Missing Narcs

  1. HI everyone!

    I have worked in a Assisted Living facility close to a year now. About 2 to 3 months ago we hired a new LVN to cover my days off, So she only works about 3 days a week. Well to make a long story short... it is becoming a regular that our Narc out is off after she works. Sometimes it's not by just 1 or 2 pills (that maybe someone forgot to sign out) but by 4 or 5. Just yesterday I was working my regular shift and noticed a blister pack of D\C'd narcs was gone. I asked the A.M. nurse if she had seen them because they were there Friday when I left @ 9p. She said she hadn't seen them all weekend. It just happened that she worked with the new nurse this past weekend. I have told our RSD (= DON) and our Executive Director many, many times and neither of them seems to think it's a big deal.

    So, now I want to quit. There are many problems at my job but that is my main one. Am I over reacting? And what should my next step be?

    Thanks
    :spin:
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  2. 9 Comments

  3. by   cant_not
    I don’t think you’re over-reacting at all, and I think the situation should be investigated throughly; specially since you stated that it has happened on more than one occasion. Most facilities I have been at wont tolerate this sort of thing. I actually know a lady whose a nurse as well, anyway, her mother owns an assisted living facility in which she helps run. They had a nurse to steal a package of pills (blister) and it was reported to the police as well as the BON, and she was arrested and served time over this.

    I would look for employment elsewhere. I mean if you keep reporting this to management and nothing is ever done, there's nothing else you can do.
  4. by   TheCommuter
    I wouldn't quit my job because another nurse is stealing medications. You did your job by reporting this individual to your DON.
  5. by   Mulan
    Report it to the DEA, they won't ignore it. I think you need to do that to protect yourself, narcs are nothing to mess around with, and you don't want to be under suspicion yourself if they get involved some other way.
  6. by   VivaLasViejas
    Stupid, stupid, stupid..........what management team with half a brain would ignore reports of missing narcotics??!!

    I am a DON in assisted living myself, and the company that manages us is investigating some irregularities in our med room as we speak. We're not missing narcotics, thank God, but I recently discovered that a couple of my noc shift med aides haven't been doing shift counts properly, and I'm having to tighten up on everyone---even my trusted staff---because of the laziness and neglect on the part of these two med aides.

    So why don't I fire them outright, instead of forcing everyone to go through individual inservicing and dragging my sorry carcass out of bed at a thoroughly uncivilized hour to observe 0600 shift count? Because I can't replace them. So few people want to do this kind of work---running up and downstairs for a solid 8 hours, dealing with all sorts of behaviors and bodily fluids, giving up their social and/or family lives to help cover the off shifts---especially for the pitiful wages we offer (and we pay better than most such facilities). And even the ones who are willing often burn out quickly and leave after a few months, or they get hurt, or they simply find something better and/or easier.

    Just last month, I had an ad in the paper for four days, and only three people came to apply. I hired one; the other two I wouldn't have wanted caring for my dog. Now the one I hired has to go back home for several weeks to help care for her dying grandfather, so I'm looking again. Meanwhile, I've got fifteen full and several more half-shifts to fill this month, and unless I want to kill myself doing caregiving AND my own job, I've got to find some warm bodies in one heck of a hurry.

    And sometimes that's what it boils down to: warm bodies. I consider myself a very principled nurse, manager, and human being, but in this business, when principle comes up against the day-to-day, real life operations of a health care facility, the principle fares ill. I hate that part of it, but it's something I've had to learn to live with because health care is an industry---a soulless, uncaring, profit-motivated industry---and we do the best we can with the resources we have. That's why we have to keep less than desireable employees, to fill the shifts with people who should be flipping burgers rather than caring for our precious elderly.

    I've rambled on quite a while, but I say this because I've sat on both sides of the desk, and being in management sometimes means compromising on issues you'd rather not have to. Last summer I had a med aide who actually was caught diverting narcotics, and the word from corporate was: Don't fire her outright, encourage her to quit so we don't have to deal with any negative publicity. :angryfire PUBLICITY??!! That was the LEAST of my concerns---that med room functions under MY direction, and this episode put MY license at risk. But I was overruled, and the whole thing handled behind closed doors.

    Fortunately, the aide did resign after about an hour of tearful denials and "how-could-you-think-I-would-do-such-a-thing", then she blew town entirely and checked herself into rehab in another city some miles away. But to this day it bothers me that we never turned the incident in to the police; she was an unlicensed caregiver, so there was no board of nursing to report her to, but I've always thought we should have made an example of her, because everyone else learned that there are no real consequences for bad behavior. My building has fewer 'problem children' than many; however, the ones who are slackers, who play on the computer in the middle of the night instead of doing the residents' laundry, who come in just a little late and take too many smoke breaks and do only as much work as they have to in order to get by........they know they're generally safe because we need them so badly.

    Now can anyone understand why managers get ulcers?
  7. by   lovablelvn
    Thanks for everyones replies.

    Marla I absoutley see your side, and know all about the warm bodies.

