Stop #@$%!* Thief!!! - page 2

This is one of the big headaches they never tell you about when you become a manager in a healthcare facility--what to do when residents' money and valuables go missing, and you come to the... Read More

  1. by   all4schwa
    the other nurse having the keys doesn't necessarily mean she stole it, it means either she did or she was negletful enough to leave the door unlocked so someone could get in there--wandering res or other staff. i knew of nurses where i worked to often leave the door open or ajar.
  2. by   lannisz
    Quote from BSNtobe2009
    If it were me, $50? I would let it go, several hundred? I would probably would have told the nurse manager that if the medic paid the money back within a couple of days, there wouldn't be any charges. But no money, no deal. That is ALOT of money.
    I disagree - it's not the amount of money or how valuable an item is that matters....it's the fact the someone is stealing from vulnerable patients who are under our care and/or from their coworkers. It shows a callousness that should not be tolerated. I have to agree with the poster who mentioned that stealing for drug money may be the real issue.
  3. by   Cree8ive1
    Okay, I'm not even a nurse yet, but my dad was in a nursing home before he passed away of complications from MS and it's sad that it has to come to this, but the facility he was in had like a "bank," where we, the family members, could deposit any spending money he needed. It wasn't much, maybe $50 or $25 at a time, but it allowed him to get a candy bar if he wanted to, or shop in the gift shop for a birthday gift for my mom, etc. There was also a safe on each floor for valuables like electronics, jewelry, etc., and the charge nurse was the only one with a key. When my dad would want his walkman or whatever out of the safe, he'd go find the charge nurse and ask her for it. Kind of adds even more to the already harried nurse's busy schedule, but at least the theft problems in the facility were dramatically reduced. I think cameras in the rooms are a great idea, too, or maybe small safes for each patient? I don't know. I was a patient in a hospital one time that had safes for each bed. You set your own combination so that no staff would know it. I guess that wouldn't work for some pts with dementia, but maybe for those cases, the combination could be set by the charge nurse and only used by him/her when the resident wanted their money, diamond earrings, etc.

    I guess all bets are off when you're dealing with dementia or non-ambulatory patients who are always going to need help getting into and out of the safe. Anyway, the whole thing is very disheartening...and I think that any employee who steals anything should be prosecuted, whether they stole a dollar or a hundred.

    It's sad and scary, though. Thieves who want to steal badly enough are also usually pretty good about finding their way around security measures. This saddens my heart.
  4. by   morte
    but....(the devil's advocate)....you say they could conceivable loose the money/property.....are we sure , that they did not?.....are we sure they were in possession of said money/property in the first place?....could it be their own family that is stealing/borrowing etc....good luck......ps putting cameras in patient rooms might not go over withe the rule makers,lol
  5. by   Mistysmoke
    My grandmother went to a ursing home to recover from a quad bypass. She was there for a few weeks. The week I was out visiting, we found that someone had gone through her purse and stolen $10.00. She was glad that she had had my aunt take her other money home previously, but, was ticked that someone stole from her. She wanted to leave right then and there. She didnt feel she could trust any of the people that worked there. That made it tough for her to have to stay there the rest of the time.

    My aunt reported it, but, I dont know that anything was done about it. My grandmother would leave her room for a bath, physical therapy, eating and on occasion she would go to an activity. After the theft, she left her room as little as possible.

    She is home now, but, the doctor asked her about going back to the home or assisted living and she said absolutely not. I know its not just because of the theft, but, it played a part.
  6. by   santhony44
    Sometimes the least likely person is the culprit.

    On one unit, we noticed money missing from staff purses, put in a supposedly safe place (no locker room with lockers!). Usually it was $10 or so at a time.

    Everyone was convinced that it was a particular clerk. She wasn't a real conscientious person, not too clean, parked in the handicapped space (had a sticker because of a family member) at work, etc etc. We were just sure it was her.

    I transferred out and ran into a former co-worker a while later. The culprit turned out the be the head unit clerk, a "wonderful" person everyone loved and trusted! One of the docs sent her to the ATM with his debit card to draw out cash for him (like I said, everyone trusted her) and she drew out "extra" and pocketed it. I guess she thought he wouldn't notice but he did.

    Not only was I really disappointed in her, I was disappointed in myself for assuming it was the other clerk.
  7. by   VivaLasViejas
    Lots of good ideas here, thanks to all who've posted so far.:spin:

    We had, indeed, considered whether the culprit could be one of our residents; we do have a number of rather confused folks who are ambulatory and have been known to take things that don't belong to them. However, each resident has his/her own apartment with a door that locks, and we don't have anyone who wanders into other residents' apartments by mistake........let alone finds wallets hidden in jacket pockets, or money belts stashed under beds.

    I'm all for setting up a "sting" operation with video cameras, but my boss and HIS boss both said "No"; we'll see what the police want to do. And frankly, I think some of you are right in that this person (or persons) may be doing this to get money for drugs or "partying"; a few of our staff are notorious bar-hoppers, and I'm not at all sure they're not into other stuff as well. Normally I don't give a rodent's rump what people do on their own time; it's only when it affects how they perform their duties while on the clock that I get upset. And THIS affects everybody---the residents who have been harmed, the staff members who are innocent, even the facility itself, whose reputation has been spotless ever since it opened in 2002. It stinks on ice, and I hope we catch this jerk SOON!!!

    Thanks for your support.
  8. by   vamedic4
    mjlrn97,
    I'm so sorry and disgusted to hear of your problem. I hope you guys catch this person(s) soon.
  9. by   DoubleblessedRN
    There are two things in this world that really piss me off: being talked about behind my back and being stolen from. During my 1st semester of nursing school, my Littman Classic II stethescope was stolen during a practical exam. I set it aside for a few moments and it was gone. (I know it's partially my fault for not keeping closer tabs on it) I am 99% sure I know who did it, but I had no proof and I couldn't just outright accuse her. :angryfire Anyhow, she ended up failing fundamentals and if she is the one who took it, she lost a helluva lot more money than I did! What goes around comes around.
  10. by   slou!
    I agree, what goes around comes around. So hopefully whoever is stealing will get what is coming to them..

