Will I get in trouble ? ? ?

  1. 0
    Hello,
    I am a 2nd yr nursing student, I graduate in May. I had an OR observation
    yesterday and was able to watch an endo lap chole. I may add that I was very
    excited as my goal is to become an OR nurse.

    When the gallbladder became visible on the monitor I took a picture of it with
    my cell phone. The picture only included the endo monitor with NO identifiable
    info on it. Is this a HIPPA violation? I was excited and didn't think anything
    about taking a pic of the gallbladder on the monitor. The nurse seen me take
    the picture and immediately told me that was not allowed and that I needed to
    delete the picture, which I did.

    Upon returning to the floor my clinical instructor had received a phone call from the hospitals edu department letting her know that they need to see me and to bring my phone. I went and explained what had happened, show them my phone to prove that the pic had in fact been deleted and I was told that was okay, I' not in trouble.

    Today I get an email from the Head of Nursing at my school saying that I need
    to come in and see her in the morning before I go to class. Can I be kicked out
    of the program for this? She stated in the email that it was a HIPPA violation
    but everything I can find states that itís not a violation as long as there is
    not any identifiable information related to the patient.

    Does anyone have any suggestions and/or advice about this situation or how to
    handle my meeting at school tomorrow morning? Any information or suggestions
    would be greatly appreciated . . . I did not mean any harm; I was just excited
    to see the gallbladder come up on the monitor
  2. Poll: Did this violate HIPAA ?

    • YES

      74.14% 43
    • NO

      25.86% 15
    58 Votes
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  5. 97 Comments so far...

  6. 2
    You had a phone in the or suite? Why?

    Keep your phones on the car or your bag, but I'm not here to make you feel worse. Sorry

    This is a learning experience, I hope they just educate you.

    Good luck
    carakristin1 and Congababe13 like this.
  7. 1
    Yes this does violate HIPPA, at my school you can't take any pictures while at clinicals, we can't even write our patient name on any paperwork we have to use initials. We can only have our phones on vibrate in case if you have an emergency at home. Sad to say this may cost you, I hope they will reconsider.
    Congababe13 likes this.
  8. 2
    We can't even have them on vibrate. We just can't have them. Our instructor has given us her phone number to give out to our loved ones in cases of emergency.

    Sorry OP, but there is no reason on earth why you should have your phone in hospital classroom you watched the procedure in and the fact that you didn't even think about taking a picture of someone else's surgery is a red flag. Not only should you not do it, you should know that it's wrong. I'm not 100% sure of this, but am assuming, based on our school's strict following of our clinical site's rules, that we would be expelled from the program for this.
    lollylee1969 and elkpark like this.
  9. 6
    Considering this may put you school's relationship with the facility, yes you may be given a failing grade, suspended, or expelled. Be prepared. There is likely this issue that you brought out you dirty cell phone out into a sterile environment with a vulnerable patient exposed it is borderlineHIPAA but is definitely an ethics & confidentiality issue. What were you going to do with the photo?
  10. 4
    As an OR nurse, I will give you some advice. You can state that the picture was in poor judgment due to your passion in viewing the surgery. Unfortunately, the world of social media has created HIPPA violations left and right. Owe it and state that you have learned your lesson and understand how it violated the policy. I'm not even allowed to take personal pics. It is a serious incident because of the consequences to both you and the facility. This experience will definitely carry you in your personal and professional life. Good luck.
    ChristineN, Congababe13, tigerlogic, and 1 other like this.
  11. 1
    Wow. Well, I would prepare for the worst and hope for the best. Undoubtedly you will get in trouble. How much trouble? I can't really hazard a guess. Expulsion from the program and/or removal from the clinical site is definitely on the table, but you do have hope if you have favor with your faculty members and own up to your mistake. It really just depends. We're guests in our clinical sites and a school will not risk losing a site over a student's screw up, so hopefully the hospital is understand as well.
    Congababe13 likes this.
  12. 1
    Thank you for the replys. I usually do not have my cell phone on me but because it was not a regular clinical day I didn't bring my clinical bookbag and just had my phone in my scrub pocket. I wasn't planning to do anything with the picture as I am not a facebook, twitter, or social media kind of person. I was just amazed when you could actually visualize the gallbladder on the monitor. While I know that taking a picture of the patient is not right, in my head I seperated the gallbladder from the patient. I thought that a picture of just the monitor with NO patient info, no date, no OR number, nothing besides the gallbladder on the monitor wouldn't be a big deal because how can you identify someone by a gallbladder ? Like I said I realize that it is/ was wrong it just seems to be a little different than taking pictures of the patients body/face/info/ect.

