Ethical/Personal Dilemma - What would you do? - page 5

by EMEddie, RN | 8,102 Views | 50 Comments

Hello everyone- I need some insight on what to do on this event that occurred 3-4 weeks ago.Currently a RN student in my last semester; there is a friend ( X) in my program whom also works at one of the local hospitals which I... Read More


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    If it were me, I'd contact her employer. THEY will deal with her from there. She violated HIPAA while working in their facility, not while acting as a student of your school, so I'd leave your college out of it. If she's dismissed from the program, that'll be the fallout she'll have to deal with, but she wasn't "their problem" when she made such a STUPID decision....
    snuggles49 likes this.
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    Have a sincere but absolutely firm conversation where you clearly relay your disappointment and disgust related to her behavior. She must also understand that she needs to stop all discussions pertaining to the said patientís condition; or you will have no choice but to turn her in. ( First lesson in advocating for your patient) In the real world, she would not pass go or collect $200. She would be terminated and rightfully so. I am curious about your institution??? To be caught cheating in most schools would entail automatic expulsion or at a minimum, failing the class. Best of Luck and remember Nursing is always an adventure.
    libbyliberal likes this.
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    head down, mouth shut, MYOB. best way to stay out of trouble!
    BrnEyedGirl, cbsncmom, ArrowRN, and 2 others like this.
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    Here's another issue with notifying the school, not the hospital. The OP goes to the school and says, "Sally Smith violated HIPAA." Now anyone could go to the school and say someone they did not like, who is a student at the school, "violated HIPPA." Now in the school's quest for more info, the OP (and I am not saying the OP in this case would do this) would say "Sally Smith told me Dr. H's husband is in the hospital." This may be something Dr. H did not want want spread around the school. So now, in addition to Sally Smith violating HIPPA, Dr. H's privacy has been violated.

    Something to think about before the OP tells the school what happened.
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    Quote from BlueDevil,DNP
    head down, mouth shut, MYOB. best way to stay out of trouble!
    Exactly, MYOB is advice that never goes out of style.
    libbyliberal likes this.
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    If it is required of you... per hospital policy... to report the privacy violation, then that is your answer.
    If not, butt out, she will hang herself eventually.
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    Quote from ColleenRN2B
    If it were me, I'd contact her employer. THEY will deal with her from there. She violated HIPAA while working in their facility, not while acting as a student of your school, so I'd leave your college out of it. If she's dismissed from the program, that'll be the fallout she'll have to deal with, but she wasn't "their problem" when she made such a STUPID decision....
    Correct....the school is not the one to notify unless the individual violating Hippa did so in the capacity as a student while doing Clinicals. Report the incident to your Hippa Officer and let them do the investigation and follow thru.
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    Quote from edmia
    man-nurse2b: This person is not only a nursing student but also works in a hospital. She has had plenty of training regarding protecting privacy and HIPAA violations. If she had only spoken to her friend about it, maybe you have a point. But she texted the information, which is the same as broadcasting it in today's technology.

    This is not OK at all. We are not condoning backstabbing at all, we are all concerned that this person's actions are in such clear violation of ethical and legal rules that we actually fear for her future as a nurse.

    Also, to address you accusation that we are all liars, let me say this. There is a big difference between getting home and talking to your spouse about the hard day you had because "my patient was really hard to deal with" or whatever and saying, "Hi honey, you know who was my patient today? Mrs. XYZ! Can you believe it? She overdosed on cocaine!". That is a HIPAA violation. Sharing general information about your patient load without any identifying information is not. So, no, we are not lying when we say that we actually abide by HIPAA rules and regulations.

    I don't think this girl was uncomfortable or whatever scenario you've dreamed up. I think she has no regards for the rules of the profession she is wanting to enter (and the fact that she cheated on an exam speaks to her character well).

    To address you second paragraph. I have actually been assigned to care for patients at times that I realize I know from outside the hospital. When faced with this situation, I have acknowledged to the patient that I understand it may be uncomfortable to be cared for by me and could switch assignments if they wanted me to. No one has asked me to not care for them and I reassured them that nothing I learned about them during their hospital stay would ever leave the hospital and their privacy was the most important thing to me. Not a big deal. HIPAA always respected.
    Thanks for the info. People can get mad if they want to at my post, I got several nurses in my family so don't take it personally, but noone really knows what is going on in that girls head. If I see someone I know I'd probably ask to be reassigned as you suggested. Texting it was a really bad idea I agree with that also. I agree with the other poster..she will eventually "hang" herself as people who don't follow rules often do and lastly poster who said...

    "head down, mouth shut, MYOB. best way to stay out of trouble! "

    To the main poster, just ignore all our opinions and do whatever it takes to clear your conscience and by ready for the consequences, good and bad.
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    Quote from EMTtoRNinVA
    The class ahead of me in nursing school had some issues with students cheating and attempted to kick the students out of the program. Some lawyers and proceedings later they each ended up in with my class (1 year behind). These same people have now gone on to bigger violations as licensed RNs. I vehemently say TURN HER IN. Go to the Dean of your program, and have Y & Z on board with you. Present the text messages as proof you aren't just fibbing. HIPAA is important in healthcare, as is general respect for individuals as human beings. We are nurses--we don't write for TMZ!
    Love what was written above!. Gossip girls and cheaters? You shouldn't be friends or associating yourself with this type of person anyway. I wouldn't want this person to ever be my nurse. Please protect the profession and act on this.
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    Yes it is a dilemma. For one there were never any safest way to solve this kind. Any choice made always has negative consequence(s) on the other side. What we must understand is minimizing and/or preventing further damage. Being head down and MYOB might save you in some aspects but not for the other side. Turning her in will save the HIPAA privacy rule, but not for your friendship with her. Another option is talk to her in an assertive manner showing her that she has done a serious misconduct that putting you in it by sending out text. Have her conscience brought up and admit it officially and accept the consequence(s). By doing this, you have done what is good on your side no matter she will listen or not. Ethics only work by "Do no harm" Make your choice, face the rest, life goes on. (Sorry for my poor English)
    ArrowRN likes this.


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