Although I was suspicious that a well liked co-worker had an illegal drug habit, I became aware that it extended to work hours. It was brought to my attention as supervisor that he was "nodding out" and several patients had complained that they never recieved pain meds. With little research, I had 10 narc errors on one shift. Increased dosages, unexplained prns, unordered frequencies.. all signed at times he wasn't on the floor, to patients who complained they never got meds. To boot, he came outright asked me if I would "sell " him Tyl #3's at 8 bucks a piece.( He crushed and snorted them ... new one for me) . I truly believed I had a legal as well as ethical obligation to turn him in. Now he has been fired and I am public enemy number one at work. The narc who ratted out one of the popular crowd. Now I am shunned, threatened, and the victim of false accusations. Most of all, I am confused.. was I wrong? Is this what nursing is about...?
Dec 11, '11
First of all....welcome back! Second of all.....welcome to being a supervisor. Yes, you have a moral obligation but a bigger legal one. As a supervisor you will have to make hard decisions...unpopular decisions. This nurse is sick......they have an addictions illness. Let the staff vent.....they'll getr over it. You however need to act like business as usual and nothing has changed and ride out the storm. They liked this nurse and they feel bad that they are in such termoil....they are angry at them for throwing everything away.
They have to blame someone so they blame you.....for now. It will be ok. Did you reprot them to the board? I hope so because the board can make them get the help they most desperately need....Peace:redpinkhe
Dec 11, '11
Hold strong!! Of course you did the right and only thing you could do. I agree with Esme12-right now they are probably more upset at the nurse selling the team short, then they are at you. Being a supervisor is never easy. It may be time for the manager to help support you and have some quick staff meetings concerning professional accountability. You were acting as a patient advocate and for patient safety when insuring this individual be held responsible for their actions. I have had this scenario twice in the past, AND in both situations, I have had the staff and as well the person involved come back months later to thank me for getting them the help they all needed. In the long run, stealing of meds, lack of trust of which nurse is not providing the level of care needed, etc; affects the whole unit, so even if you are getting some pressure, know that you did the right thing professionally, and personally. Integrity is the one thing we have that we get to control and when we compromise it, then all is lost. Let me be the one to tell you-good work fellow nurse, You may never know if you saved his life by doing this. In one case of mine in the past, this is what was told to me after the fact, and I never knew how bad off the nurse was....Hang in there!!
Dec 12, '11
Look at it this way. Suppose you hadn't done what you did? Then they would be running around telling everyone how they told you about his behavior and you didn't do anything about it.
How about having to continue explaining to those patients why they didn't get their pain meds? You did good. They'll get over it, or not. So be it.
Jan 7, '12
The OP's predicament is good for discussion; however, the thread is over 8 years old. Here's hoping that the culture of the OP's unit changed and upgraded from a junior high playground to one where professional adults would recognize the inherent danger to the patients, the facility/organization, and to the diverting RN if everyone continued to ignore the warning signs.
May 19, '12
Want to know my point of view? I dont care what people do outside of the workplace. I have known several coworkers who had quite the pot habit. I have no idea what they would do if they had to do a UA but nonetheless, I don't care.
Since issues like this tend to overlap into work and directly effects patient care, you MUST report. I know this thread is old but I thought I would leave my opinion on it anyway. I came across it easily so Im sure I'm not the only one who will take a look at this.
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