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i dont know what to do, please help.

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missmoe missmoe (New) New

Ok, I was out at breakfast with a few friends of mine and they were asking me how nursing school was going. They started to tell me about another woman they know who is currently working as a nurse (someone i also know) and they were telling me how she is not doing so well. They told me that she was doing drugs (iv drugs) and that she was taking them from the hospital. i was pretty baffled of how she was stealing them from the hospital for so long and not caught yet untill they told me how she said she was taking the meds from the pts in the icu she works in :eek::eek: ! im assuming she is taking the pain meds when the pt refuses and charting as though she gave them. now i have never been one to gossip or spread rumors, but i know this woman, and i know that she has a drug problem. i just never knew she was a nurse, and the fact that two of her close friends both told me the same story and defended her actions:nono::angryfire. i want to report this to the hospital asap, but i am just a student and i dont work at that hospital. is there anyway for me to report this to her hospital or anything that i can do? will they even believe me or look into it? will she loose her licence or what will happen? if anyone works at allegheny general hosp and knows the steps i should take that would be great. they may not be my pts but idk. i wouldnt want this witch taking care of someone i care about. what do i do? help:bluecry1::bluecry1:

SnarfGirl

Specializes in Home Health, Med/Surg.

wow. that's crazy. Does your state board have a program for addicted nurses? Arizona has the CANDO program if you volunteer for treatment you don't loose your license, and they put you through rehab type program and then monitor you after and you can eventually work again.....Are you able to approach this nurse and ask her to turn herself in and let her know otherwise you will have to turn her in? Other than that I would think reporting her to the board would cause them to look into it. But then again you could annonmously report her to the hospital.. . . maybe ask an instructor what she would do? Patient safety is our #1 concern and what she is doing is NOT safe, ethical and will reflect poorly on her hospital. . . And as for these other nurses that know about it and do nothing...shame on them. Very tough situation....I am sorry! Good luck!

truern

Specializes in Telemetry & Obs.

Without something substantial besides gossip I'd do nothing. Do you have any idea of the ramifications of accusing her of something like diverting drugs??

If she's actually stealing narcotics she won't be able to hide it for long before she's found out.

i really dont have anyway of confronting her myself right now. and as for worrying about what happens to her if i am wrong, well i used to work in a rehab that she was a pt in a few years ago. i know that she has a history of drug addiction and she was clean and sober for about 2 years and has recently fallen off the wagon. those are things that i do know for sure. after working in a rehab, i know not to put it past an addict to steal drugs regardless of the consequences. this is not someone with a clean history so its not like these are unfounded rumors. and the ppl who told me are her close friends, not co-workers or even nurses.

Edited by missmoe
sp

I am also in nursing school, and I suggest you talk with your faculty mentor about what to do. Remember that you are a representative of your school, and your instructors have a right to know what actions you are planning, if any. As of right now, you don't have any concrete evidence that the "suspect" is actually commiting the crime.

I used to work in the hospital pharmacy, and I was involved in auditing reports to watch for narcotic mishandling. Your instructors may indicate that beginning this investigation on a local level might be best. If she gets caught, the offender will still get the help she needs, and the nursing board will still be involved. However, if the investigation does not uncover incriminating evidence, her career will be intact.

Most nurses think that the nursing board is responsible for investigating narcotic fraud in the hospital, but it really managed by the Director of Pharmacy, who collaborates witht the Nurse Managers when evidence suggests wrongdoings. You may mention this to your faculty mentor. If your school does not have a mentor program, seek out the instructor with whom you feel most comfortable. There's a chain of command involved that should be followed so you keep yourself out of a questionable situation.

Student > Faculty > Nursing program director > Pharmacy director & Nurse Manager > HR > board of nursing.

Good luck.

chenoaspirit, ASN, RN

Specializes in Med/Surg, Home Health.

Just because she has a history of drug use does NOT mean she is guilty of such accusations. People have tendencies of "once a drug addict, always a drug addict". I would tread lightly with this one. How would you feel if you had a past and was then innocently accused of such a thing. Gossip is just that..gossip. Dont destroy a woman's reputation over a rumor, thats just wrong and unprofessional.

truern

Specializes in Telemetry & Obs.

i really dont have anyway of confronting her myself right now. and as for worrying about what happens to her if i am wrong, well i used to work in a rehab that she was a pt in a few years ago. i know that she has a history of drug addiction and she was clean and sober for about 2 years and has recently fallen off the wagon. those are things that i do know for sure. after working in a rehab, i know not to put it past an addict to steal drugs regardless of the consequences. this is not someone with a clean history so its not like these are unfounded rumors. and the ppl who told me are her close friends, not co-workers or even nurses.

Then you're aware of HIPAA.

You may "know" that she recently fell off the wagon, although I'm wondering how you'd know that for sure, but you have NO proof that she's diverting at work. All you have are assumptions and gossip.

They ARE unfounded rumors because YOU DON'T KNOW. And in my book, that's reason to not falsely accuse somebody.

I'm sorry, but I just had a friend that was a terrific nurse that was falsely accused of diverting and was under investigation. He was exonerated by the BON, but he quit nursing because of the experience. Nursing lost a caring and compassionate person that was smart, strived for excellence, and has aspirations to be a CRNA. FOR NOTHING!!

