Desperately need help

Nurses General Nursing

Published

Dear Nurses

I am in dire need of your help. I was called into the VP of nursing's office Monday and told that my name showed up on a pyxis discrepancy report showing that several doses of Tylenol # 3 were missing and had not been given to my assigned patients that day. I was in total shock as we had been having a problem lately with several discrepancies that I had brought to the attention of our head nurse and she said she would look into it. I was offered " counselling " if I needed it or a resignation if I felt that I needed to do that. I Instantly offered a lie detector test or a drug test as I am totally innocent. I also suggested several alternatives to the scenario - such as some one coming in after me and taking meds ( if I forgot to log off ) or that I gave meds to another patient not assigned to me. I was coolly informed that step one in the investigation was a negative drug test and that the suggestions that other staff were involved was none of my business. My drug test was completely negative but I am supposed to meet with the VP on Friday and she was just as cool and nasty on the phone as you can imagine. HELP What can I do - what are my options, do I have legal recourse, the human resources policy says that they can terminate me for suspicion. I am a single mom of 4 boys and I need my job.

Please, nurses help me

Pebbles

BarbPick

780 Posts

If your pixix has a finger print that has to be scanned, thenyou have no where to go. Drug seeking nurses will find a way, like talking to you and watching your code. Right now, the only thing I can think of is to contact an attorney for advice.

I was once told my pixix entry was off by an hour of administration. It was the night of the time change. You know, the BON might help you. Find an atty who is familiar with administrative hearings. Sometimes the pixix is not right.

live4today, RN

5,099 Posts

Specializes in Community Health Nurse.

Stick to the truth as you know it. Do not alter the story. Do not allow them to make you nervous either. They are only human just like you. They are not to be feared. The only thing to fear is if you are not being straight about what happened. :)

True stories never change -- only stories that are fabricated to cover the real truth of what went down. Always stick to the truth, and let that be your defense. If they terminate you, get a lawyer. :nurse:

sjoe

2,099 Posts

Specializes in Corrections, Psych, Med-Surg.

"Right now, the only thing I can think of is to contact an attorney for advice."

I agree. From your story, the administration has already convicted you. They will NOT be reasonable or fair, you can bet on it.

huggietoes

125 Posts

How terrible. If you have a union then contact your representative and let administration know that you will not speak to anyone without your rep present, definitely contact an attorney. Ask around and find a lawyer familiar with this type of case. Take the drug test, however, a lie detector test is "iffy" they are not 100% accurate and if you are very nervous it may determine you to be "deceitful", can you tell I was a PI before nursing? Good luck and stick to your guns because this is something that can follow you and even cause you to leave your license.

Rapheal

814 Posts

How terrible! My sympathies to you. I agree with the other posters that you should stick to the truth, and hire a lawyer. I wish that the pyxis would include a camera with the date and time so that everyone could be sure of who took a med out on a certain date and time.

Your negative drug test shows that you are not using drugs. That is on your side. I really wish you the best in this situation. It infuriates me that you are the one in trouble while some other nurse who stole the drugs, and is probally using drugs is walking away scot free for now. But it will catch up to them. I hope this all turns in your favor. But you need to protect yourself. Get that lawyer.

K O'Malley

136 Posts

By all means, get a lawyer. It could be that the hospital is also investigating some other suspects and you will be cleared. I don't know if you are working where I used to work in WV but they watch any pyxis discrepencies closely. Even not having someone witness your waste. I know I have been guilty of this once because there was no-one around anywhere to witness so I stuck the leftover in my pocket to have someone witness with me later and it leaked out! Nothing came of it for me but a nurse I know did get fired for unwitnessed waste! So, everyone, be ever so careful when taking drugs from pyxis.

Thanks for all of the kind thoughts and advice. Don't know if I can afford a lawyer - I'm working for a major hospital and they have mega bucks and may try to tie this up in court until I run dry of funds. Don't even know what kind of lawyer to look for. The kids will need food and the mortgage must be paid so do I resign when they present me with options and keep my license if that is the dirty offer they make or fight them. ??? I am madly rewriting my resume just in case the news is bad but still praying like crazy that I will be cleared. The pyxis has an over ride function to it and someone over rode it each time so there is no order for the meds removed. The other thing that is killing me is that someone I work with has done this either intentionally to me or just my luck and that is playing havoc with my soul also. The thought that someone has it " out " for me or that I am the unknowing patsy of a drug seeker and it is one of my " friends " Even if I am cleared, how will I ever trust them again ??

