Abandonment

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by Nurseynurse1418 Nurseynurse1418 (New) New

I work in a busy ICU. When I arrived to my shift at 3pm I felt fine. I admitted a patient at 4pm who was very critical (on multiple drips,etc). I charted his admission assessment but after that was unable to chart until about 8:45pm. Around 9pm I suddenly felt very ill and was getting sick in the bathroom. I was continually sick until 9:30. I then told my charge nurse that I could no longer work and had to leave. The nurse who was taking over asked me what drips the patient was on but I was physically unable to give her a full report. I clocked out at 10pm. Now I am being suspended indefinitely and my license is being threatened for abandonment by my boss. Anyone have experience with this? I had nothing charted because when I sat down to finally chart, I was suddenly ill and was also unable to give report.

sevensonnets

sevensonnets

975 Posts

Why didn't you notify the charge nurse at 9: 00 that you felt ill instead of waiting until 9:30?

Nurseynurse1418

Nurseynurse1418

7 Posts

I was in the bathroom getting sick for 30 mins. I had another nurse watch my patient during that time. @sevensonnets

Nunya

Nunya, BSN

Specializes in NICU/Mother-Baby/Peds/Mgmt. Has 40 years experience. 771 Posts

Contact your malpractice insurance company as soon as they open in the morning. You need a lawyer who's experienced in this kind of thing and I'm assuming they can give you advice.

JKL33

6,392 Posts

Does getting sick refer to active v/d, etc.? How did you make it home?

This seems like an awfully harsh reaction on their part. I'm sorry for asking but is there more to the story? Are they suggesting this was contrived or what? I've never seen or known of a coworker being treated this way over being actively physically ill at work, even if they have given reports that are very brief or not up to usual expectations.

LovingLife123

LovingLife123

1,575 Posts

Why weren’t you able to give report? You were able to drive home, correct? I get you were sick, it happens, but they got you a replacement. Give some type of report.

JadedCPN, BSN, RN

Specializes in Pediatrics, Pediatric Float, PICU, NICU. Has 16 years experience. 1,476 Posts

1 hour ago, LovingLife123 said:

Why weren’t you able to give report? You were able to drive home, correct? I get you were sick, it happens, but they got you a replacement. Give some type of report.

I agree with this. Assuming you were able to drive home, you should have been able to struggle your way through a brief report for the sake of patient safety. Granted, I think their reaction may be a bit too strong.

NICU Guy, BSN, RN

Specializes in NICU. Has 7 years experience. 4,083 Posts

11 hours ago, Eklusty1 said:

The nurse who was taking over asked me what drips the patient was on but I was physically unable to give her a full report.

Did you give her any type of report? A compassionate coworker would say "give me what I need to know and I can figure out the rest". I never leave work without some type of verbal acknowledgement from my relief: They need to say either "Have a good night","See you in the morning", or "Thanks, I got it". If they walk off, I ask them before I leave and say "Are we good?". That way I have proof that they verbally accept the patients.

If you couldn't even go over the drips, then it seems like you didn't give any type of actual report.

kp2016

kp2016

Has 20 years experience. 461 Posts

On 3/18/2020 at 10:23 PM, Eklusty1 said:

I admitted a patient at 4pm who was very critical (on multiple drips,etc). I charted his admission assessment but after that was unable to chart until about 8:45pm. Around 9pm I suddenly felt very ill and was getting sick in the bathroom. I was continually sick until 9:30.

I had nothing charted because when I sat down to finally chart, I was suddenly ill and was also unable to give report.

I suspect there are actually 3 issues here, patient was

"very critical",

"I had nothing charted"

"unable to give report"

I agree it's harsh to throw you under the bus for getting sick at work. I'm guessing if the patient's condition declined or a complaint was made by the family management might think they would have a hard time defending the care he recieve and that notion that "their facility" didn't fail in its duty of care therefore contributing to a poor outcome.

Is there perhaps a bigger problem like maybe a poor outcome or a family complaint?

Closed Account 12345

Closed Account 12345

Has 17 years experience. 296 Posts

Patient care is certainly a higher priority than charting, but I find the total absence of charting for an almost 5 hour gap on a critically ill patient with multiple drips concerning. That's not just a little behind.

Hopefully when you charted at 8:45 you were able to catch up documentation for that entire stretch.

Otherwise, from a legal standpoint, the care did not occur... And to anyone who reviews the patient's chart, they would, in fact, appear abandoned. It goes back to the Documentation 101 principle of "If it wasn't charted, it wasn't done."

Personally, if I were caring for an unstable, critically ill patient, I would call my charge nurse from the toilet as soon as I realized I was too sick to leave the bathroom. Who had eyes on this critically ill patient during that 30 minute span?

That said, I'm sorry you got so sick, and I hope there is a good outcome for you in this situation.

Katie82

Katie82, RN

Specializes in Med Surg, Tele, PH, CM. Has 40 years experience. 642 Posts

Sorry to say, this may meet the legal criteria for abandonment. The argument would be that if you were capable of walking out of the hospital and driving home, you were capable of a two minute report to hit the high spots.

Nurseynurse1418

Nurseynurse1418

7 Posts

Thanks for the responses everyone. It all worked out for the best.