Edited by truern

Magsulfate, BSN, RN

Specializes in ICU. Has 13 years experience.

i really dont have anyway of confronting her myself right now. and as for worrying about what happens to her if i am wrong, well i used to work in a rehab that she was a pt in a few years ago. i know that she has a history of drug addiction and she was clean and sober for about 2 years and has recently fallen off the wagon. those are things that i do know for sure. after working in a rehab, i know not to put it past an addict to steal drugs regardless of the consequences. this is not someone with a clean history so its not like these are unfounded rumors. and the ppl who told me are her close friends, not co-workers or even nurses.

I beg to differ. These are strong accusations you are making. If she is really diverting narcotics, they will catch her. There is no way that you can know since you don't work there. And since the other girls that told you this ALSO do not work there, this is all just gossip, or hearsay. If it is not true, you could be subject to a nasty lawsuit for slandering someone.

And before you go make broad generalizations about recovering addicts, maybe you should realize that recovering nurses have much more to lose than you think. I know many recovering addicts, including myself that would NEVER STEALor DO DRUGS BECAUSE OF THE CONSEQUENCES. Losing my life is not something that I am willing to do for a HIGH.

Edited by Magsulfate

Just because she has a history of drug use does NOT mean she is guilty of such accusations. People have tendencies of "once a drug addict, always a drug addict". I would tread lightly with this one. How would you feel if you had a past and was then innocently accused of such a thing. Gossip is just that..gossip. Dont destroy a woman's reputation over a rumor, thats just wrong and unprofessional.

ok i know for a fact she is using drugs. the part that i have no proof of is her taking pt meds. isnt being on drugs while working in an icu a BAD THING? like i said i used to work in a rehab, i know ppl can get clean, but i know the chances of relapse are high. her past is her past, and that had nothing to do with this. its what i KNOW she is doing now!

SnarfGirl

Specializes in Home Health, Med/Surg.

tread lightly sister.... everyone here has a valid point. I didn't realize that the people who told you she was stealing didn't work with her. I definately think you should talk to a faculty member...get some serious insight before you proceed.

Magsulfate, BSN, RN

Specializes in ICU. Has 13 years experience.

You still don't have any proof she is high at work and using drugs at work. It would be a terrible thing for you if you said something and you couldn't prove it. Think about it. It would ruin her career. And no matter if you know in your heart and swear on a bible, if you can't prove it, then she can sue you for damages.

SO, unless you have proof... like a picture of her snorting coke or taking a hit off a bong, then I wouldn't say anything.

truern

Specializes in Telemetry & Obs.

ok i know for a fact she is using drugs. the part that i have no proof of is her taking pt meds. isnt being on drugs while working in an icu a BAD THING? like i said i used to work in a rehab, i know ppl can get clean, but i know the chances of relapse are high. her past is her past, and that had nothing to do with this. its what i KNOW she is doing now!

How?? Did you see her?? Where you there??

If not, then you don't know.

Unless you work with her, have seen her actually taking the drugs, etc. STAY OUT of it. If she is doing it, she will get caught. Just because she has a history doesn't make her guilty. As others have said, pharmacy is watching, managers are watching. Was she an RN when she was in rehab in the past? It is frustrating and of course patient safety is and always should be our number one concern. If you suspect then you should go and talk to HER, tell her what you are hearing, be her friend..encourage her to get help if she needs it. Good Luck

pagandeva2000, LPN

Specializes in Community Health, Med-Surg, Home Health.

I have seen so many rumors within nursing such as misunderstandings about policy and procedure, practice, etc... that lead to unsafe predicaments that have the potential of ruining people's lives young into their careers. Until you know for sure...such as being a witness yourself, I really believe that for now, stay out of it. No matter how well intended, you don't have ALL of the facts. I am not trying to be harsh, but believe me, I have seen horrible things happen to good nurses based on rumors. This does not mean that I support drug abusing nurses, this means I believe that there should be substaintial proof than the rumor mill.

Mr Ian

Specializes in mental health; hangover remedies. Has 15 years experience.

Your information seems to be changing in quality through this story and I'm also bugged by the fact that these two "friends" would raise the matter with you for general discussion.

If you're that concerned - go talk to her.

In the least you can tell her that her so called "friends" are spreading these rumours about her.

There are several checks and balances for the safe dispensing, administration and recording of medication.

The last time I looked - "idle gossip at the coffee shop" wasn't one of them.

im just trying to get feedback from nurses who have dealt with this before. trust me i do not want to ruin her life. at the same time though, i am worried about pt safety with her working in an icu. the more i think about it, i think that she will be caught by her work if she is doing this. using heroin or opiates is kind of hard to hide for long. i would rather her come forward and ask for help instead of getting caught and loosing her job. when i talked to my old instructor, they told me to report it to the hosp she works at, but i still am not sure what to do.

RedhairedNurse, BSN, RN

Specializes in Med Surg, Ortho.

She will hang herself. Just sit back and wait for it to happen. It won't be long.

Time for critical thinking! and

If they are her close friends, why are they spreading gossipabout her?

None of you know if she is stealing drugs from the hospital.

It is too bad this woman doesn't know what kind of 'friends' she has.

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