Patient Confidentiality

  1. Very often a lot of the CNAS I work with talk about pts openly(in the coffee shop, elevator EVERYWHERE.) I was doing a one to one observation the other day and this girl shouts across the coffee shop to me, " How is your one to one...what room is she in...why is she a one to one"? I just pretty much evaded her but it bugs the hell out of me. I don't want to be guilty by association just because my coworkers have big mouths and are nosy. And it happens frequently. How do I approach this without sounding like a *****?
    •  
  2. 21 Comments

  3. by   Rena RN 2003
    calmly tell them that you can't share that information out of respect and legality to the patient. if they would like, they may speak to the nurse with any concerns they have about anyone that may or may not be in your facility.

    you're gonna make some mad but like my mother always said "you don't go to work to make friends. you go to work to work." and that means putting yours and your patients rights and safety above all else.


    best of luck!
  4. by   Gator,SN
    I agree with what Rena said!

    There is no excuse for this type of behavior! EVER!
  5. by   live4today
    Originally posted by Rena RN 2003
    calmly tell them that you can't share that information out of respect and legality to the patient. if they would like, they may speak to the nurse with any concerns they have about anyone that may or may not be in your facility.

    you're gonna make some mad but like my mother always said "you don't go to work to make friends. you go to work to work." and that means putting yours and your patients rights and safety above all else.


    best of luck!
    Rena......excellent response! :kiss
  6. by   psychonurse
    I agree totally with the responses so far.....that is none of thier business. I would also get them alone and ask them, would you like your medical diagnosises shouted across the cafeteria area??? If that doesn't work I don't know what will. Some people don't have any consideration for other people.
  7. by   dhenceroth
    Tell your friends and co-workers that President Bush just signed the final Privacy Regs under HIPAA. Breach of confidentiality can result in hefty fines and even jail time against individuals!!
  8. by   KarafromPhilly
    And tell them, too, that you never know who is listening when you talk about patients in a public place. How would one of them like to find out that the CNAs all agree, loudly and in public, that THEIR family member will be dead by morning, or is obnoxious, or whatever? NOT NICE. :angryfire:
  9. by   Tookie
    we have all just had to sign confidentiality / privacy agreements at our work - think its pretty well every where - so it should be
    As the above poster said Breaking confidentiality - Not nice
  10. by   pebbles
    I think it is really sad that this falls under one of those peer pressure categories - I get the feeling that the original poster would not be respected if she said to her co-workers that they should mind their p's and q's.... We remind each other of this all the time in my facility, because in spite of out venting and stress-relief giggling in the med room and conference room, we DO care about issues like confidentiality.
  11. by   Anaclaire
    I have two thoughts on the subject:

    First, you can approach the person when no one except the two of you are together and say something like, "You know I enjoy working with you an awful lot and because I care about you I want to be sure you understand the importance of patient confidentiality... it's against the law, and, we can very easily loose our jobs, if we speak out loud about a patient in front of people who have nothing to do with a patient's care. I just wanted to be sure you knew how important this is." Honestly, some folks aren't taught the importance of patient confidentiality as much as others are...

    Second, the post by Sandra M. Took got me to thinking... maybe you could quietly let your manager know about the apparently widespreading problem and suggest that she/he come up with a new "Patient Confidentiality Agreement" for everyone to review and sign. Maybe during the next department meeting the issue could be discussed like it's a yearly routine thing or something like that so as not to embarrass anyone. It's not a bad idea to remind folks of such important issues on a regular basis...

    Good luck!
  12. by   Love-A-Nurse
    flo, this is one of the main reasons i like to eat lunch alone. the other being, i really want this time to relax and enjoy my meal.
  13. by   chicory
    This thread led to me think of another confidentiality situation:
    when a patient asks "what's wrong with the poor woman next door ?" --Or some similar question. I'ts amazing how often people ask--I always tell them.."I'm sorry, but I have to respect their confidentiality, I can't discuss other patients."
    ...Also, please be careful what you say about patients..when my mother was very ill w/metastatic breast cancer we were in the ER when she broke her hip...some staff members were talking about her appearance (very mean--she was swollen from steroids and mostly bald) without realizing my father was standing next to them and heard every word.
  14. by   Flo1216
    I like to eat lunch alone too, but people always invite themselves to sit with me. But that is another issue.

close