Patient is a sex offender with a tracker on his ankle - page 4

When I received shift report for my very ill, bed-bound patient, the RN giving report pointed out the tracker affixed to his anklet. She had admitted him a few hours earlier and did not know the... Read More

  1. by   Wolf at the Door
    Yes, that is relevant information. I am glad she looked the person up. Not all the times are we informed of exactly what type of person we are dealing with. You need the information to keep YOURSELF/STAFF safe and visitors. Some nurses talk about their children and show pictures to patients. You don't want to set this person off on a sexual fantasy. I would document the tracker for sure.
  2. by   Emjay274
    Go ahead and put it in the cart, that way when he needs to request his medical records for something, he can see it and consult his attorney. He can then sue you, coworker and the hospital for violating his privacy.

    You guys have NO right to look up his legal history. If he was a danger to other patients, he would have a sheriff by the door. Also, you should hope nothing goes wrong during his stay there, or they may also accuse you of treating him differently after you and the coworker violated his privacy. You discussed it, so it's going to be your burden to prove you weren't the one checking on it.

    How in the world is this even something that's being questioned. He has a right to privacy from the people providing his medical care. His community control officer knows where he is, and if he was a risk, you would have been notified.

    You may want to notify your supervisor what your coworker did, because it can come back on you. Either tell her up front, or drop an anonymous note.
  3. by   Wolf at the Door
    Quote from Emjay274

    You guys have NO right to look up his legal history.
    If he was a danger to other patients, he would have a sheriff by the door. Also, you should hope nothing goes wrong during his stay there, or they may also accuse you of treating him differently after you and the coworker violated his privacy. You discussed it, so it's going to be your burden to prove you weren't the one checking on it.

    How in the world is this even something that's being questioned. He has a right to privacy from the people providing his medical care. His community control officer knows where he is, and if he was a risk, you would have been notified.

    You may want to notify your supervisor what your coworker did, because it can come back on you. Either tell her up front, or drop an anonymous note.
    Its public knowledge just like your nursing license is public information that can be used against you.
    You have no privacy once you are a convicted of a crime, you wear that wherever you go for life.
    Please tell the supervisor so that nurse can be praised for keeping everyone on the lookout. The bracelet has to be documented in case it causes skin breakdown.
    Last edit by Wolf at the Door on Jul 25
  4. by   MunoRN
    What you chart should be information relevant to his care and treatment, it would be worth communicating to the social worker or care manager for instance as it would affect discharge placement if necessary, but I wouldn't include it in other information. For instance, I wouldn't start my note with "Pt is a 58 year old pedophile admitted for urosepsis requiring 2 days of pressors and AKI requiring CRRT. If for some reason the patient pursued action against you and the hospital for inadequate care or treatment, that random mention of "pedophile" would be gold to an attorney. That would be all that would be necessary to make the claim that you had a negative bias against the patient.
  5. by   Kooky Korky
    Quote from RotorRunner
    That would be totally inappropriate.

    I'd advise your coworkers against "googling" patients in the future.
    They should do their googling at home, not at work.

    It is appropriate to inform the next nurse that a pt has an ankle bracelet and the reason for it, if known. For people who don't normally work with criminals, it can be shocking, so a "heads up" is not out of place. What's the big secret? Why should a nurse not be informed that she is caring for a pedophile or other criminal?

    The information is public information and it is public for a reason. This knowledge should not change the care a nurse gives a patient. Killers, robbers, thieves, rapists, etc. all deserve courtesy and proper care. But staff deserve to know who they're caring for so they can exercise due caution, not get hypnotized by or sucked in to the patient's views and not do favors for the pt that a nurse would not ordinarily do.

    A pedophile who is very ill bodily should receive correct care. He is also mentally ill, although some don't see it that way. What is it - The Man-Boy Love Association or something like that believes sex by adults with very young children is not only OK but correct and desirable and should not be criminal. Our public schools generally are pushing for young children to be aware of sexuality and gender issues, explore sexuality, embrace it, act upon it. So our society is quite different now than in the era in which some of us grew up. But this patient needs appropriate psychiatric care, too.

    No reason a nurse should not be made aware of who he or she is caring for.
  6. by   Kooky Korky
    Quote from Emjay274
    Go ahead and put it in the chart, that way when he needs to request his medical records for something, he can see it and consult his attorney. He can then sue you, coworker and the hospital for violating his privacy.

    You guys have NO right to look up his legal history. If he was a danger to other patients, he would have a sheriff by the door. Also, you should hope nothing goes wrong during his stay there, or they may also accuse you of treating him differently after you and the coworker violated his privacy. You discussed it, so it's going to be your burden to prove you weren't the one checking on it.

