grandma_chuckie 712 Views
Joined: Mar 5, '06;
Posts: 3 (0% Liked)
When I considered moving to Wyoming, I found that I would have taken a significant cut by doing so. I work in Fargo and I think we have the highest nursing wages in North Dakota. Benefits pretty good, too.
"Protecting private health information is not just good practice, it is the law!"
I heard this slogan during one of my many HIPPA trainings, and I really took it to heart. Apparently, some of my co-workers did not. As some of you know, I am a medical technologist. In my position, I have access to laboratory results for patients throughout our entire health system. I was working alone in the lab today, and one of my co-workers put me in a very compromising position. Here is my story; please hang in there because it is long...
A nurse called me while I was busy (getting platelets ready for HER patient) and asked me to look up some labs. I told her I was busy at the moment and would call her back; I assumed the results were for one of her patients and related to that patient's care.
When I called her back and asked for the medical record number, she said she didn't have it and proceeded to give me HER OWN NAME. She said "the nurse practitioner and I have been trying to look up the results and we can't find them in the computer". I told her that I could not give the results to her, nor could I release them to the nurse practitioner because the NP was not the ordering provider and was not directly involved in that nurse's (patient's) care. She snapped back "Well then, who do I have to ask, God?" and proceeded to give me attitude in general. I calmly told her that if she was interested in her lab results, she would have to fill out a request and submit it to the medical records department or call her physician's office on Monday.
About an hour later, I received a call from the ED physician. He requested the lab results on a patient, and proceeded to give me the SAME NURSE'S NAME. I didn't realize it until we hung up because I was involved in other tasks, but when I did figure out what was going on I immediately called him back and told him that since he was not the ordering physician he could not have access to those results (this is the policy of our laboratory). He stated that this nurse was now under his care as his patient. I had a strong feeling that he was lying to me because the nurse had not been admitted as a patient to our hospital, but I could not prove that he wasn't telling me the truth. At this point, with this being a gray area and the physician obviously being a lot higher than me on the power ladder, I gave in. I printed a copy of the results and sent it to him. I also made a note in the computer that I had done so in case I am questioned in the future.
How dare this nurse put me in such a compromising position! It makes me absolutely furious when people expect me to break the rules for them just because they are employees of the hospital!!!!! The thing that upsets me the most is that they are asking me to RISK MY JOB and sometimes VIOLATE THE LAW because they can't be inconvenienced to follow proper channels.:angryfire
There was another circumstance a few months ago when the charge nurse from the ED brought in a throat swab from her SON and requested that we run a rapid strep "off the books". This is absolutely a violation of laboratory policy, not to mention ethical standards. Why should she receive a free test just because she works here? And for her family member, no less! I told my co-worker that he should not make promises like this in the future, and if he did to make sure not to involve me. My co-workers have run numerous free pregnancy tests for their "friends" (fellow employees) on the floors.
Just to make sure I am absolutely clear, I am not bashing nurses (obviously, since I am in nursing school myself). The physician deserves equal responsibility in this incident. So please do not flame me as singling out nurses. I am in fact criticizing all health care workers who violate policys and laws.
We as members of the health care team should be above reproach. This means following proper procedures when accessing private medical records, obtaining a valid order for all tests run in the laboratory, and paying for all of the care we receive. How can we expect our patients to respect us if we do not hold ourselves to high ethical standards?
I am not looking for a debate, just a bit of support. Thanks for listening
haven't they done this in some midwestern state? does anyone know how it has worked out? is the shortage more severe in that area? has pay gone up? job satisfaction? just wondering about this.....Also any canadians who have been working under the new BSN only statute what are your thoughts?
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