    I was so excited to be in the OR. All of the OR nurses had their cell phones out texting and what not, the patient signed a consent that pictures could be taken if they couldn't be identified. I'm a student and that is what students do , we make mistakes and we learn from them. I believe that I deserve repercussions but to end my career when I'm so close seems unfair when no harm was done. The picture was deleted before leaving the OR . . .

    I want to be a nurse more than anything in this world and I have worked so so hard to make it this far
    MrsRNtrisha likes this.
  13. 7
    Well........once again I sit here shaking my head. I can't understand what the obsession is with these electronic devices.

    Ok....you are not going to like what I have to say. You are 1 semester away from graduating and you thought this was OK? Besides all the HIPAA implications.......bringing your cell phone out into the surgical environment and taking a picture was not a good idea. Increasing the chance of infection for the patient.....that is a "sterile" environment any introduction of bacteria poses a risk.

    I am sure your school has specific policies restricting you from certain uses of your electronic devices and I know the hospitals also has them. When you are at the facility you are to follow their policies and unauthorized photos with electronic devices is one of them. What was your thought process when you took the picture. What were you going to do with it? If that was your family member...would you want to think that strangers are taking photos of them and their body parts while unconscious?

    I am so sorry you are going through this. But, I think you need to prepare yourself for the worst. I think it is very possible they will expel you. This was a huge mistake......I am sure the use of electronic devices were covered by your school.

    I would apologize profusely and readily accept the consequences of your actions. I had this conversation with one of my children this week......just because you didn't see the child run out from behind the car doesn't make them any less injured/dead, just because you didn't know the gun was loaded doesn't make someone any less dead. There are things in life that even Mommy's can't fix.

    Now what is important is what you do going forward. I wish you the best.
  14. 7
    Quote from Jenn77x1
    Thank you for the reply's. I usually do not have my cell phone on me but because it was not a regular clinical day I didn't bring my clinical book-bag and just had my phone in my scrub pocket. I wasn't planning to do anything with the picture as I am not a Facebook, twitter, or social media kind of person. I was just amazed when you could actually visualize the gallbladder on the monitor. While I know that taking a picture of the patient is not right, in my head I separated the gallbladder from the patient. I thought that a picture of just the monitor with NO patient info, no date, no OR number, nothing besides the gallbladder on the monitor wouldn't be a big deal because how can you identify someone by a gallbladder ? Like I said I realize that it is/ was wrong it just seems to be a little different than taking pictures of the patients body/face/info/ect.

    I was so excited to be in the OR. All of the OR nurses had their cell phones out texting and what not, the patient signed a consent that pictures could be taken if they couldn't be identified. I'm a student and that is what students do , we make mistakes and we learn from them. I believe that I deserve repercussions but to end my career when I'm so close seems unfair when no harm was done. The picture was deleted before leaving the OR . . .

    I want to be a nurse more than anything in this world and I have worked so so hard to make it this far
    I appreciate your enthusiasm.....I really do. But, I'm sorry will not always make everything alright. There are consequences for your actions......consequences that sometimes have huge ramifications. That you were so close graduating makes this an even greater offense because........ you should have known better. I am curious...your homepage states 20 years nursing experience.... what was your speciality.....what department have you worked?

    You are right...you are a student. You are there to learn. You made a grievous mistake and you will learn from it........it was a big mistake. In nursing.....the "everybody else does it", I did what she did, will not absolve you of any responsibility. YOU and only YOU are responsible for your actions. Saying "they all do it" won't matter because they weren't the one who got caught. You were. Even if the patient signed a consent with the facility that pictures may be taken for teaching purposes....the patient did not sign consent for staff members to use their private cells phone for the picture.

    Unfortunately......it is grounds for expulsion and yes it may put an end to your career with this school. You will find it extremely difficult but not impossible to find another university to accept yoru credits. You may have to start from scratch. The person who went out and had a few beers didn't mean to hit someone head on and kill them but that doesn't make that person any less dead.

    I really am sorry ......I hope your school will just make you sit out the rest of this semester and the next and allow you to return.

    My advice......I wouldn't make the statement that "ll the staff were using them" and "no harm was done"....and after all you are, after all, "a student there to learn"....it might not be received well.

    Be apologetic and remorseful. Be honest and sincere. Acknowledge your mistake and be willing to accept the consequences. I wish you the best.
    lollylee1969, nursel56, akilah530, and 4 others like this.


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