Under investigation

  1. I am not a nurse but I work for the nursing department. My job was to provide patient safety, a sitter. My first hospital job. I put my self through CNA program to get certified and one day before I get certified and posibly being hired as a Cna I get sent home because I was caught with a cellphone while with a patient. I used my cellphone to play music for the patient, and I also had to lower the sound volume on the IV to help the patient relax, and I also had to empty a drainage bag because the nurse didn't notice that it was full to the top. No nurses ever had issues with me before, so it's my first offense, except once I was scolded for coming late from a brake. I am not going into nursing, but wanted to work as a Cna, so I can help patients and nurses, and being busy with all that I don't think I would use my cellphone that much anyways. I am worried that my door will close in the field now because of all that. All nurses were happy with my ability to help, they didn't say anything about my cellphone but that one bad apple. From all your perspective I hope I can see some light. I am willing to change everything 360 if they would give me a chance. Is it that easy to get fired from a medical job and loose a career in health care? I am also going for another health care program that takes 5 years to complete. I sacrifice alot , for a cellphone use to end it all ?
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  2. 3 Comments

  3. by   amoLucia
    As an employee of the facility, you most likely have an employee handbook that explains the facility's rules & regs. Does your facility SPECIFICALLY prohibit the use of cell phones while on duty?

    If so, you broke the rules. Short and sweet explanation. Regardless of your best intentions, you broke the rules.

    What you most prob have is defined as a disciplinary "failure to follow facility R & R". Your past behaviors don't matter - the Pope could have written you a recommendation but in the end, you broke the rule.

    Now I am supposing that this might be a reason. I advise you to check your handbook. But ... I also see that you mention turning down the volume on the IV pump. Adjusting any mechanisms on a pump is usually ONLY permitted by LICENSED nsg staff. There are reasons for audible volume control and alarms and to bypass the safety reasons jeopardizes pt safety. Again that could be considered a discipline-worthy action.

    It's tough that your employer is taking such a strong stand. It's just another example that it would bode well for employees to fully understand their work environment restrictions and responsibilities.
  4. by   Crush
    Quote from El rad
    I am not a nurse but I work for the nursing department. My job was to provide patient safety, a sitter. My first hospital job. I put my self through CNA program to get certified and one day before I get certified and posibly being hired as a Cna I get sent home because I was caught with a cellphone while with a patient. I used my cellphone to play music for the patient, and I also had to lower the sound volume on the IV to help the patient relax, and I also had to empty a drainage bag because the nurse didn't notice that it was full to the top. No nurses ever had issues with me before, so it's my first offense, except once I was scolded for coming late from a brake. I am not going into nursing, but wanted to work as a Cna, so I can help patients and nurses, and being busy with all that I don't think I would use my cellphone that much anyways. I am worried that my door will close in the field now because of all that. All nurses were happy with my ability to help, they didn't say anything about my cellphone but that one bad apple. From all your perspective I hope I can see some light. I am willing to change everything 360 if they would give me a chance. Is it that easy to get fired from a medical job and loose a career in health care? I am also going for another health care program that takes 5 years to complete. I sacrifice alot , for a cellphone use to end it all ?
    What kind of drainage bag? Was the patient on I&O's, you lowered the volume on the IV which could have potential to jeopardize the patient which is why only licensed professionals should be adjusting any settings, including volume control. The cell phone issue is one that falls under employee regulations ( found in an employee handbook ) and if that is the policy then even with best of intentions you broke the rules. As the above mentioned it is wise to know your work environment, scope of practice and responsibilities. I wish you the best. It seems your heart was in the right place.
  5. by   JKL33
    To help you going forward, one overall thing that sticks out with all three of these offenses is the idea that you made independent decisions and took independent actions. That seems to be your basic error in thinking - - CNAs work under the direction of licensed nurses. It sounds like you made some good observations (for example, a drainage bag that looked like it needed to be emptied), but the correct action (or at least the safe action that can be applied as a "rule") is to bring your observations to the attention of the patient's nurse and see what, if anything, s/he would like you to do about it.

    1. Loud alarm is agitating the patient - - call nurse and see if it would be appropriate for him/her to decrease the volume based on your observation that it is agitating the patient.

    2. Agitated patient where you believe music might help - - contact nurse - primarily to make sure s/he is aware of the agitation, but also to brainstorm ways to decrease agitation. At that time you could ask if the department has a means of providing music, whether music would be appropriate, and also could receive permission from the nurse or his/her superior to use a personal cell phone to provide music (if such a thing is ever allowed).

    3. Drainage bag that needs to be emptied - - notify nursing staff responsible for patient care. Be aware of which types of drains you (as NA or sitter) are allowed/expected to empty independently according to the policy of that particular facility. Record and/or report your actions, including volume you emptied, appropriately.

    Usually each facility "signs off" NAs for the various procedures they are allowed to perform within that facility. One way or another you need to know exactly what is expected of you. And you must communicate with the nurse.

    I would handle this by letting your supervisors know that you thought you were taking actions in the patient's best interest, but you realize now that you must communicate with the nurse responsible for your patient. Take the initiative to review related policies ASAP.

    Good luck to you ~

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