Quote from Meerkat
OK, so last night I'm on the Peds unit (I'm a floater) and there is this little hellion wreaking havoc on the floor. Typically I don't think much about taking one by the hand to help one back to one's room, or doing an assessment with the door open, BUT...
I hear [I]thru the grapevine[I] that this kid has made allegations about staff members, male and female, sexually and physically abusing her, there is a lawsuit going on,etc and before you know it, you can be looking at child molestation charges with this one.
So just by happenstance I hear that there is a 'hands off' policy and NO ONE is to go into the patient's room alone. This is AFTER I've already done a nursing assess in the treatment room, with door closed for privacy (she's a teenager).
I'm pretty p*ssed about this. What's with letting this info get passed down via Whisper Down The Lane? What can I do now to protect myself?
What horrible treatment of a floating nurse. Obviously, the charge nurse and off-going nurse should have informed you of this situation. Secondly, no nurse floating to ANY unit should EVER be given the "problem" patients. It's a cop-out and amounts to "passing the buck." It's wrong to treat a fellow professional this way, especially when you were there to help them out!
As for protecting yourself, start out by making sure your nurse's notes are clear and complete. While the shift is still fresh in your mind, write notes of all of your encounters with the patient, using your nurse's notes as guidelines, if necessary. Keep a list of all staff members and visitors present that shift. If you don't remember names of visitors, write descriptions of them. Keep these personal notes in a sealed envelope in a safe place at home, and mention them to no one. Write up an incident report, and keep a copy of it for yourself, if at all possible. Then request a meeting with your nurse manager, the nurse manager and charge nurse of the floor to which you floated, and the hospital risk manager, and let them know that you will never again accept an inappropriate float assignment or any assignment for which you have not received a full report.
Stick to your guns!