St. Cloud Hospital suspends nurse after 23 inadvertently infected - page 4

A St. Cloud Hospital nurse is suspended pending an investigation into claims that the nurse inadvertently introduced bacterial infections into 23 patients while stealing pain medication from... Read More

  1. by   steelydanfan
    Quote from klone
    I think "inadvertant" is correctly - she did not knowingly set out to cause infection in these individuals. Therefore, the infections were "inadvertant."

    If she had been using used, dirty syringes to do it, then I could argue that it wasn't inadvertant.
    We don't know HOW she did what she did; but we DO know she stole pt's pain meds, is not that ENOUGH?
  2. by   adn/bsn in nc
    To Syberian Puppy:
    I am both and ADN and a BSN. I had no more tendency or desire to divert narcotics as an ADN than I do now. The ADN programs are what is keeping the nursing shortage at bay. I do not recall this article identifying the diverting nurse's education level. Don't be so hasty to judge, please.
    Last edit by adn/bsn in nc on Mar 25, '11 : Reason: Forgot to address to whom I was speaking
  3. by   adn/bsn in nc
    Quote from justashooter
    a lower caliber of persons are taking up roles in nursing. the entire nation is being de-ethicised. we're all being told from childhood that bad behaviour is not really the result of our individual choices, but some "disease" that we can medicate (sedate).
    I actually think it is about the current trends and customs for the need for instant gratification and inability to cope. You are correct that improper and unlawful behavior is not seen in black and white terms. Modern society seems to live in the gray areas.
  4. by   CapeCodMermaid
    For every drug test, there is a way to outsmart it. You just have to do a Google search. To be effective at finding impaired practitioners, testing should be random.
    And, I don't think you can equate smoking weed on your weekend off with stealing narcotics at work from patients who need them.
  5. by   ak127
    Agree with CapeCod- hell- I'm always shocked on the rare occasions my drug test is negative. My sleep disorder meds make me look like a complete junkie 9 times out of 10. Its more of a hassle than anything to go pee in the freakin cup when we all know my result doesn't mean anything. Especially since it makes them look at you differently when it was just a random test and you haven't done anything wrong. Makes me feel like a criminal.
  6. by   Forever Sunshine
    Quote from SyberianPuppy
    I feel if we had better professional standards for nursing, stuff like this wouldn't happen as often.

    Letting someone be in control of patients after a 2 year vocational program is kind of ridiculous. Entry-level BSN might help deter some people who go into nursing just to steal drugs, etc.

    Note: Not meant to offend any ADN prepared nurses - you guys are great! I meant that it is easier for people with less than moral intentions to get into nursing if they can just stop by their local community college and sign up. Making it a 4 year program might deter this kind of thing.
    I don't see how a nurse with a community college degree is more likely to steal drugs than a nurse with a BSN. A drug addict will get their drugs no matter what kind of degree they have.

    And I don't know about the other states but in NY you can't just swing by a community college and sign up. You have at least 3 years of prerequisites which you must do stellar in and then be put on a waiting list for the nursing program. Not easy to get into.
  7. by   NurseCindy2000
    When someone is addicted to drugs they will do anything and everything to get what they think they need. Is it right? Absolutely not. Should she lose her license, most definitely. Their is no excuse for what this person did. It just makes me wonder how many more victims went unnoticed before this nurse was caught.
  8. by   NurseCindy2000
    Quote from NurseCindy2000
    When someone is addicted to drugs they will do anything and everything to get what they think they need. Is it right? Absolutely not. Should she lose her license, most definitely. Their is no excuse for what this person did. It just makes me wonder how many more victims went unnoticed before this nurse was caught.
    Addiction has absolutely no boundaries when it comes to your nursing education. LPN/LVN, BSN, MSN,PHD. Addiction is addiction. I am a MSN, but I would rather have one great LPN, than three RN's that think they are too good to give a bath or clean up after a patient. If it wasn't for LPN/LVN's there would just be RN's that think their too good to do that sort of work. LPN's are as good as RN's, the only difference is we can hang blood and push IV meds and they can't. Just because someone has a degree from a community college does not mean they are more likely to steal drugs or become addicts. The standards for becoming a nurse whether LPN /LVN or MSN are high no matter where you get your education. If a state board exam is passed by LPN/LVN, BSN, MSN, or PHD, that says they are qualified to do their job. If it wasn't for LPN/LVN's we would be the ones doing all of the dirty and less glorious jobs of pushing paper, and delegating work schedules. Perhaps if her supervisor had been a little more attentive she would have noticed a problem before it got this out of hand. But I guess could be wrong.....
  9. by   NurseCindy2000
    Originally Posted by SyberianPuppy
    I feel if we had better professional standards for nursing, stuff like this wouldn't happen as often.