    How in the world is this even something that's being questioned. He has a right to privacy from the people providing his medical care. His community control officer knows where he is, and if he was a risk, you would have been notified.

    You may want to notify your supervisor what your coworker did, because it can come back on you. Either tell her up front, or drop an anonymous note.
    You are so trusting. The system doesn't always work nearly as efficiently as you seem to think it does. Don't you ever watch Law and Order or Blue Bloods? The Parole and Probation officers have so many cases, they get overloaded, they lose track of people, they go on leave and no one covers for them, etc.

    Legal history is public and they can look it up, but should not do it at work. Also, there is no need to write anything about crimes in the chart.
  7. by   Kooky Korky
    Quote from cardiacfreak
    When I worked acute care we had a contract with the local federal prison and the county jail. I never wanted to know what their charge was that way it wouldn't influence my care or how I treated the patient.
    But you knew you were dealing with convicts, inmates, prisoners, and the accused who were awaiting trial.

    That way you knew to take precautions - be courteous and give proper care, but don't share your personal biz with them, no favors (like mailing letters for them, making calls for them, shopping for them, running errands for them).

    Apparently, no one gave any information or instruction to OP and her coworkers, so they are freaked out about it. Shame on their managers.
  8. by   Kooky Korky
    Quote from TashaCaraballo
    As horrible as the information you have found out, no one should've google him (HIPPA). People get fired for things like that. Just do your best to treat him, the law will handle the rest.
    How is it a violation of HIPAA to look up criminal records? I do think the googling should have been done other than on the job.
  9. by   Kooky Korky
    Quote from FolksBtrippin
    Can he talk? I think it would have been appropriate to ask the patient "Do I need to know anything about your ankle bracelet?" and documenting anything he tells you. I would also assess for edema in the area.

    Documenting pedophilia in the chart is not appropriate. But a sex offender search is legal for anyone to do. I don't think it's necessarily helpful, but it's legal.

    Sex offenders are everywhere. You see them all the time and never know it. Why worry about the one who is bed bound?
    He might become ambulatory. LOL
  10. by   Wolf at the Door
    Quote from TashaCaraballo
    As horrible as the information you have found out, no one should've google him (HIPPA). People get fired for things like that. Just do your best to treat him, the law will handle the rest.
    Too funny. Please look up what HIPPA is before throwing it into a thread.
  11. by   msufan3710
    A criminal is still a patient. End of story.

    Edit: meaning that, unless they are in jail, it will not affect patient care.
    Last edit by msufan3710 on Jul 25 : Reason: clarification
  12. by   Julius Seizure
    Quote from Wolf at the Door
    Yes, that is relevant information. I am glad she looked the person up. Not all the times are we informed of exactly what type of person we are dealing with. You need the information to keep YOURSELF/STAFF safe and visitors. Some nurses talk about their children and show pictures to patients. You don't want to set this person off on a sexual fantasy. I would document the tracker for sure.
    This seems a bit dramatic. It has already been covered that his sex offender status could be just as easily related to something like public urination than molestation of a young child. Even so, its a little dramatic to act like at the mere mention of the existence of a school-aged child, this guy is going to be thrown into an uncontrollable (and bed-bound) fury of lust.
  13. by   Ruby Vee
    Quote from Kooky Korky
    But you knew you were dealing with convicts, inmates, prisoners, and the accused who were awaiting trial.

    That way you knew to take precautions - be courteous and give proper care, but don't share your personal biz with them, no favors (like mailing letters for them, making calls for them, shopping for them, running errands for them).

    Apparently, no one gave any information or instruction to OP and her coworkers, so they are freaked out about it. Shame on their managers.
    The OP doesn't need information; she needs instruction. I was a nurse long before Google, but we were taught that we didn't need to know the patient's legal status or the crime he was accused of. The guards were forbidden to tell us given the privacy policies of their facility. Since we had no way of looking things up, we just didn't know. We knew he was in custody, that's all. That's all we needed to know.

    Our shift to shift report included safety information such as "one of the guards has to be within three feet of him at all times and the other guard carries a gun," "he has ankle restraints -- if you're going to cardiovert on this shift, please get the guards to remove t hem first as they could cause burns," and "He is not allowed to have any visitors at all." There were other things, too, such as the patient wasn't allowed to consent for surgery, the incarcerating facility sent a representative to sign or not sign. In that sense, the patient had no right to privacy.

    I don't see how knowing the crime the patient has been accused or convicted of changes the nursing care at all -- except for allowing the unconscious biases of the nursing staff caring for the patient to influence his care. That's not a positive thing.

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