Problem tech- she keeps telling pts she's a nurse.

  1. I've been working w/ a tech for about a year, who keeps telling pts that she is a nurse. When I first heard her do it (three times in one day). I spoke to her about it, documented everything, and gave the documentation to my NM and asst. NM. I thought the problem had been taken care of. Yesterday, however, another tech and an LPN told me that she is still telling pts that she is a nurse. Every day. Apparently, the only thing that has changed is that she no longer does it when I can hear her.

    This tech has a lot of experience and is exceptional in some areas of her work, and a total disaster in others.

    She and the NM have worked together for over ten years. The NM fired her for innappropriate behaviors in the past, but re-hired her just over a year ago. My NM is a very good boss in many ways, but seems to be blind when it comes to this tech.
    There is one other tech who is an extreme problem, and has recently been suspended. However, he is now back at work, and all the problems he causes are back.

    He has a total transformation in personality and behavior when the bosses are around. Thus, they seem to think he will work out just fine once he gets some experience. I totally disagree.

    Nurses, can you offer some advice, words of wisdom?
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  2. 17 Comments

  3. by   Alnamvet
    Quote from Hellllllo Nurse
    I've been working w/ a tech for about a year, who keeps telling pts that she is a nurse. When I first heard her do it (three times in one day). I spoke to her about it, documented everything, and gave the documentation to my NM and asst. NM. I thought the problem had been taken care of. Yesterday, however, another tech and an LPN told me that she is still telling pts that she is a nurse. Every day. Apparently, the only thing that has changed is that she no longer does it when I can hear her.

    This tech has a lot of experience and is exceptional in some areas of her work, and a total disaster in others.

    She and the NM have worked together for over ten years. The NM fired her for innappropriate behaviors in the past, but re-hired her just over a year ago. My NM is a very good boss in many ways, but seems to be blind when it comes to this tech.
    There is one other tech who is an extreme problem, and has recently been suspended. However, he is now back at work, and all the problems he causes are back.

    He has a total transformation in personality and behavior when the bosses are around. Thus, they seem to think he will work out just fine once he gets some experience. I totally disagree.

    Nurses, can you offer some advice, words of wisdom?
    Keep documenting...it is against state nursing laws to pass yourself off as anything but a RN or LPN...a simple call to the BON can fix this issue.
  4. by   purseOnalityRN
    hihi!

    i've been giving some thought to this thread... but i'm not so sure what a "tech" is? do you mean laboratory tech?
  5. by   Katnip
    A tech is a patient care technician. Something like a CNA.

    HelllloNurse!, I think I'd remind the NM that what this tech is doing is illegal and if she happens to do something or give advice that ultimately causes a patient harm, the lawyers will be crawling all over the place, and you have submitted previous documentation that this is a problem.

    I read about a year ago where a tech told a patient to take Pepto-Bismol. Patient was having severe electrolyte imbalances and the patient died.

    I had a tech (also introduced herself as a nurse) once when I was a student, told a patient who had pedal edema to stop drinking anything. Patient dehydrated. Luckily, we got her hydrated easily enough.

    The point is, a tech is a very valuable part of the team. They are NOT nurses, though and they cannot represent themselves as such.
  6. by   Nurse Ratched
    If she was on my team, I would make a point of, when introducing myself to my patients, saying, "I'm Ratched, I'll be your nurse this evening; X is the (CNA/tech/whatever) working with me tonight, and can also help you with some of your needs."

    And I would keep documenting and correct her on the spot if she did it in my earshot. The NM is an idiot if she knowingly lets this person continue with this behavior.
  7. by   gwenith
    Absolutely - one way is to ask the patients if she/he has been refering to him/herself as a nurse. Then I would confront him/her and suggest that if I find one more scrap of evidence that she/he was passing themselves off to be a nurse I will not bother with the nurse manager but go straight to the Board of Nursing and lay a formal complaint. Then ask if they are ashamed of being a technician. Reinforce that it is better to be yourself you can and will earn more trust that way. Sort of start out "hard" and end "soft".
  8. by   leslie :-D
    if you don't want to go to the BON yet, then go to the NM's supervisor...the ADON or DON. this is totally unacceptable and dangerous.
  9. by   lisaloulou
    Call the Board. This person is dangerous.
  10. by   Heidi Ogle
    I would do what ever it takes to make sure she stops this behavior what happens if she gives someone advice and they die. I have a child that is always sick due to use of steroids. I always take advice from the RN sometimes more because the doctor can be very busy.
  11. by   NRSKarenRN
    A. Keep documenting from the entire nursing unit staff--so it wont be just one persons word.

    B. Send copies of forms to ADON, HR, Risk management, hospital president even with letter re want to protect facility from legal risks.

    C. Do you have a compliance hotline? USE IT!
  12. by   Hellllllo Nurse
    Quote from NRSKarenRN
    A. Keep documenting from the entire nursing unit staff--so it wont be just one persons word.

    B. Send copies of forms to ADON, HR, Risk management, hospital president even with letter re want to protect facility from legal risks.

    C. Do you have a compliance hotline? USE IT!
    I work at a special services clinic. The NM is the top dog of the whole thing.

    I only wish we had a compliance hotline, HR, risk mgmt., etc!
  13. by   NRSKarenRN
    Who is OWNER of this special services clinic....contact them.
  14. by   gypsyatheart
    Quote from NRSKarenRN
    Who is OWNER of this special services clinic....contact them.
    EXACTLY! This is my thought...someone is over the NM. I would go straight to the top, plus, like another poster said, I would set this tech straight. One more incident and you won't bother w/NM, you'll go over her head and to the BON. If this tech wants to risk losing their job, so be it...
    We have too much to worry about without a non-licensed person mis-representing themself!

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