Last question - can a lawyer subpoena the charts for the days that the drugs were missing and the pyxis records ? If it is an honest mistake - someone just over rode to get the dose for their patient and didn't realize that they were under my name - they could cross reference the patients charts and orders with the pyxis records. We have Epic system charting. Has anyone ever had problems with Epic like this ?

Thanks for the good vibes

Pebbles

BarbPick

780 Posts

This is not between you and the hospital. You are being accused of violating your state's nurse practice act. If it were me, and I did not do, I would go to the Board of nursing for help. In Florida the board has "the intervention Project for Nurses.

The role of the board is not to condemn,it is to protect the public from unsafe nurses.

The case seems like it will be going to them anyway. Make a pre emptive strike.

I know of a nurse that similar crap was pulled on about pixix and withdrawals. An investigator from the IPN went to the hospital and did a complete investigation and cleared the nurse of all wrong doing.

I tell all, you have to have faith. The members of the Board are regular people who agree to use their nursing judgement to make everyone safe. That also includes clearing nurses. Call the BON.

BadBird, BSN, RN

1,126 Posts

Specializes in Critical Care.

It is horrible to be falsely accused of anything. If you don't work in a union you work as "at will" meaning they can fire you for no reason at all, you being innocent means nothing to the administration. It isn't fair and it isn't right but they do it anyway. My suggestion is to apply at another hospital and move on, I would not resign, I would let them fire me because then you could get unemployment until you are rehired. Going to a attorney only makes them rich unless you have NSO insurance then call them now to represent you. Sorry you are going through this. Good luck to you.

gypsyatheart

705 Posts

Specializes in Case Mgmt; Mat/Child, Critical Care.

Wow! I am so sorry this is happenning to you. I see stories like this and they truly scare me...where I work, everything is done via handhelds, Pyxis, computer charting, etc... I wonder if it's really for the best, b/k administration says "well, this system is infallible...", yeah right! Errors are made on a daily basis, not PATIENT errors, errors accessing these devices, charting against your given meds.... having to constantly override d/t pharmacies lack of doing their job and getting info in these systems accurately!

It makes me so mad, half the time I am running around trying to get pharmacy to do their job, when I have true pt care issues to attend to.

In fact I got a call at home yesterday from my NM wondering why I had overridden some amp from Pyxis...I explained that it wasn't available, pharm wouldn't return my calls, I even walked to the pharm to try and get the ordered dose...and guess what, they weren't there! Big surprise!:rolleyes: So I had to override...she said it was OK...THIS time, but admoinished me that we really aren't supposed to do that! Grrrr!:(

Anyway, sorry for the rant, I definitely feel for you.

I agree: stick to your guns, start looking NOW for another job (just in case), and start calling attorneys...many offer free consultations, talk to a few.

Good luck!:kiss

colleen10

1,326 Posts

I am so sorry for you, for going through this.

I can give you a bit of advice from someone who has worked in HR and dealt with firing, laying off people for various reasons.

It is very possible that you are not the only person they are looking at and are playing coy and bad cop with not just you, but perhaps some of your co-workers. Either they are looking at other suspects or they must think that you are either not very smart or in dire need of meds. to use your own code to smuggle something out. Hopefully, they will be able to look at all the evidence and each suspect objectively before jumping to rash conclusions and forcing anyone to resign or be fired.

I'm not saying that their attitude toward you is right, but you have to see it from their perspective. Just like any investigation into anything, all leads and even the most unlikely of suspects must be examined closely.

I can't say whether or not you should seek legal council, but at this next meeting you do not have to have a decision ready at that time. Even if you think you know what you want to do depending on what they offer you, tell them that you will take 24-48 hours to look at all your options and then inform them of your decision. Don't make a decision right then and there, most people are too emotionally charged to make a thoughtful decision on the spot.

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