Have you ever had a patient smoke in the room?

  1. 0
    The other day I was working on a my med-surg floor when my tech approached me to tell me that my patient was smoking marijuana in their room (good thing it was a private room). You could smell it out in the hallway and the room was a little smoky inside. My manager called security and all they said was to inform the house nursing supervisor, which there was nothing further done. Except I had to go in ask if they were smoking, which they denied, and re-inform them of the hospital's non-smoking policy. I was only in the room for probably two minutes. After I came out of there, I was feeling a little "funny" and kept laughing. I asked someone if I smelled like it and they said yes, luckily after about 20 minutes I was feeling better. Just wondering if this has ever happened to you and what would you do in that situation? If I knew it would affect me going in there, I would have never done it. Looking back I find it slightly humorous but will learn never to go into a room if this happens again!
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  4. 7 Comments so far...

  5. 2
    The tech should have immediately told him to put it out, notified the staff, notify security.

    Security should then have done a room search and removed ALL matches, lighters, smoking materials.

    Smoking anything in a hospital is a significant health risk due to the fire potential.

    I hope you remembered to fill out the incident report.
    AJJKRN and poppycat like this.
  6. 3
    I'm pretty sure your funny feelings were mostly in your head. I don't think you can "high" from two minutes of second hand marijuana smoke that has dispersed throughout an entire room.
  7. 0
    Its pretty common on my unit to catch someone smoking in their room/bathroom/shower even when informed that this is against unit rules and is a fire hazard. When this occurs we have to obtain an order for a room search and fill out an incident report. Its truly a pain for us.
  8. 0
    In my day patients smoked in their rooms (even while using oxygen), and doctors smoked at the nurse stations.

    Oh, but I see you're talking about pot. In CA you smell pot 'everywhere'. The place I'm in now, in NV, I get 'high' (more like low- confused, headachy, and icky-feeling) from the pot smoke that fills the hallls of this (several star) hotel if I forget to hold my breath to reach the elevators. Makes me wonder if all those people have booked a 'smoking room'? The stench of pot makes me gag. I don't get the 'legalization', other than for the tax revenue. If nothing else it ought to at least be confined to areas that it won't affect other people, like cigarettes.
  9. 2
    When I worked oncology in the 80s, we used to encourage our patients to smoke pot in their rooms. We were told to just shut the door to their rooms and check on them again later. I don't think you could get a "contact high" from two minutes in the room, so you were probably imagining that part of it.
    malestunurse and sduncan86 like this.
  10. 0
    First, I always make sure the pt is actually aware of the smoking policy. Second, I explain the reasons why they aren't allowed to smkoe, including the fact that we have a lot of critically ill respiratory pts for whom even a scant amount of second hand smoke would be very harmful to them and can trigger a coughing attack with decreased oxygenation. Third, I inform them that if I suspect them of smoking again, we will discuss the need to discharge them. Fourth, if I suspect illegal drug use, I'll tell them we'll turn it over to the police. Finally, if they are just smoking cigarettes, I offer to obtain some sort of replacement nicotine, as well as ativan or Xanax if appropriate. It's difficult to not be able to smoke, particularly if the habit is a heavy one, and I'll do anything I can to keep their discomfort to a minimum.

    no one needs to be smoking pot in their rooms. That's idiotic. They can cut it out, have the cops called (if it's a banned substance), or they can leave.
  11. 0
    Quote from MrChicagoRN
    The tech should have immediately told him to put it out, notified the staff, notify security.

    Security should then have done a room search and removed ALL matches, lighters, smoking materials.

    Smoking anything in a hospital is a significant health risk due to the fire potential.

    I hope you remembered to fill out the incident report.

    ^^ This.


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