    I am really sorry that you and your patients have to go through with this. I work in retail at a very well known store (I am a pre-nursing student.) and my position there is to count the money. This means that I will count anywhere from $20,000-$25,000 a day in cash. I could absolutely never even bring myself to take any of it. There are a lot of security measures, but they are pretty easy to get around. When money is missing from a cash register, I have to investigate why and find a potential theif. In a lot of cases it is just someone counting back the wrong change or not writing down a cash void. But some other times, I will actually SEE the person on camera stuffing $100 bills in their pockets! I mean come on, how STUID can you be?! There is a huge camera pointing at you at every register, and it's very hard to miss! One guy was a little smarter, he would ring up someone who wanted a gift card, then keep the gift card for himself and swap them with a blank one. He got fired, obviously. I just felt so bad for the people because think about it. You buy a gift card for someone else. You give the gift card to a person. Now that person is stuck with a blank gift card. They aren't going to call the person and ask why the gift card isn't working, you know? I don't know. I hate people who steal. I think if I weren't going to college for nursing, I would want to do loss prevention in retail or something along the lines of it. It is very interesting.

    Your situation is so much sadder because a lot of these people can't control it or stop them. It makes me mad when people steal at work, but it's not as bad because they are stealing from a major company worth millions and millions and $100 is NOTHING to them. These people, $100 is a lot. This really saddens me. I can't imagine stealing to begin with because it is never OK, but stealing from a patient?! Now I know you said you couldn't put up cameras (which would be a really good idea if you could!) but could you put up fake ones? Or lie and say you are installing cameras but never really do? I guess you couldn't lie though. Maybe just say you are probably installing cameras in the rooms during the week? You aren't lying because you said you might be and not definitely are, and you aren't actually installing them. Hm this is a really tough situation and I know it goes on a lot everywhere, it just makes me SO mad. Good luck and keep us posted, especially if you catch the theif!
  11. by   mamason
    Quote from mjlrn97
    Lots of good ideas here, thanks to all who've posted so far.:spin:

    We had, indeed, considered whether the culprit could be one of our residents; we do have a number of rather confused folks who are ambulatory and have been known to take things that don't belong to them. However, each resident has his/her own apartment with a door that locks, and we don't have anyone who wanders into other residents' apartments by mistake........let alone finds wallets hidden in jacket pockets, or money belts stashed under beds.

    I'm all for setting up a "sting" operation with video cameras, but my boss and HIS boss both said "No"; we'll see what the police want to do. And frankly, I think some of you are right in that this person (or persons) may be doing this to get money for drugs or "partying"; a few of our staff are notorious bar-hoppers, and I'm not at all sure they're not into other stuff as well. Normally I don't give a rodent's rump what people do on their own time; it's only when it affects how they perform their duties while on the clock that I get upset. And THIS affects everybody---the residents who have been harmed, the staff members who are innocent, even the facility itself, whose reputation has been spotless ever since it opened in 2002. It stinks on ice, and I hope we catch this jerk SOON!!!

    Thanks for your support.
    Don't worry, you'll catch 'em. Might not be today, but, you will. People who do these types of things...think that everyone around them are stupid. They get too smart for their own britches and eventually will let their guard down. They tend to get sloppy in their tactics. The key is to not let on that you are suspicious. You have to be sneekier than they are. Be quiet as a mouse and don't leak too much info. I've had some previous experience with bottom dwellers like these. They usually hang themselves because , well, they are pretty much idiots!:selfbonk:
  12. by   Antikigirl
    The facility I worked for locked up everyones money and residents signed it out when needed! This kept cash/credit/check safe! It was in a safe that only the uppermost managers had the combo to! Bummer was that they weren't there on weekends so residents may forget to get money out before the weekend and then we were in a pickel. (I had residents hide a spare check somewhere only they knew...of course they would forget and then I couldn't help them!).

    Also, if people had valuables like jewlery they didn't wear often...we had family take it or it too was put in the safe. Some of my residents had safes as well...and only a trusted family member or top management had the combination (again in our safe).

    It is sad that people take advantage of them, but at the same time...what is to stop a thief from coming in and doing it, or even robbing a house, car..etc out of a facility..nothing...normal younger folks get robbed too! So best to lock valuables up tightly...I do!

    ALSO big ALSO, never ever take money or valuables from a resident under any circumstance..not even to take it to a safe! I have upper management handle all of that so I don't touch a thing and can't be accused of something if a resident looses something and remembers only that the last person they saw was me!

    No no no...I got accused of stealing a ring once that way...just because I was the last person in that room the resident remembered...turns out management was hunting for it..and I simply said...ummmmm maybe look on her hand??? There it was!!!!!!!! Gotta watch for that! (I would never steal from someone...if I can't buy it or get it legally I don't need it is my moto!).

    Also...we had a rash of thefts, and after a long time we found it was a resident with OCD that was taking things and hiding them out of habit. Two people were wrongly accused and fired over this...

    It is a fine line, a hard line to find out whom and why...I know, I was the investigating nurse for questionable narc or med counts and had to find out why and whom may be either stealing them, or what happened!
  13. by   DutchgirlRN
    Marla, I'm sorry for the hassels (((((((HUGS))))))) to you. It's a d**m shame people can't keep their hands off of other peoples things. My only comfort when things like this happen is knowing that God knows and what goes around will definately come around. We may never know about it but it will happen. They will be punished.

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