Legal or NOT

  1. question for Nurses, california is the state,

    Is it legal for non licensed people to pass meds to minors in a juvenile detention center, after five pm and on weekends. On the thought that the juvenile gaurds are acting as parents, and so it is legal for parents to give children medication. I don't see how this is legal but it is happening. The RN does the initial assessment, and checks the meds, makes out the med sheets and then goes home at five and the guards pass the night meds and the weekend meds. Including narcotics. The narcotics are in a med cart that is NOT locked up. get that.

    Second problem is ....... children come to this juvenile detention center and sometimes bring their own meds. and 75 percent of them are on narcotic stimulants for their bad behavior. Then when the juvenile is released, the last thing on thier mind is to pick up their medications. So how does the county operated juvenile detention center dispose of their meds?????? well they throw the prescription bottle in the bottom drawer of the unlocked med cart and let them sit their for god knows how long. until someone decides to take them home or throw them away. How Can this be legal.

    So bottom line, this county juvenile hall place is letting unlicensed jail guards pass all medications including narcotics, then they literally leave the medcart unlocked because """ so many different people need to get into it and we only have one set of keys"""" Then they decide to keep all prescriptions, mostly narcotics, in the bottom of this unlocked med cart because they have no " proper way of disposing of them """" I do not see how this is illegal but please tell me your opinions.

    heres the good part.....

    this place has fired two RNs on two separate occasions, one being my friend. one RN was fired for unknown reasons, possibly med errors or missing medications. The other RN was fired for narcotics comming up missing?????? wow...
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  2. 11 Comments

  3. by   dlo
    legal or not??????
  4. by   chenoaspirit
    Hmmm, I dont know about your state, but in mine, it is NOT legal for non-licensed personnel to pass meds. It takes the knowledge of a medical trained professional to do so for obvious reasons. As far as them taking meds home with them...DEFINITELY NOT LEGAL. If the med-cart stays unlocked, what keeps the children from getting into them and overdosing? Doesnt sound like a place I would want my child!
  5. by   Kyrshamarks
    Remember that this place is not a hospital it is a JAIL and different rules appy here.
  6. by   dlo
    Are the rules and standards really that different. I mean prisoners are the only people in society that are intitled to health care. I know they are not accredited by JACHO but they do have to have some legalities in this system. Any correctional nurses around.
  7. by   funinsun
    Not a correctional nurse, but in juv.psych and that wouldn't be acceptable at any JCAHO accredited facility I'm sure..Are the people passing the meds like med techs? Even if a jail, you would think at least narcotics would have a special distinction..The RN being the only one with the license would/should be nervous if she's the only one with the license and the narcotics disappear even if it was a jail..
  8. by   bargainhound
    Same rules apply in a prison/jail as elsewhere.
    Nursing is nursing.
    BON rules apply.
    They are not following proper procedure.
  9. by   lovemyjob
    if their excuse is that it is not a medical facility, then why did the nurses gt fired for missing narcs.... not like they are following som,e sort of policy on who dispenses meds.
  10. by   Valanda
    I don't know about california laws, but I did work for a short time in a similar place in Illinois.

    They managed to "get around" requiring a nurse to pass meds because they didn't actually "pass meds". Each inmate had their own plastic shoebox with bottled meds in them locked up in the med room. When the inmate came to the desk for their meds, they were handed their shoebox. It was up to them to get their own meds out of each bottle as needed. Nobody really paid attention to whether they were taking their meds properly or not. Their concern was more to make sure that they didn't try to grab a handful or pocket some for possibly sharing with others. If an inmate had narcs, then they had special locked shoeboxes.

    It practically the same thing that our school system does with the children on medication. The schools here do not hire a nurse to dispense meds. The kids show up in the office when it's time for their meds. The receptionist hands them the whole bottle, the child is responsible for making sure that they take the correct amount out, and the office worker makes sure that no meds leave with the kid.

    They get away with this because they claim that it's actually self-dispensing -- the same as would be done in the home.
  11. by   GingerSue
    check with the Health Department? Minister of Health?
  12. by   TennRN2004
    Quote from lovemyjob
    if their excuse is that it is not a medical facility, then why did the nurses gt fired for missing narcs.... not like they are following som,e sort of policy on who dispenses meds.
    How can any nurse get fired for missing narcs in this situation anyway? There's too much access to the meds, I wonder if any of the guards got fired for the missing narcs since they have unlimited access to them.
  13. by   P_RN
    We can't give legal advice here as most of you already know. To the original poster it seems you need to call the California authorities either Corrections or Board of Nursing. Let's close this before it gets too complicated.

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