is said and done, I'm left hoping I made a difference but left with several questions...
As a student, did I do the right thing by writing my statement or is this something my teacher should have taken responsibility for? If this goes further...what should I expect? Also, if people were suspected of abusing the person, why were they still working at the facility in the first place? Why was the administrator not informed to this situation sooner? I just don't get it!!! I've never liked this facility but this is just too much!! I'm disgusted and appalled!!!! There's no excuse for this kind of behavior!!! ...
Anyway, thanks for letting my vent!!!