Scary Career Wrecker?

  1. As I was happily driving down the highway, to start enjoying my shopping day, my cell phone rang, and it was the office.

    The weekend nurse asked me if I called in a narcotic painkiller, #150 with 1 refill for a patient. Of COURSE not!

    I don't know how it is in other states, but in Florida, you can leave a refill order on the pharmacy voicemail. I quit doing this about 9 months ago because there's always a mixup, or they miss the order. These days I always ask to speak directly to the Pharmacist.

    Apparently, someone identified themselves as me, from the office of the doctor I work for, and called in this ridiculous order!

    My mind is racing.

    The most likely circumstance is that since this patient knew my name, he got a female cohort to make the call, thinking all the pieces fit together (after all, there is a Sara at Dr. B's office) - except for the sheer number of pills.

    However, as I write this, I'm watching my driveway for a police cruiser to show up and begin to investigate if I am a personal friend of this guy, and we have some kind of black market drug ring going on!

    Has anyone else faced this?
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  2. 21 Comments

  3. by   skipaway
    That's very disturbing. I'd get a lawyer to help me figure out how to deal with this. Establish your alibis. I wish you well.
  4. by   theofficegirl
    Quote from skipaway
    That's very disturbing. I'd get a lawyer to help me figure out how to deal with this. Establish your alibis. I wish you well.
    Ah yes - that's the part that looks really bad. I'm not usually calling in scripts! Yesterday was my first time (at this clinic) since the supervisor who usually makes calls went home ill!
  5. by   The Bell Jar
    would it help to have the phone number the call was made from traced?
  6. by   oramar
    If they still have the voice message it should not be to difficult to prove it wasn't you. Just like hand writting the experts can tell. Of course most likely the expense of hiring the expert would fall on you.
  7. by   stillpressingon
    oramar - this is completely off topic - where'd you find your siggy? It's great!
  8. by   Daytonite
    I would think that the fact that as a routine you DO NOT call in refills and leave them on pharmacy voice mail and ALWAYS ask to speak with a pharmacist is going to work in your favor here. The problem, I think, is not yours, but with the pharmacy. The pharmacist is the one taking the risk by taking any prescription order or refill order over the telephone for the very reason that you can never know who is at the other end of the phone. How anyone in the world could possibly think they could begin to make you responsible for the illegal acts of someone else who is probably going to be unidentified forever is ludicrous. There are three pharmacists in my family. They tell me that what should happen is that the pharmacist should have called the office to verify the refill (which it sounds like they did) and then refuse to fill it. The pharmacist can report the fraudulent call to the police. If they saved the recording I would think it is quite easy for a forensic technologist to perform a voice match (or non-match in your case) very easily if anyone wanted to pursue a criminal case on this. Probably the worst that is going to happen is the pharmacy is going to refuse service to this patient in the future and your doctor should begin the process to terminate his care of this patient since this was a deliberate act of fraud using the good name and reputation of one of his nurses (you!).

    Have fun shopping and forget about this!
  9. by   theofficegirl
    Thank you all for your replies... I really appreciate it!

    Quote from Daytonite
    I would think that the fact that as a routine you DO NOT call in refills and leave them on pharmacy voice mail and ALWAYS ask to speak with a pharmacist is going to work in your favor here. The problem, I think, is not yours, but with the pharmacy. The pharmacist is the one taking the risk by taking any prescription order or refill order over the telephone for the very reason that you can never know who is at the other end of the phone. How anyone in the world could possibly think they could begin to make you responsible for the illegal acts of someone else who is probably going to be unidentified forever is ludicrous.
    The only thing that concerns me is that it is not the clinic policy to only talk to a human, but it is my personal policy. No one else has any way of knowing that I refuse to leave voicemails for a pharmacy.

    There are three pharmacists in my family. They tell me that what should happen is that the pharmacist should have called the office to verify the refill (which it sounds like they did) and then refuse to fill it.
    The pharmacy indeed called the office today, and this is how I was alerted. The nurse cancelled the order and called me about it.

