Should I report the person who scheduled me to a patient I should not have been sitting?

  1. I'm a patient attendant and I'm only five days in but yesterday I sat with a Suicidal patient I wasn't ready for this as I'm pretty new to the job. I'm pretty upset since I didn't know he was suicidal I thought he was general precautions, that's what they told me anyways.


    So usually they inform me about the status of the patient so I'm better prepared when watching them. Usually with general precautions I'd do my homework or read magazines. I thought the same was for this case, the nurses even told me to just watch him outside his room and can even ignore him, that's what I did in the beginning because I was honestly scared, I wasn't ready to be dealing with someone in his situation. I didn't even realize he was suicidal until the end of he day when I called the company I worked for and they informed me.


    I'm annoyed because of how easily things could have gone wrong, and they did. I was outside his door watching him reading a magazine and he managed to rip out his iv...I didn't even know he had one in and the nurse left the lights off on him when they left also they didn't care when kept thrashing around on his bed so I just thought nothing of it but he managed to rip out his IV and blood was everywhere, like there was a pool of blood I didn't notice until the nurse took notice of it when he stopped by. It was than that I decided to sit inside even though the nurses advised me not to and decided to engage with him even though he was so abrasive before and even racist. He was constantly calling the nurses ******* and berating them.


    At the end of the day things turned out fine and he got better, he managed to keep conversation going and got better.


    But should I report the mix up to the company that contracted me?


    (with this company in the first thirty days you only handle general precautions not suicidal patients)


    When I called the scheduling team and complained about this they apologized and told me his status randomly changed and they weren't aware When I entered he was in restraints so I'm surprised he was ever general precautions.

    The whole situation left me with a bad taste in my month :/

    I just wasn't prepared to deal with a patient this distraught and I'm annoyed how his safety was compromised
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  2. 42 Comments

  3. by   Ruby Vee
    You've spoken to your company and they told you that the patient's status was changed unexpectedly. That sort of thing happens. As for "Reporting" someone -- not the best start to a new job.
  4. by   Double-Helix
    It sounds like the issue is the communication between the contracting hospital and your scheduling team. How are patient reports usually handled? Do you get any kind of report from the nursing staff? The sitter who watched the patient before you? Are there any written notes or documentation? There should also be a doctor’s order for observation that specifies the level of observation required. You’ve reported this to your schedulers, and it’s now the scheduler’s job to follow up with the hospital. You can learn from this experience by making sure you ask the nursing staff about the patients you are sitting and get specific details about why you are needed, checking the doctor’s order for patient observation, and thinking about how you will work with suicidal patients should you be assigned to one in the future.
  5. by   meanmaryjean
    You complained.
    You got an explanation AND an apology.

    You want to 'report' someone why?
  6. by   Rayrayma
    Ok, honestly just find it all really unprofessional tbh. Is this normal at hospitals? like do status of patients randomly change within seconds? You have to understand I'm not that familiar with healthcare, I don't know if I should even report this.

    I mainly thought about reporting it because I thought the mix up was pretty severe.
  7. by   Rayrayma
    Yeah, I thought it was common place to report such a mishap, the scheduling team is pretty crap at the place I work. So I was gonna report them to the person who heads the patient sitting department
  8. by   Rayrayma
    This is what the nurse told me about the patient

    "He's a terrible person, very evil and you should ignore him, also redirect him" I wasn't informed he was suicidal AT ALL or that he had an IV in....

    Uh, I was taken back because it seems out of line to be calling a patient evil. However when I came near the door there was slew of nurses by the door watching him scream at them. He was in restraints yelling at the nurses, calling them things and they laughed it off....

    They recommended I sit outside so I did just that, and it resulted in this dude almost dying...

    Tbh, I learned a lot from that experience, I just wasn't prepared for handling a patient of this caliber five days in....
  9. by   meanmaryjean
    Quote from Rayrayma
    Ok, honestly just find it all really unprofessional tbh. Is this normal at hospitals? like do status of patients randomly change within seconds? You have to understand I'm not that familiar with healthcare, I don't know if I should even report this.

    I mainly thought about reporting it because I thought the mix up was pretty severe.
    OF COURSE it's normal for patient's status to change abruptly. That's WHY people are in the hospital. There's nothing to report. It's taken care of.
  10. by   oceanblue52
    Was it specifically in your job contract to NOT take care of people with suicide precautions? This is a very common situation in acute care hospitals. CNAs, Patient Attendants, and Sitters, and even nurses can be asked to sit 1:1 with a suicidal patient in restraints. Typically no formal training is required.

    Granted, you should have been told about his IV and more objective information. A good hospital will give you breaks in your shift if you are dealing with someone especially exhausting or verbally abusive. Honestly though, unless this a breach of contract I have a hard time understanding why your company even felt the need to apologize. Suicidal ideation is a common concern with patients in all settings, including acute care.
  11. by   Glycerine82
    You don't need to report anyone, but just let the scheduler know what happened. I'm sure it wasn't intentional, they probably didn't get all the information. Any patient that needs a one to one sitter is going to have some type of extraordinary circumstance, and in many cases your full attention will be required.

    In the future, ask what the patients dx is, what types of devices they have (IV, foley, PEG tube, etc. ) as well as what is required of you during that shift. If you don't get the info from the scheduler, ask the charge nurse when you arrive to the facility. You can also ask to speak to the nurse in charge of that patient and ask her or she the same questions. Communication is key and sometimes you have to initiate it yourself.
  12. by   Ruby Vee
    Quote from meanmaryjean
    You complained.
    You got an explanation AND an apology.

    You want to 'report' someone why?
    Exactly!
  13. by   RegularNurse
    Quote from Rayrayma
    This is what the nurse told me about the patient

    "He's a terrible person, very evil and you should ignore him, also redirect him" I wasn't informed he was suicidal AT ALL or that he had an IV in....

    Uh, I was taken back because it seems out of line to be calling a patient evil. However when I came near the door there was slew of nurses by the door watching him scream at them. He was in restraints yelling at the nurses, calling them things and they laughed it off....

    They recommended I sit outside so I did just that, and it resulted in this dude almost dying...

    Tbh, I learned a lot from that experience, I just wasn't prepared for handling a patient of this caliber five days in....
    Come on now. I think you are blowing this out of proportion. The nurse should have told you he was suicidal. You complained to your company and got an apology.

    Patients pull out their IVs all the time. I have never seen a patient bleed to death from a dislodged IV.

    I think you are new to nursing. One of the things you will learn is that stuff happens. Just be cool and do your job.

    Best of Luck going forward.
  14. by   BSN16
    Quote from Rayrayma
    This is what the nurse told me about the patient

    "He's a terrible person, very evil and you should ignore him, also redirect him" I wasn't informed he was suicidal AT ALL or that he had an IV in....
    ...
    im sorry but i am not buying this.

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