Do you think I could get kicked out? - page 10

So I went to clinical prep yesterday and my husband accompanied me up to the unit. As I did my prep he sat by me playing on his iPhone. Anyway someone(s) told my instructor that he was there and that... Read More

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    I was horrified when I first saw your post last week, the further details you added strengthened your personal case and gave some logic to your decision. We have all done things that, in retrospect, were mistakes. But, only with the reality of what actually happened can others comment on what you should have done. Had your husband sat in the car that day and suffered from hyperthermia everyone on this board would now be telling you what a callous, self-centered person you were for NOT bringing him inside and inviting him to sit in a public place out of the heat. Had he dropped you off and returned for you 45 minutes later people would be telling you how irresponsible it was to waste your money on gas and what a waste of the nature's resouces. Had he gotten mugged while hanging out in parking lot, they'd be questioning his judgment for not coming inside. It's very easy for people to sit back and critique other people's decisions based on what actually happened and give them an alternative of what should have been done--but no one knows for sure how that really would have played out. We all do the best we can under the circumstances and with what information we have.

    The issue now is your meeting with the board. First thing is to own up to the mistake. Tell them you know HIPAA regulations, you did not breach any privacies or share or talk about patients with him. Tell them you realize that it had the look of impropriety, but assure them there was no conversation going on between the two of you. Then explain why he was with you in a public area. You can word this by saying, "I know this looked bad, and I understand your concern about patient privacy and workplace professionalism because I share those concerns. You could begin by saying, "There was no HIPAA violation, no information was given or available to my husband. He sat in a public waiting room where other visitors are often present." then share the mitigating circumstances, "We have only one car, so my husband had to wait for me. It was a very hot day, the A/C in the car is broken and it wouldn't have been prudent to have him sit in 90+ degree weather for 45 minutes." Then tell them what you could have done instead, "I realize this has the look of impropriety, but I reiterate that no sensitive information or any information was shared... but looking back on it, I could have directed him to wait for me in the coffee shop..."

    Last, tell them this will never happen again, that you have learned that even the appearances of privacy issues are serious, and you have learned a valuable lesson. Then ask for their understanding, and tell them that you accept any punishments they see fit, but you hope that a verbal warning will suffice.

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