    The pharmacist can report the fraudulent call to the police. If they saved the recording I would think it is quite easy for a forensic technologist to perform a voice match (or non-match in your case) very easily if anyone wanted to pursue a criminal case on this. Probably the worst that is going to happen is the pharmacy is going to refuse service to this patient in the future and your doctor should begin the process to terminate his care of this patient since this was a deliberate act of fraud using the good name and reputation of one of his nurses (you!).
    Thank you for the kind words! I'm sure our office will refuse this patient any narcotics in the future, though I'm not sure how the pharmacies treat this type of problem.

    Have fun shopping and forget about this!
    Ok, I got as far as the first store, but was too unnerved to continue. I will take your advice tomorrow!
  10. by   nurseangel47
    Poor thing! I, too, would've been unnerved and unable to enjoy my shopping. Please try to unwind tonight. Put it out of your mind and enjoy tomorrow shopping! The other posters have offered wise advice. Take 'em up on it! Good luck! :angel2:
  11. by   Morgan314
    This has happened to me twice. The first time, the pharmacist called me and told me someone had called in an order (left on voice mail) for Valium, but because I call this particular pharmacy daily, the pharmacist knew it was not my voice. When I call in orders, I am consistent with my method, plus there is a little tag phrase I always say at the end of my voice mail messages, and the person calling would not know this, of course, and did not say it. I went to the pharmacy to listen to the tape, and it was soooo obvious that the person did not know the proper way to call in an order. The pharmacy knew it was not me and never filled the order. Neither the pharmacist nor I recognized the voice, but I later leaned it was the patient's sister.
    The second time it happened, a pharmacist called me AT HOME on a Saturday morning asking if I had just called in a Valium order for [patient]. Because I call this pharmacy daily and have had my own prescriptions filled there, they had my phone number. I told the pharmacist that I had not called in any order, and he laughed saying he knew it was not me calling, and knew our office was closed on Saturdays. He said the police would be waiting for the caller when she came in to ask for the prescription. But, neither pharmacist was willing to press charges because they couldn't afford to spend an entire day in court.
    It was the same person on both occasions. Calling in prescriptions was not her only hobby. After she got out of prison for armed robbery and returned to our clinic for services, I confronted her about calling in prescriptions in my name, and she apologized.
    I don't think either one of these pharmacists know what my face looks like, but because of frequent calls back and forth, they know my voice, and in these 2 incidents, the medications were not filled, but it makes me wonder if (or how many other times) prescriptions have been called in to pharmacies that I do not frequently call by someone using my name and the order is filled and never questioned.
  12. by   LovebugLPN
    I was working for a group of doctors and received a call from a pharmacy asking me to clarify an order for a pain killer that was left on there voicemail by me. I explained we never leave messages on voicemail for refills and this patient was not authorized for refills. I assumed it was a mistake and continued with my day. I recieved a call while I was at lunch and a nurse asked me to return the call to a police officer. I was sweating bullets and explained what had happened that day. He said he was on his way over to take a statement. I looked in chart and realized an employee was on emergency contact. I let officer know that and employee admitted it was her who did it. She was an MA and has no license to lose. I was angry, to say the least, that someone would put my hard earned license on the line to be questioned. This MA got away with nothing except losing her job.
    I am sorry this happened to you. I know it can be very scary.
  13. by   SuesquatchRN
    I don't see any reason to worry that you're in trouble. They flagged it as suspicious, called you, and you confirmed that it was, indeed, a bogus call.

    Stop worrying.
  14. by   theofficegirl
    Thanks all... I will try to stop worrying, and I really can't do anything or know anything until Monday.

    Lovebug - I am the MA in this case. I suppose my biggest fear is that my lack of a license makes me all the more disposable. I am sorry you had to go through this too, with the added insult of a dishonest assistant.

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