HELP!! I had a stalker and because of HIPAA I lost my RN - page 2
by rssawyer 7,164 Views | 19 Comments
I have been a RN for 13 years. I went back to school to become a FNP. While doing my clinicals, a male patient noted my name and started calling me at my full time job. I have never been hit on by a male patient before so I was... Read More
- 0May 8, '12 by Esme12 Senior ModeratorQuote from Rob72I was also wondering if the OP thought she couldn't go to the police and give the patients name without violating HIPAA and felt helpless with this persons advances.My suspicion would be that the BON was viewing contact outside of the workplace as, "use of intimate/confidential knowledge in inappropriate fashion", which would technically be a HIPAA violation. I.e., one could not be charged for a violation of the Act itself, but the Act itself is used to define appropriate/inappropriate behavior.
I'm not a lawyer, but I've been around the rodeo a few times, as it were. Legally, my take on this would have been the acknowledgement of the fact that women are more commonly victims of DV and stalking because of their reticence to have "hard" social boundaries, in conjunction with the established environment and social structure of care, resulting not only in the recognized potential for abuse of patients by care-givers, but of the care-givers.
- 4May 8, '12 by tyvinEsme you were right before as the other person that mentioned calling and filing pollice reports as well as a TRO...the police should have been involved right from the very start. HIPAA "rights" are not violated when a health care professional is reporting a crime. I know it's too late for the OP but let others take a very serious lesson here.
- 3May 12, '12 by nurse2033I think giving up your career is a poor choice. This is worth fighting for as an advocate for others as well as yourself. As others have mentioned there are proper procedures to follow when you are stalked and getting a restraining order is one. I think the idea to sue the stalker in civil court is a good one. You have suffered significant harm as the result of his actions through no fault of your own. Good luck.
- 1Jun 6, '12 by GitanoRN Guidegiving up is not an option in this case...just because you're a nurse it doesn't mean that you have to take such abuse. in addition, this is not reason enough to give up your nursing career, if you do you'll keep looking over your shoulder for the rest of your life. needless to say, i would still check with the authorities in command regarding this issue and proceed with taking this claim to court, keep in mind if the perpetrator gets away with it; they will do it again to someone else... just saying
- 1Jun 6, '12 by caliotter3Just to consider: I was the victim of a stalker, dealing with my job. I was told in no uncertain terms by law enforcement and attorneys that I could not get a restraining order or do anything to protect myself until the stalker did bodily harm to me. I was treated as if I were the problem, not my stalker. The law is on his side. Anything you do to protect yourself or to fight this will be held against you. This situation contributed to me losing my job, my ability to get a job, and I had to relocate. Then I continued having problems getting work because the former employer saw to it that I was blacklisted. They did nothing whatsoever to help me when I was their employee, or after they got rid of me. Just something to consider should you be wondering if you should carry on with this. Best wishes.
- 0Jul 19, '12 by DizzyLizzyNurseI've been stalked once. It was an ex bf. He backed down when I informed him that if he ever contacted me again I would be calling the police and that I had saved his crazy texts, emails, and voicemails and would use that as evidence against him. He called me a few choice names and I haven't heard from him since. With some people you cannot be soft with them. You have to be direct. I doubt that will help you now, but for anyone in the future it might. I would have said the same to the guy (after saving any evidence), changed my number, and gone to the police.
I hope you can sue or something (and I don't usually say that!). This is just wrong.
- 1Sep 18, '12 by JoryThis had nothing to do with a name badge. We are licensed professionals and I know of no other licensed professionals that seek to hide their name like nurses do (with the exception of psychiatric ward and prisons).
However, I agree with IIg, that you did need to act immediately, for your own safety and protection.
I would have ignored any communication that came across, but after the first few I would have reported it both to the school and the police. Because you can safely assume that someone went to great lengths to get your cell number to start with.
That would have started you on the road to protection.
However, there is also nothing wrong if the only communication you sent was to tell him to stop...I don't understand why your cell phone text records could not have been ordered by your attorney to prove that asking someone to stop is not acting in "willful engagement"...that is like stating a victim of rape asking her rapist to stop was engaged in a mutual conversation.
HIPAA also has exceptions...when a crime is being committed. Depending on your state laws for stalking, that is not a HIPAA violation. If you feel that there is a threat to your safety, reporting it is not a HIPAA violation and HAD YOU REPORTED IT to at minimum, your school, they would have counseled you on on what to do.
I would also get another attorney....sounds like the one you have didn't do such a good job.
Folks, this is a good reason to have nursing insurance.