Had an interesting situation that came up and thought I'd throw it out for discussion.
One of our staff RNs was found sitting in a chair and sleeping at the bedside of one of our ventilator patients at 7am. She tells me that the patient was very restless and they had been constantly watching him throughout the night shift because of the fear of him pulling his trach out. They found he would settle down when someone sat with him and held his hand (how basic can nursing care get?). So, periodically during the night different staff members sat at his bedside. The nurse in question says that at 5am she had caught up on all her charting and told her co-workers that she was going to sit down in the room with the patient. She sat down, took his hand and he immediately quieted down. She sat back and the next thing she knew someone was waking her and telling her it was 7am. She jumped up and worked on giving her 6am meds and ended up giving an oral report to the oncoming shift (we tape report).
A very serious decision has to be made here. This is a really excellent nurse and I'm afraid there will be no choice but to fire her and report her to the Board of Nursing. I understand that she did not intend to fall asleep and that she was helping the patient, but rules are rules, aren't they? How I wish this hadn't been reported. Our facility rules clearly state "no sleeping on the job". Our Human Resources Office and the Director of Nursing will make the final decision. What do you all think?
Quote from land64shark
Rules are rules, but there's got to be exceptions. If this ruins the career of an excellent nurse, I will need to rethink my decision about going to nursing school.
I agree. What happened to taking care of our own? Sure she really messed up and I'm sure she knows she did, but to fire her over seems very extreme for a first time offense. I'm thinking maybe a suspension and then a probation period? I think it is very extreme to fire her over this. The main reason being this could happen to anyone, and if say it wouldn't you're lying. We all work hard during a shift and if any of us were put in a quiet room with lights down after a long shift we may be nodding off as well.
Last edit by ckh23 on Oct 12, '05