Worried about co-worker

  1. I have recently started a new job and during the orientation process all the new hires are together for many days. So here's my concern, one of the newbies is always discussing her "medication habits". Usually I'm not to worried about what others do but in the healthcare setting I want my co-workers alert at all times (not asking for to much). Well today I noticed she took her medication 3 times in a very short period, and yes she has told us what she takes. (not keeping it secret at all) I spoke to another co-worker about this after work and they are also concerned. Should we go to the supervisor? Being new I really dont' want to rock the boat but I don't want a bad patient outcome either. How do others handle things like this?
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  2. 12 Comments

  3. by   TexasPoodleMix
    Quote from pgrsctrn2be
    I have recently started a new job and during the orientation process all the new hires are together for many days. So here's my concern, one of the newbies is always discussing her "medication habits". Usually I'm not to worried about what others do but in the healthcare setting I want my co-workers alert at all times (not asking for to much). Well today I noticed she took her medication 3 times in a very short period, and yes she has told us what she takes. (not keeping it secret at all) I spoke to another co-worker about this after work and they are also concerned. Should we go to the supervisor? Being new I really dont' want to rock the boat but I don't want a bad patient outcome either. How do others handle things like this?
    I'm not a nurse, but if it were me right now I would just ignore it. Sounds like she is begging for attention. She probably won't last long. Plz. don't slam me! :uhoh21: just my opinion !
  4. by   Tweety
    Is she impaired? Are you fearing for patient's safety. Are the drugs allowed by the Nurse Practice Act to be taken while working?

    Does sound a bit attention-seeking if she's making you aware each and every time she takes a medication.

    If you are in doubt then go to the supervisor. Patient safety is what matters here.
  5. by   TexasPoodleMix
    Quote from 3rdShiftGuy
    Patient safety is what matters here.
    Oh PATIENT safety !!! I just skimmed over your post and I was thinking you were worried about HER safety ! That's a whole different ballgame ! I have a loooong way to go !
  6. by   chris_at_lucas_RN
    Patient safety first, for sure. But you also have to be on the lookout for being able to trust your coworkers. Sounds like she is already giving you messages about her stability.

    If she isn't keeping this a secret, then you might want to share your concerns with your manager. You'll find out a couple of things... whether your manager cares about it at all, whether he/she will keep your confidence, and whether mind altering drugs (you didn't say what they were, but I'm guessing you wouldn't be goosey about it if it were aspirins or HTN meds) are going to be tolerated on the unit or in your hospital.

    Or you could just wait and see.
  7. by   Angela Mac
    I would speak with the Director of Nursing in private. If the medication was for anxiety or pain, I doubt that she should be taking it less than every four hours. I had worked with an imapired nurse who abruptly left the building and did not return. It was around 7:30 at night. I was left alone, in a nursing home with 65 residents, the two halls were filled with residents asking for their meds at the same time until another nurse could arrive. If anything went wrong, I would have been held liable & I am sure the nursing board would of questioned me as to why I was working with someone who was impaired.....One might want to bash me on this matter...... but first, put yourself in my place. How would you feel if you were left alone in this manner?
  8. by   phatERnurse
    Maybe you could approach her and talk with her about it. Patient safety is very important...but if it was me, I would want someone to talk to me first before going to my supervisor. Im not in your shoes, so I really dont know how your environment is at work...but that is just my suggestion.
  9. by   Havin' A Party!
    Quote from TexasPoodleMix
    Oh PATIENT safety !!! I just skimmed over your post...
    Hey, Holl -- You lookin' for a slammin' or what?

    Well, be careful!
  10. by   Havin' A Party!
    Quote from phatERnurse
    ... I would want someone to talk to me first before going to my supervisor...
    Wisdom beyond your years, Phat.
  11. by   Karen_tn_37211
    Yes, definitely approach the nurse herself before going to the supervisor. Based on her response and attitude then plan step #2. Too many people go straight to the supervisor with EVERYTHING.....which can cause grief and hostility for/with co-workers. I get tired of child-like behavior in the work place.
  12. by   Destinystar
    If the medication is perscribed by her MD she can take it. Unless you notice that she cant walk, talk, make decisions, I dont see any reason to report it. Nurses can and do take a lot of medication prescribed by their MD, antidepressants, antihypertensives, antianxieties, lithium , you name it and function safely on the job. Now street drugs, and unperscribed medication is another story. Just because a nurse is not in perfect health does not mean she cannot work. Look at the American with Disbilities Act. I always knew when the hormone patch supply on my Administrator ran out and when my Staff Developer ran out of her antidepressants, or when some nurses needed insulin. They are humans.
  13. by   cswain12000
    Quote from Destinystar
    If the medication is perscribed by her MD she can take it. Unless you notice that she cant walk, talk, make decisions, I dont see any reason to report it. Nurses can and do take a lot of medication prescribed by their MD, antidepressants, antihypertensives, antianxieties, lithium , you name it and function safely on the job. Now street drugs, and unperscribed medication is another story. Just because a nurse is not in perfect health does not mean she cannot work. Look at the American with Disbilities Act. I always knew when the hormone patch supply on my Administrator ran out and when my Staff Developer ran out of her antidepressants, or when some nurses needed insulin. They are humans.
    I wouldn't think that she could take just any medicine prescribed by her MD and still work. I suffer from migraines, and do have a prescription for Darvocet--but I would not take it at work or if I were going to work. I feel that puts my patients at risk--even if I feel that I am not impaired when taking this drug--how can I really know that I wouldn't make some mistake. So--just because it is prescribed for me--I believe that along with my license comes a responsibility to my patients. My facility also obviously believes this--as I am granted an intermittent LOA to stay home when I am dealing with a migraine and need to take a narcotic painkiller. Just to note also--I can only deal with a migraine with narcotic drugs now as the sumatriptan type drugs gave me a heart attack last summer--so am unable to take any of the family of triptan drugs now. Thank God my dr. started me on Depakote, and now my migraines are very few and far between.
  14. by   MandyInMS
    I would talk to the nurse first , and explain that you are concerned..not nosey or judgemental..and advise her to make sure the supervisor/don are aware of the meds she is taking during work...I think that would be best for you as well as him/her..best wishes

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