Nurse Tech and first patient fall. Worried about being fired.

  1. I am a nursing student who has a job as a nurse tech. I've been on the job for four months. I'm on the float team and today I was assigned to a neuro medsurg floor. I had a patient who needed to use the restroom so I took her there and closed the door and let her have her privacy. I was called to another room so I told the patient to pull the call lift when she was done. I find out a few minutes later that she pulled the call light, a few seconds before she went to clean herself. As she cleaned herself, she tipped over, hit her head, and was on the floor. She was given Dilaudid 30m prior. They're taking her to do a CAT scan now. I now learned never to leave my bathroom patients alone. So now I have a couple questions.

    1. What will happen in regards to this?
    2. Will this fall go on my record?
    3. I really want to work at this hospital when I become an RN so will this affect my chances of being hired?
    4. The most important question: will I be fired?

    Thank you in advanced.

    Edit: patient was in her 20s
    Last edit by guyman123 on Oct 20, '13
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  2. 27 Comments

  3. by   loriangel14
    It's one fall. It will not affect your employment. Wow. If they fired everyone that had a patient fall then there would be no one working.Any time you leave a patient unattended you need to first make sure that it is safe to do so.If I am unfamiliar with the person I would not leave them unattended.
  4. by   Pepper The Cat
    Pts fall. It happens. Like loriangel said, if people got fired when a pt fell, there would be no one working!
  5. by   guyman123
    Ok, how about the fall going on my employee record or affecting my eligibility to be hired on as a nurse?
  6. by   proud nurse
    I doubt you will get fired or will hurt your chances of being hired. If this situation is handled the way it should be, all it will be is a learning experience and something you'll always remember to be cautious of.

    You will probably be harder on yourself about this than anyone.
  7. by   loriangel14
    It was an accident. Stuff happens.Just take it as a learning experience.I never leave someone unattended on the toilet if there is any question of confusion or poor balance.
  8. by   babyjRN
    Actually, the most important question is "Is the patient OK?" How did her scan turn out?

    Yes, anyone can make a mistake but why did you think it was ok to leave the patient alone in the bathroom? And on a neuro floor? Hopefully you learn from this and it has no consequences for you or the patient. We have all had patients fall. The question is....what did you learn from this?
  9. by   chrisrn24
    Many patients have fallen on "my watch." As long as the care plan was followed no one really gets in trouble.

    Now say the lady was care planned to "always have supervision on the toilet" or something then you may get talked to. But where would anyone even report it??
  10. by   Ruby Vee
    I'm concerned that the fears you expressed are all about yourself and your future. No concern about the fact that your actions may have allowed harm to come to a patient. While the fall itself probably won't endanger your future plans, it may be disasterous to your patient. I wouldn't hire you based on your lack of concern about that.
  11. by   guyman123
    Let's simmer down, ladies. Of course I was concerned with how she was and it was obviously implied. No hemorrhages were found in the CT. I definitely learned a lot from this experience. I did not know it was a neuro floor until after the incident. Anyways, the regular nurse tech there has told me that a lot of float techs and nurses try to avoid working on that floor due to amount of stress that comes with it. Today was the 20th fall this year, the third one this month, so it's very common on that unit.
  12. by   loriangel14
    How did you not know you were on a neuro floor? Did you ask if the pt was ok alone?
  13. by   Aurora77
    Quote from guyman123
    Anyways, the regular nurse tech there has told me that a lot of float techs and nurses try to avoid working on that floor due to amount of stress that comes with it. Today was the 20th fall this year, the third one this month, so it's very common on that unit.
    This concerns me more than anything. With this many falls, there are some major systemic issues on this floor. Yes, patients fall, it happens, but to have this many this consistently? Craziness. How long before there is a serious injury or death associated with a fall? Add to this, people not wanting to work the floor? It sounds like management really needs to step up and make things better.
  14. by   jadelpn
    Quote from Aurora77
    This concerns me more than anything. With this many falls, there are some major systemic issues on this floor. Yes, patients fall, it happens, but to have this many this consistently? Craziness. How long before there is a serious injury or death associated with a fall? Add to this, people not wanting to work the floor? It sounds like management really needs to step up and make things better.
    Like perhaps giving the techs a complete report on the patients they will be assisting for the shift.

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