nurse coming to work drunk - page 2

Recently one of the nurses on our unit came in drunk. She looked like she'd slept in her clothes, had foul breath, and was nauseous & pale. The nurse manager is her friend, and she put her in a room... Read More

  1. by   BostonTerrierLoverRN
    FYI, "Drunk" or Acute ETOH Intoxication is a Medical Diagnosis here. Be careful with that because practicing medicine is frowned on as well. I always chart the symptoms I see in any impaired ER patient(strong alcohol/ETOH smell on breath, sluggish gate, impaired gait, slurred speech, acute urinary incontinence, nausea with emesis, etc.) Just a thought.

    Also, if you felt the patients were in ANY danger, it should have been reported that night- you are obligated to protect your patients. If the NM felt she needed medical attention, she should have sent her to ER or EMS, but the BON would definitely want to know why this wasn't reported timely to protect patients. Sounds like the failure to protect patients went much further than her, and throughout witnessing licensed staff. Just my thoughts.
  2. by   BostonTerrierLoverRN
    Quote from nursedanny614
    It's sketchy that the nurse manager would do that for her under the table.
    Oh, if you just knew, remember there are MANY small town hospitals in rural areas, and I have left a Tribal Hospital that was the scariest place I've ever been!
  3. by   MN-Nurse
    Quote from nickola
    Recently one of the nurses on our unit came in drunk. She looked like she'd slept in her clothes, had foul breath, and was nauseous & pale. The nurse manager is her friend, and she put her in a room at the end of the hall, started fluids on her & gave her antiemetics- all on the clock. 3 hours later she felt better & was allowed to work the rest of the 12 hour shift, but was essentially useless. The rest of us felt very uncomfortable with this situation, and we wanted to report it, however, this nurse has been protected by the NM for a long time, and others have complained in the past- all the way to the top, to no avail. There is no one we can go to, & we all fear retaliation from the NM. Is this reportable to the BON? What is your take on this?
    This was a Nurse Jackie episode.

    Any nurse manager who did this in real life is risking jail time.
  4. by   Anna Flaxis
    How did she get to work in the first place? Yikes!

    Why would the NM be risking jail time? Disciplinary action I can see, but jail time?
  5. by   chicagonurse89
    Tsk tsk! Very dangerous...compromising patient safety! I agree that the NM should also be reported,covering up for someone's mistakes just because they're friends is very unprofessional!
  6. by   jadelpn
    There is more than likely an ethics "hotline" within your system, risk management--all these things can be done without having to give your name. There are lots of reasons that this was a poor choice in practice and judgement. Lots of "what if's" and at least it did not end up that this person seized, aspirated, or had some other complication--which THEN WHAT?!?!?! I would hate to think. If the nurse in question was ill, then sending to the ED would have been the better choice but that the person was admittedly drunk to sneak her off to a room down the hall and start practicing medicine on her is over the top. And if this comes to light some other way, (most likely when there's missing antiemetics and no accounting for them) you all could be in hot water due to you NOT reporting this.
  7. by   Esme12
    There are always several sides to every story. Regardless, the manager should have sent this person to the ED to be checked out and treated.

    I would make a report to your HR/risk management/corporate compliance people.....this is not a good situation ....but over all.....yes this is reportable to the BON.
  8. by   laceygirl
    i say report it to risk management. i hate to see people get away with these things. our profession is not taken seriously anymore.
  9. by   CrunchRN
  10. by   cardiacrocks
    Did she drive to work, that in and of itself is scary? This nurse is an accident waiting to happen. Don't worry it will all catch up with her.
  11. by   Meriwhen
    IMO, I would report it to the risk manager at this time; if you are not comfortable with that, do the ethics hotline as that often lets you be more confidential in reporting.

    However, to say that she IS drunk w/o having proof of her being drunk sets you up for a slander suit. She may look and smell like something the cat dragged in, but unless you had a BAC/UDS verifying it or had actually seen her pounding shots before she arrived at work, you can't say for certain if she was drunk.

    Without proof, you can only voice suspicion that she MIGHT have been drunk. So be careful how you word it.
  12. by   NutmeggeRN
    You are doing nobody any favors by letting it fact, she may be JUST what she needs.
  13. by   TipToeLPN
    I worked at a LTCF were it was a known fact that one of the nurses came to work drunk regularly. The ADON would just let her sleep it off in her office. I worked 3rd shift and never witnessed her for myself. This type of situation will not end good. If the nurse manager is willing to put her licence on the line for her "friend" she is not fit to be NM. If anything happend while this nurse was on the clock, the NM would have to save he own butt by not admitting this nurse was drunk. If she is willing to lie to help a drunk nurse what else is she willing to lie about?