    Letting someone be in control of patients after a 2 year vocational program is kind of ridiculous. Entry-level BSN might help deter some people who go into nursing just to steal drugs, etc.

    Note: Not meant to offend any ADN prepared nurses - you guys are great! I meant that it is easier for people with less than moral intentions to get into nursing if they can just stop by their local community college and sign up. Making it a 4 year program might deter this kind of thing.


    This quote was meant to be the one replied to in the above message, sorry Ihad to get one of my LPN's to point that out LOL
  10. by   kids
    I tend to agree with eriksoln.
    It's a simple solution to a simple problem: If you steal drugs from a patient you lose your license forever.
    If you have a substance abuse problem and do NOT steal drugs from a patient you get to go to rehab and be monitored with the goal of getting your license back.

    'Assistance programs' are a new phenomenon, I think created to keep nurses in the field during a period of critical shortage. Twenty plus years ago if you got caught stealing drugs and were reported to the board your career was over. I also think it is another example of how a large part of society has come to expect that excuses can minimize the consequences. I don't care how crappy your childhood or home life is, how stressful your job is, how much pain your in. A nursing license is a privilege, you steal drugs from a patient you lose that privilege.
  11. by   kids
    Quote from adn/bsn in nc
    I actually think it is about the current trends and customs for the need for instant gratification and inability to cope. You are correct that improper and unlawful behavior is not seen in black and white terms. Modern society seems to live in the gray areas.
    Exactly!
    And as a person who views most of life in terms of black and white it infuriates me.
  12. by   rngolfer53
    Quote from klone
    I think "inadvertant" is correctly - she did not knowingly set out to cause infection in these individuals. Therefore, the infections were "inadvertant."

    If she had been using used, dirty syringes to do it, then I could argue that it wasn't inadvertant.
    Probably "reckless" would be a better description than "inadvertent."

    She may not have intended to infect these Pts, but she had to be aware of the probability, and callously did it anyway. Had any of them died, her actions may arguably have met the standard of depraved indifference that could result in murder charges.

    As several have remarked, a sad and infuriating situation.
  13. by   rngolfer53
    Quote from eriksoln
    Yes. And trust me, I realize there are holes in that approach, but its the best approach I know of.

    Someone who comes into work "impaired" but never diverted has not crossed the same line, in my mind anyway. They can be given a break...............sent to rehab....................made to follow a "re-admittance to practice" program and allowed back in, if they show they are serious about making the drug use a thing of the past.

    To me..........like I said, it takes a certain lack of judgement to "divert", which makes it a much worse offense than using and being impaired. No, thats not right..............its more than a lack of judgement. Its a complete disregard for the pt. and anyone else involved in the situation (co-workers etc).

    The "impaired nurse" has certainly shown a tendency for behaviors that are not inductive of "safe pt. care", but not to the same degree the one who diverts did.

    I can live with someone who smoked weed on the weekend coming in and falling asleep during report......................being sent to rehab and allowed to practice again. What I can't understand is......................the IV drug abuser who takes a cancer pt's morphine and uses it to feed their own addiction...................being allowed to practice again.

    I don't claim to be an expert on drug addiction. I have my reasons for seeing things the way I see them. What I can say, without pause is this.................................If I had a loved one, in the hospital dying of bone CA..................I'd have an issue with a nurse who is a known drug diverter caring for my loved one. I would not on the other hand be concerned with a nurse who............in the past had a few DUI's but then went to rehab.
    To me, if you show up impaired for work, you may harm the patient thru being impaired.

    If you're diverting drugs from the patient, you are harming them in at least two ways. First by denying them the benefit--relief of pain, anxiety, etc--of the drug you stole from them. And, second it is stealing, 'cause the patient will be billed for it, and you can bet you're not going to reimburse them.

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