Clinical instructor drunk or on something - page 2

Today was our first day of clinicals for the new semester. In the morning our instructor seemed a little "off". She was kind of unsteady on her feet. She said that she was very tired. We did not see... Read More

  1. by   RN BSN 2009
    This is very dangerous
  2. by   ICUNurseJess
    Thank you all for your responses. As we were leaving the hospital the floor director asked our instructor if she could speak to her in her office. Hopefully they noticed the problem too. I will inform our dean of nursing about the siuation on Tuesday. I really felt that I should have said something to the charge nurse today or called the college, but I was afraid. I have worked so hard to be where I am that I do not want to jeapordize it by p**sing off my instructor. I was very uncomfortable, but everyone was double checking everything with their nurse so I feel that the patient's were not in danger. Thank you again for your advice.
  3. by   cardiacRN2006
    Quote from Bala Shark
    Wait, now you are accusing her of being unsafe and there was no visual evidence that she was...I guess if you come in tired and are ill during working, someone will report you for being unsafe..How is that for karma for you!

    Sigh....she fell asleep in a pt room! Unsafe & unprofessional.

    And yes, if you come in to work and display these behaviors, you will be reported.
  4. by   moongirl
    Quote from Bala Shark
    Wait, now you are accusing her of being unsafe and there was no visual evidence that she was...I guess if you come in tired and are ill during working, someone will report you for being unsafe..How is that for karma for you!

    if it took her over a 1/2 hour to pull one pts meds- HOW DO YOU KNOW SHE PULLED THE CORRECT DOSE/MEDICATION..

    seriously- !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    you honestly dont think she was being unsafe when she couldnt put 2 words together? YOU would pass meds in this situtation????

    you would let someone give you or your family member meds she prepared when she is standing over you swaying barely standing upright??? :angryfire
  5. by   llg
    Quote from Daytonite
    How are you going to feel when she does this again and her behavior results in harm to a patient knowing that you might have been able to stop it from happening?

    Tell another instructor or the dean of your nursing program today! You have an obligation to protect the patients you serve.

    This was not normal behavior for someone who was just very tired. She was impaired. In fact, you didn't know this, but you should have reported her immediately to the nursing office or one of the nursing managers at the facility you were working. Someone from nursing administration should have taken her by the arm and escorted her to the ER and demanded she be tested for drugs or alcohol or dismissed her and all of her students to home.

    Exactly! I am the liaison between my hospital and the local schools of nursing. If an instructor behaved in such a way at my hospital, we would have taken immediate action and removed her from the clinical area. An investigation would have been conducted in conjunction with the school -- and we would be unlikely to allow her to return to our hospital unless that investigation gave us some extraordinary reason to allow it. However, I am confident that the local schools would not risk our relationship by asking us to allow her to come back.

    As the gatekeeper for my hospital, when I call a Dean about a concern about a faculty member (or student) ... it gets resolved very fast ... and always in favor of protecting the safety of patients and the reputations of both institutions. Fortunately, I haven't had to use that power often.
  6. by   KellieNurse06
    Quote from Bala Shark
    Wait, now you are accusing her of being unsafe and there was no visual evidence that she was...I guess if you come in tired and are ill during working, someone will report you for being unsafe..How is that for karma for you!
    Gee, no need to get so defensive....and .."no visual evidence"???? Are you kidding me????? She couldn't even stand up for pete's sake!!!! Give me a break...a little common sense says she should of stayed home that day.......so if say for instance..someone was drinking or taking drugs while working because you don't have "visual evidence" that means they didn't do it?????? Come on!!!!!! If you are tired that's one thing...but to be so tired you can't even stand up straight????? Come on ...let's get real here......
    Oh, and furthermore..if I was that tired I'd call in because I wouldn't feel I could give nursing care safely..and if I ever caused harm or injury to a patient ..or God forbid killed them..I would not be able to continue being a nurse because my conscience would kill me knowing I put a patient in that position in the first place when it could of been avoided......period... Karma nothing..:trout:
    Last edit by KellieNurse06 on Jan 12, '07
  7. by   Bala Shark
    Quote from RN-in-Training
    Today was our first day of clinicals for the new semester. In the morning our instructor seemed a little "off". She was kind of unsteady on her feet. She said that she was very tired. We did not see her for the first two hours of clinical. When it was time to pull meds we went to find her. She was in the break room sleeping.