    We have several problems other than just the narcs here are just a few: OUr Executive director is only 23 and likes to cuss people out pretty often. She moved up pretty fast in our facility due to the not enough warm bodies part. Anyway,next on my list- when a resident on the Special Care unit died very suddenly not one of our "managers" came to speak with the family. They showed no signs of condolense (sp?) Not through a card, going to a funeral, sending flowers. What the family recieved was a "eviction of property" letter stating they had 2-3 business days to remove the residents furniture or everything would be divided among staff who wanted it and then donated.:angryfire :angryfire :angryfire There is has been more than one occassion when they did stuff like that. There is some occassional sexual harrassment between the maintance man and some of the nurses (myself included). And if state does come in and does an investigation how do I protect myself? There are no real trails leading to this new nurse only that it started when she did.

    Ugh, thanks for letting me vent. Keeping sending those great pos
  8. by   pagandeva2000
    I just want to say that I am totally moved by what you shared, because that is the real world. I see things like this in our hospital as well. You need the bodies, so you support the good with the bad. Thanks for sharing this from the prospective of a manager.


    Quote from mjlrn97
    Stupid, stupid, stupid..........what management team with half a brain would ignore reports of missing narcotics??!!

    I am a DON in assisted living myself, and the company that manages us is investigating some irregularities in our med room as we speak. We're not missing narcotics, thank God, but I recently discovered that a couple of my noc shift med aides haven't been doing shift counts properly, and I'm having to tighten up on everyone---even my trusted staff---because of the laziness and neglect on the part of these two med aides.

    So why don't I fire them outright, instead of forcing everyone to go through individual inservicing and dragging my sorry carcass out of bed at a thoroughly uncivilized hour to observe 0600 shift count? Because I can't replace them. So few people want to do this kind of work---running up and downstairs for a solid 8 hours, dealing with all sorts of behaviors and bodily fluids, giving up their social and/or family lives to help cover the off shifts---especially for the pitiful wages we offer (and we pay better than most such facilities). And even the ones who are willing often burn out quickly and leave after a few months, or they get hurt, or they simply find something better and/or easier.

    Just last month, I had an ad in the paper for four days, and only three people came to apply. I hired one; the other two I wouldn't have wanted caring for my dog. Now the one I hired has to go back home for several weeks to help care for her dying grandfather, so I'm looking again. Meanwhile, I've got fifteen full and several more half-shifts to fill this month, and unless I want to kill myself doing caregiving AND my own job, I've got to find some warm bodies in one heck of a hurry.

    And sometimes that's what it boils down to: warm bodies. I consider myself a very principled nurse, manager, and human being, but in this business, when principle comes up against the day-to-day, real life operations of a health care facility, the principle fares ill. I hate that part of it, but it's something I've had to learn to live with because health care is an industry---a soulless, uncaring, profit-motivated industry---and we do the best we can with the resources we have. That's why we have to keep less than desireable employees, to fill the shifts with people who should be flipping burgers rather than caring for our precious elderly.

    I've rambled on quite a while, but I say this because I've sat on both sides of the desk, and being in management sometimes means compromising on issues you'd rather not have to. Last summer I had a med aide who actually was caught diverting narcotics, and the word from corporate was: Don't fire her outright, encourage her to quit so we don't have to deal with any negative publicity. :angryfire PUBLICITY??!! That was the LEAST of my concerns---that med room functions under MY direction, and this episode put MY license at risk. But I was overruled, and the whole thing handled behind closed doors.

    Fortunately, the aide did resign after about an hour of tearful denials and "how-could-you-think-I-would-do-such-a-thing", then she blew town entirely and checked herself into rehab in another city some miles away. But to this day it bothers me that we never turned the incident in to the police; she was an unlicensed caregiver, so there was no board of nursing to report her to, but I've always thought we should have made an example of her, because everyone else learned that there are no real consequences for bad behavior. My building has fewer 'problem children' than many; however, the ones who are slackers, who play on the computer in the middle of the night instead of doing the residents' laundry, who come in just a little late and take too many smoke breaks and do only as much work as they have to in order to get by........they know they're generally safe because we need them so badly.

    Now can anyone understand why managers get ulcers?
  9. by   foxxcat
    if the RD or RDO will not do anything then go tothe next step the SRDO
    I to have worked in Assisted livin and sometimes you just have to go one step higher
  10. by   VivaLasViejas
    Thanks to those of you who responded to my post, and for understanding that a manager's job isn't as easy as it looks. If I had a dollar for every time I've heard someone say, "All the 'suits' do is go to meetings and sit around thinking up more for us REAL workers to do", I'd be a wealthy woman indeed!

    Ironically, I was told by both my boss and HIS boss, just tonight, that complete authority over nursing services is being transferred to me, effective immediately. That means the buck will stop with me---I'll be free to hire, fire, discipline, make policy, and manage the nursing department as I see fit. If something goes sideways, I make the call as to how to fix it; if my 'warm bodies' screw up, I'm the one they'll answer to. All my boss wants is to be kept in the loop------I think he was actually RELIEVED to give up nursing oversight, and our working relationship is so "in sync" that we both felt this was the perfect time for me to take this next step up. Our new management company is also known throughout the entire area as top-flight both ethically and financially, and they want to give us as much help as we need to succeed.

    This is, to say the least, a far cry from the company that USED to manage us, and to receive a promotion at a time when I was actually somewhat concerned about losing my job makes me feel incredibly proud........like maybe all the blood, sweat, tears, and lost sleep really has been worth it after all.:spin:
  11. by   MsLady06
    Quote from TheCommuter
    I wouldn't quit my job because another nurse is stealing medications. You did your job by reporting this individual to your DON.
    I agree 100%

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