St. Cloud Hospital suspends nurse after 23 inadvertently infected - page 6

by lperkrn | 11,308 Views | 56 Comments

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 patients’ IV bags for personal use. ... Read More


  1. 1
    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.
    jmiraRN likes this.
  2. 0
    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.
  3. 1
    Nurses are no different than anybody else so one would expect that their rates of addictions - to drugs, food, gambling, sex, etc - would be no lower than across the general population. Given the job stress, in fact, I'd imagine that it may be higher.

    Couple that with the easy access and... voila.

    The question is less one of *why* and more one of *what to do about it.*

    I would not be surprised - especially with the Reep Resurgence - to see a move toward mandatory random drug testing just as is seen in the transportation industry and the public safety industry.
    jmiraRN likes this.
  4. 0
    "The question is less one of *why* and more one of *what to do about it.*

    I would not be surprised - especially with the Reep Resurgence - to see a move toward mandatory random drug testing just as is seen in the transportation industry and the public safety industry."

    Although it is a disgusting story, it seems to be more and more common.
    Random drug testing seems like it might be in the near future. Hey, truck drivers gotta do it, why not nurses?
  5. 0
    Quote from jmira
    Although it is a disgusting story, it seems to be more and more common.
    Random drug testing seems like it might be in the near future. Hey, truck drivers gotta do it, why not nurses?
    How 'bout because it's an invasion of privacy without probable cause?

    How 'bout because false positives can destroy someone's life?

    How 'bout because a *true* positive for something politically unpopular but not shown to be detrimental to patient care could still destroy one's life?
  6. 0
    Quote from ♪♫ in my ♥
    How 'bout because it's an invasion of privacy without probable cause?

    How 'bout because false positives can destroy someone's life?

    How 'bout because a *true* positive for something politically unpopular but not shown to be detrimental to patient care could still destroy one's life?
    So why is ok for truck drivers? Because it's for public safety and serves the greater good.

    False positives are not that common and are usually resolved with retesting.

    Politically unpopular or not it's illegal except in some specific circumstances. (And is a topic for another thread.)
  7. 0
    Quote from kids
    so why is ok for truck drivers? in short -- it's not.

    false positives are not that common and are usually resolved with retesting. which is all fine... unless you're the one wrongly targeted.

    politically unpopular or not it's illegal except in some specific circumstances. again, illegal doesn't mean impaired, especially when discussing compounds for which no level of impairment has been defined... or even can be so far as i'm aware.
    nope, the civil libertarian in me refuses to give up any more of the little privacy that we have left.


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