Shell shocked. Worked last night, they called today and asked me to come in today early. Administrator there plus managers, still befuddled. I gave an Ambien to a patient at 2100, I remember pulling them out, snapping one off, shutting the drawer. Apparently the rest of the pack is missing now, drawer is empty. We have the Pyxis system with fingerprints, they say I was the last one to access, no other nurse, no techs, they've searched everywhere, floor, trash, shredder.
They were nice about it but I'm placed on leave and they're "going to call me" it's implied that if the 8 Ambien don't turn up I'm fired. I would think someone diverting meds wouldn't pull out all the meds, leave the drawer empty and carry them around for the whole shift and expect to come back the next night. But since I don't have any answers for them and the drugs aren't able to be found, I see their point. What can I do or say? I have no idea on earth what happened, I've worked there several years and I've never had a problem, this is my first nursing job.
I'm scared not only will I get fire I'll lose my license, what should I do?
Oct 26, '06
To answer some of your questions: I work in a specialty unit, not many patients are prescribed Ambien, maybe 5% -10% of our patients on any given night.
I do remember counting the tabs, putting the number in, snapping one off. I do not specifically remember putting them back or shutting the door, however I took other meds out at that same time for several patients so it's all a blur plus that was a very busy time of the evening. They told me they did search inside the machine itself, apparently this was all done today when I was sleeping.
I am willing to do a drug screen if that helps, they didn't ask and it didn't occur to me to offer. I got the idea that they seemed to assume I'd misplaced it rather than stolen it, they did a lot of searching around the unit, Pyxis, trashcan, shredder - but I can't imagine I would take out a whole sheet of tabs and not put them back.
Yes, the drawer has many narcotics in it but just a triangle is open the drawer seems to spin around inside and only show a large pocket shaped like a triangle pocket for the meds. However the cover can be lifted and all the meds in the pockets counted, we do that with the charge nurse when there is a discrepancy. It looks like a clock or a pie shape with twelve or so pockets. I've counted meds and put them back hundreds of times in those drawers and only once did I close the drawer with the meds still in my hand and noticed right away and had to reopen and place them back in. Where would I have put them? Or could someone else could have taken them somehow? Did they fall on the floor and another nurse or patient took them? I worked with four other RNs, two CNAs and one LPN last night and I can't imagine any of them taking my meds, I know and trust them all. One of our new day shift RNs was still there though, charting late, so that's 8 potential people I guess, I don't know her at all. Our Pyxis is in the nurse's station but the station is open to traffic and the hallway just a few feet away - and 2100 is a very busy time at the Pyxis and it's our only one on the floor. This is driving me insane.
Last edit by fe3 on Oct 26, '06