help!!!! what would you do?

  1. i work with a nurse that has been acting funny at work. she will leave in the middle of the shift, one day she left and i had to take over her pill pass . i found beer spilled out on the mar. and the next day she work her cup (that she protects very closely, had beer in it,) i'm sure of it, i smell of it. yes i know i should have not done this, but if i'm going to take over her duties, then i need to know what is going on. what should i do, i have known her for a long time. help.
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  2. 23 Comments

  3. by   petiteflower
    I know this can be a hard thing--but your first duty is to protect the patients. Confront her!!! Or talk to your supervisor about your concerns. Before she does something that causes injury to the patient.
  4. by   colleen10
    Hi Gram,

    If you can not come up with some logical explanation as to what you have seen then I would talk with your immediate supervisor about the situation immeadiately. The discussion should be completely private and confidential. If you do not feel that the supervisor can be impartial then perhaps you should meet with some other supervisor or maybe someone from Human Resources.

    I don't even think that I would confront this nurse because if she truly does have a drinking problem she will probably deny it anyway and may become angered by your acqusations. Also, if you confront her you may give her a heads up that you or other hospital staffers will be keeping an eye on her and she may become more clever in hiding her problem. Ultimately, that would make it difficult to prove she has a problem and get her help.

    I would just give what information you have to a supervisor or HR and let them handle the "politics". And there certainly are a lot of politics involved in this sort of thing.

    Good Luck,

    Colleen
  5. by   meownsmile
    I have to agree, take it to the supervisor and let them deal with it. Confronting her youself just alerts her to the fact someone is aware of it and she will go out of her way to hide it even further causing more of a problem for patient and staff safety. If they(supervisor) have an ounce of credibility in them they wont even hint at who had concerns.
    We have had a couple people over the last few years who have been escorted down for blood draws during their shifts. They either came in smelling of alcohol or their job duties were showing signs of incompetance and poor judgement. The concerns others had were well founded and usually right.
  6. by   neuroRN
    I think that you should tell your supervisor ASAP before she causes any harm to patients.
  7. by   Rustyhammer
    I wonder if it was an import or domestic beer?
    It would be a shame if she was drinking bud lite
    don't you think?
    -Russell
  8. by   SmilingBluEyes
    Maybe it's "near beer" rofl.......just kidding!!!!!

    seriously, I agree w/the above posts that tell you to report it. To confront her directly if she really has a problem may likely just draw a denial. It smacks of a substance abuse problem and this person, if impaired, really needs rehabilitation. It does not mean the end of her career necessarily...just that she may need help. For your safety and that of the patients, you have to report this. Good luck! your concern is warranted, i think.
    Last edit by SmilingBluEyes on Jun 7, '02
  9. by   Sleepyeyes
    I actually had to do this once. A coworker was smelling like beer and acting like beer.

    I had to ask myself--do I really want my helpless patients subjected to the mistakes/poor treatment this person could cause them???? Then it was easy.

    I told the DON. Turns out that I wasn't the only one who'd noticed, and that the coworker was supposed to be in rehab for this.

    So they choose the booze over the job IMO, and I would have no problem reporting that if it happened again.
    Last edit by Sleepyeyes on Jun 7, '02
  10. by   tigger2sassy
    have to agree with the above posters-- the safety of the patients should come first-- think about it-- if you didn't say something you could be enabling this person-- thoughts are with you
  11. by   slinkeecat
    You need to discreetly report her to the DON and that's that!!
  12. by   Peeps Mcarthur
    That's very interesting that it was beer.

    The choice of alcoholics is hard liquor. Beer doesn't have enough alcohol and is fairly difficult to conceal. Hard liquor on the other hand, can be mixed in a soft drink or juice and go undetected that way.

    I would wonder if I wasn't being set-up.
    Observe behavior and confront the apropriate party with facts. That would involve making sure the beverage is what you think it is before.

    Beer is a very unlikely beverage.
  13. by   Peeps Mcarthur
    Forgot to mention that there is also non-alcoholic beer.

    That would also be strange because it would still be improper behavior.

    Dunno, doesn't sound right.

    Still don't make a move without a positive identification.
  14. by   ageless
    Originally posted by Peeps Mcarthur
    That's very interesting that it was beer.

    The choice of alcoholics is hard liquor.

    The above posts perpetuates a common held myth. Beer is the drug of choice for many alcoholics. I have personally seen it reck havoc in many lifes and spent many evening attending open AA meetings to meet the field/clinical requirements of my Community Nursing class.

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