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Employee Spends Large Amounts of Time in Empty Patient Rooms

Posted

Specializes in Rehab/Nurse Manager. Has 6 years experience.

As some of you may know, I work as a unit manager in a short-term rehab center as well as manage the care of a smaller amount of LTC patients. Lately, I've been noticing an employee at my workplace has a tendency to spend large amounts of time in empty patients' rooms. She is often discovered in these rooms when staff are looking for her because one of her patient's needs something. Many times, she will often jump, or act surprised when she's discovered. Other times, she is flat-out wasting time texting on her phone, when she has residents who have been waiting for their medications for hours at a time, sometimes up to 6 hours. She'll often use the excuse that she was looking for something for somebody, or that she was texting the scheduler. In the cases of contacting the scheduler, I've told her that if she really needs to do that, she can contact them in the office area or take a quick break. She doesn't need to use an empty patient's room to do so. I've also had to remind her on several of these occasions that she has several patients waiting for medications. She always states that "she's on it," but then takes an extensive amount of time getting to the task at hand. Recently, several patients have reported items as being missing. Although I cannot prove it was her, these items tend to disappear on days she is working. Obviously, I have reported her several times to my superiors/the DON, but am wondering if anyone else has had similar situations and how they were handled

Hoosier_RN, MSN

Specializes in dialysis. Has 28 years experience.

A while back, you were talking about a close connection with a resident who was dying, if I remember correctly. Now you know how your coworkers felt when they had to search for you.

Your DON knows and chooses to do nothing? There's your answer. I would keep reporting and keep a record

Stolen items? Unless you have some proof, stay away from it

Edited by Hoosier_RN

SilverBells, BSN

Specializes in Rehab/Nurse Manager. Has 6 years experience.

8 minutes ago, Hoosier_RN said:

A while back, you were talking about a close connection with a resident who was dying, if I remember correctly. Now you know how your coworkers felt when they had to search for you.

Your DON knows and chooses to do nothing? There's your answer. I would keep reporting and keep a record

Stolen items? Unless you have some proof, stay away from it

You're right in regards to my earlier thread. I hadn't really thought about it that way, but I can see how you made that connection.

With that said, I do know the DON has been addressing issues with her. I just feel bad about constantly reporting because we do need the staff. I also don't want to be seen as a constant complainer/reporter. But she's violating many facility policies and isn't attending to the appropriate tasks at hand.

Nunya, BSN

Specializes in NICU/Mother-Baby/Peds/Mgmt. Has 39 years experience.

I just read your other post about a supervisor co-worker, seems like this facility has a problem with people not doing the jobs they were hired for and are getting paid for. Keep reporting. And if meds are 6 hours late that's an incident report, not to mention negligence or outright malpractice.

Is there a way to prove such a text does exist when she states "I was texting the scheduler?" I'm sure it's timestamped if she really is doing that. This is one way to build evidence if that's what you're trying to do. I don't know if you have the authority to check w/ the scheduler. But the next time she states she's texting the scheduler make note of the time and ask the scheduler to see if it jives.

amoLucia

Specializes in LTC.

On ‎8‎/‎15‎/‎2020 at 5:21 PM, Hoosier_RN said:

..... Your DON knows and chooses to do nothing? There's your answer. I would keep reporting and keep a record

Stolen items? Unless you have some proof, stay away from it

Easy enough to check out which days she was working by comparing pts' MARs/charting. Not real PROOF but can address some suspicions. Otherwise, you'd be on thin ice.

If you're going to 'complain' to address the problems, do it the correct way. Start the disciplinary 'PAPER TRAIL'. Be concise & direct.

I see 2 problems - pts' failing to be medicated in a timely fashion. And her multiple 'disappearances' into empty rooms - no reason. This one concerns me - sleeping on the job? using drugs maybe from diversion? general avoidance/hiding?

Do not approach the theft issue! You can't prove anything and you'd be better keeping this quiet unto yourself.

Explain you're aware and you will continue to be monitoring. Develop and implement a measurable correction plan and write it up each time there's a major deviation. Usually progressive disciplinary '3 strikes & you're out' should prevail. Present the write-ups to nsg mgt - and if you still believe it's being tolerated, then you must make another decision. Just know it's mgt's responsibility to keep staffing staffed. Not yours. So no guilties!

JadedCPN, BSN, RN

Specializes in Pediatrics, Pediatric Float, PICU, NICU. Has 15 years experience.

I'm sure you yourself were complained about to management many times by staff who couldn't find you (in reference to your previous posts), and it sounds like nothing was ever done to you nor were you ever reprimanded for it. So I am not surprised to hear that this situation is being treated similarly.

You've reported her appropriately. You can not control whether management deals with it appropriately or not. My only advice to you is that I would not get tangled up in the theft issue unless you have proof that it is her.