Incident Reports and Staff

  1. Hi guys, a newbie to RN World! Just graduated and making the world a little bit better one at a time! Anyway, caught in a bit of conundrum, I hope you guys can help. Here's the story:

    I work nights at my hospital and yesterday morning a patient supposedly fell to the floor. Now the nurse, which is an LPN (very important part), asked me to help the patient get back to the bed, so of course i said yes. I went into the room, asked the LPN if he fell or not and he mumbled something and we went on to put the patient back to the bed. I told him you should tell the Charge and write an incident report. Then I went on my merry way to MY 6 patients. Then, working tonight, the charge confronts me, asking me if i knew about a patient who fell and I said yes. She proceeded to ask me if I had done anything else than help the LPN, and I said no. So, for 15 minutes I am being scolded for not making sure the LPN told her and for not making an incident report. She is making an incident report NOW including my name.

    Now, when she scolded me, my mind was getting pain meds for a patient, but then when I had time to reflect on it, she basically was telling me that since I am an RN, I should have been on top of the situation just because he is an LPN. She was asking me if anything was done, vital signs, paging the MD, and I am wide-eyed. I do not remember reading as one of my responsibilities as an RN to babysit an LPN. It's not like he is new, he has been working for a few years now and I just got off orientation a month ago. I'm not syaing he's a bad nurse either; he's helped me a couple times.

    So, we probably would have to speak to the RN manager tomorrow, what should I do? Say? Am I liable for anything that happened to the patient? Any advice? Thanks!
  2. Visit drknyko profile page

    About drknyko

    Joined: Mar '09; Posts: 13; Likes: 1


  3. by   nerdtonurse?
    Hi, and welcome to the dark side of nursing...the blame game.

    When you go see your NM, here's what I'd have straight in my mind:

    1 -- was I the charge nurse? I'm one month off orientation, no ma'am, I was not. The person in charge of the LPN was the charge nurse, not me.

    2 -- was this my patient? No ma'am, they were not. As such, this patient was in the primary care of the LPN. I simply assisted a colleage place her patient in bed, I did not assume care of the patient.

    3 -- I told the LPN to file an incident report and tell the charge nurse. If she chose not to, that's something you should take up with her.

    My advice, 2 years into the game? Bring a gun to a knife fight, or they will pick on you forever.
  4. by   drknyko
    The thing I am afraid of is that again I am only one month off from orientation. If i come all abrasive like that, then I would be that type of person, when I am not.
  5. by   d!gger
    It's not abrasive. You're sticking to the facts - which are in your favor.

    From what you've written, the LPN coworker does not report to you. They report to the charge nurse.

    Compromised patient safety (if that's indeed what happened) is an incident report.

    Have you seen your coworker since this happened?

    You can always politely ask to see the specific policy.

    Whatever you do to relax, do it right before your meeting tomorrow so you can go in with a clear (read: not anxious) head.

    Good Luck,

  6. by   Straydandelion
    Just adding the link to tie both together: RN Responsibility Refresher
  7. by   loricatus
    Quote from nerdtonurse?

    3 -- I told the LPN to file an incident report and tell the charge nurse. If she chose not to, that's something you should take up with her.
    This is the important point. You DID do your job in thie situation and, technically, advised the LPN of his duty. Furthermore, you were not a witness to the incident and were never given a clear answer what had happened.

    And, for the record, the Charge Nurse, was supposed to be on top of the situation since you were not the RN delegated to oversee the LPN.

    You will have to stand up for yourself. You do not have to be abrasive; but, you MUST be assertive. Saying to the CN what I said above is just defending yourself and stating the truth. If a power play takes place and you cave, you will be toast. I suspect that the CN is trying avoid taking the just blame in this situation and you are the target that the CN feels will be the easiest to defer the blame on to.

    You do have the option to write your own incident report with exactly what you explained here (regarding the incident, not the after effect).
  8. by   drknyko
    Well... here goes nothing 2 hours gonna fly by, then next you know I'll be in the managers office blah....... can i sue the hospital if i get an accident driving home sleepy? lol
  9. by   loricatus
    I suspect that you will have enough adrenaline flowing that you won't be able to get to sleep.

    Remember that being assertive would include showing that you WANT to go to the manager's office ASAP to explain your side. SHOW NO FEAR

    Good Luck & be sure to drive safely home, even though you may feel like going 'nursal'
  10. by   drknyko
    "nursal"? like postal? i get it...
  11. by   CoffeeRTC
    have to agree with all of the above. Just give the facts.
  12. by   TexasNurse2008
    Be assertive, not abrasive and don't sign anything until your version of the whole story is in the report as well. If you don't stand up for yourself now it won't get any better. I wouldn't lose any sleep over it - you did your job.
  13. by   wonderbee
    No need to read you the riot act. ANY saff member can put in an incident report. The first responder (in this case the LPN) would be the appropriate member. All you witnessed was patient on floor. Maybe that's all she witnessed too. Unless someone actually saw the fall occur, it should not be documented as a fall. Just the facts, ma'am. If it were me, I would have notified the charge RN. That's the only thing I would have done differently.
  14. by   litbitblack
    ok so what happened?