    When she was pulling the meds she was very unsteady on her feet and it took her over a half hour to pull meds for 1 patient. When she went into the room with one of the students to give the medication, she fell asleep sitting in the patient's chair. The nurses on the floor and all the students kept asking her if she was feeling okay. She just kept saying that she was tired.

    At post conference she was swaying back and forth, almost falling out of her chair. She kept nodding off and when she would wake back up she would make strange, unrelated comments. I do not know what to do. The consensus of the students was to wait and see what she is like on our next clinical day. I was very uncomfortable today and did not feel like she was safe to be supervising us. I am concerned about reporting her to head of our nursing department for fear of repercussions. Any advice?
    The OP stated in her first post:

    "The consensus of the students was to wait and see what she is like on our next clinical day."

    They know and it was the majority to see how she is like the next day before they take action..I agree fully..They were there..They know and they saw the situation..And all you guys are going by what one person said in writing! That is not fair for the clinical instructor at all...
  8. by   WDWpixieRN
    If I was a patient and had a nurse come in with meds who then fell asleep in my visitor's chair, I'd be ringing for some type of management to get in and take her away ASAP. You have got to be kidding that there is any question about her "actions"?!?! What's not fair is subjecting innocent pts to an instructor in this condition -- and her setting this type of example for her students. I can guarantee you if one of these students came in and pulled this type of behavior, they'd be in a hot seat somewhere until it was investigated.
  9. by   Daytonite
    Let me assure some of you nursing students and new grads that want to hold on to the idea that this instructor might be getting a bum steer if she is reported that it is not the case! I was a nursing supervisor for a number of years and had to deal with this kind of situation quite a few times. I would get a page, "so-and-so doesn't seem right. Would you come down here and just take a look for yourself and see what you think?" It is not normal for people who are active and walking around in a hospital setting to sit down in a chair and just fall asleep during daylight hours--even when they were up all night. Something was wrong with this person and she was impaired in some way and needed to be checked out. To be fair, she needed to be examined by a doctor. She could have some serious illness. A stroke. A heart attack. Remember that denial is one of the symptoms of heart attack. Not all people having heart attacks have chest pain. And, women, in particular have odd symptoms. She could also be under the influence of some drug which she was prescribed or had taken legally or illegally. In any case, she needed attending to herself. Now, future nurses, put that way, would you still ignore her?
  10. by   Jolie
    I am curious as to how this instructor got home. Given that she was unable to stay awake during her working shift, I would have been fearful of allowing her to drive, both for her own safety and that of others on the road. I sincerely hope that someone drove her.
  11. by   Bala Shark
    Come to think about it..When i was in college, I had freinds who just fell asleep in class during lectures because they were very tired from working the night before...I had one friend who did this a lot and guess what, she was a 4.0 student..Yes people do fall asleep..I had one clinical instructor who feel asleep during post clinical conference..I did not think much of it..
  12. by   WDWpixieRN
    Quote from Bala Shark
    Yes people do fall asleep..I had one clinical instructor who feel asleep during post clinical conference..I did not think much of it..
    I think it is absurd to think that this type of behavior from a nurse, never mind a clinical instructor, is acceptable.

    Where then, does the line of acceptable falling asleep get drawn? With the cop who is tracking the armed burglar in a house while your mother/spouse/child is asleep upstairs?!? While a surgeon holds one of these same person's heart in their hands during surgery?!? While this instructor is observing a student inserting their first IV/catheter/NG tube?!?!

    C'mon...there really isn't an acceptable excuse for this type of behavior, except maybe narcolepsy or extreme illness, and in either case the students and staff should be made aware.

    I'll just reiterate that if I am found napping in my pt's rooms during this upcoming second semester, never mind falling asleep during post-conference, my a$$ will be in front of a whole bunch of folks who will be judging my behavior and weighing in on how appropriate it is. I doubt there'll be much wiggle room regardless of my arguments. I won't have the opportunity to do much falling asleep as a RN because I'll never get to the NCLEX stage.
  13. by   vickynurse
    This should never happen. Call your program director immediately and report this. Do not pass meds or perform any procedures in this kind of situation.

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