I have an LPN charge nurse under my direction who admits to taking ATIVAN at work - her own script to my knowledge - she states she takes it in order to function - she has said this to two of my supervisors. She has performance issues for the last week and I suspended her - she called my facility at 1 am demanding my phone number and that of the Administrator - threatening to report to work if we did not call her at 1 am even though she had been notified she was removed from the schedule.. she did not come to the facility however I feel as though she is highly unstable. She has filed a harassment grievance against me and is a union steward which is irrelevant to the performance issue but complicates the matter of course. I am concerned this nurse is unsafe to practice - I can not find details about standards of practice or conduct to guide me as to whether I have a solid case for terminationa and reporting her to the board of registration - anyone ever experience this?
Apr 21, '01
We have had similar problems at our place. First, I think you need to separate what the performance issues are from what may or may not be a dependancy problem. If she has an Rx for the ativan, I'm not sure you can comment at all on that. Performance issues leading to discipline have to follow a very specific sequence. First check with your HR advisor as they are usually very familiar with both contract issues and with disciplinary actions. Make sure that everything from your end has been very well documented. If it comes down to your word against hers, you will get nowhere (sadly). Most often there will have to be a verbal warning re: behaviours followed by a series of written warnings. ALL carefully documented. Don't assume that the union will take an adversarial stance on this. They don't wnat their members practicing unsafely either. Finally, if there is an Employee Assistance Program at your facility, I would suggest that you refer this lady to them in the strongest possible terms. She doesn't have to go, but it shows that you are doing your best. Hope this is helpful...