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Ethical question...what would you do?

Nurses   (11,132 Views | 74 Replies)

2,172 Profile Views; 74 Posts

Hi everyone!

I'm a nursing student and brand new LPN working for the VA hospital. I am training with an LPN right now and I'm a little concerned. I have watched two nights now when the LPN I was working with took an extra strength Tylenol out of a patient's medication drawer for herself. It wasn't a narcotic, but I'm still concerned. I work in the nursing home area where there isn't a Pixis; just a medication cart with drawers for each patient. The LPN is tight with the charge nurse. Would you say something? HELP!

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11,191 Posts; 54,553 Profile Views

i find that a tough call since you're new and this nurse is tight with the charge.

it wouldn't bother me if it was coming from house supply.

i really am not sure how i would handle it.

is the adon approachable?

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2,174 Posts; 13,859 Profile Views

Right now keep quiet, keep a record, and be sure not to take anything out of the patients drawer for personal use. I would see which way the wind blows before I would stir the pot. This may be a standard practice that even if it is not ethical it keeps a body on the job and off of the supervisors back for a tylenol.

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All_Smiles_RN specializes in Cardiology.

527 Posts; 6,303 Profile Views

Maybe the nurse and the patient have a friendly relationship? Maybe the patient has told her before to help herself? You never know.

...Jennifer...

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74 Posts; 2,172 Profile Views

Our nursing manager over the unit just excepted a position with another unit, so right now we have no one in charge. What I don't understand is why this LPN wouldn't get Tylenol out of the general box on the cart that's not assigned to any patient. I even made that comment to her last night. She said Mr. X's Tylenol is stronger and that her leg hurt. The other LPN working with us last night even got it out of his cart and handed it to her! I worry that if she does this that she will do the same with narcotics and/or other prescription drugs. I'm watching carefully because I sure don't want a narcotic error on my shift since the two of us are sharing the same key to the cart.

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Nurse Ratched is a RN and specializes in Geriatrics/Oncology/Psych/College Health.

2,149 Posts; 14,405 Profile Views

Buy her a bottle of ES Tylenol. ;)

Seriously, I see entirely too much of this. Levaquins disappear all the time. It's frustrating.

Each tylenol is 325 mg - so if my math is correct, 3 regulars (975 mg) almost equals 2 ES (1000 mg.) If she must take something, she can take 3 regulars out of the "floor stock" so the pt isn't harmed by having to wait for a new pill to come up.

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Ted has 25 years experience and specializes in ICU/CCU (PCCN); Heme/Onc/BMT.

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Taking medications out of the patient box just isn't cool. First off, it's the patient's medication. Secondly, it is such a PAIN in the REAR waiting for the pharmacy to to replace that "missing medication".

I must admit to taking Tylenol for headaches out of the stock drug supply drawer. And if I have other joint aches and pains, I simply ask the supervisor for Ibuprofin (which is not regularly stocked). She gives it to me and I continue on with my nightly chores. . .

Ted

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12 Posts; 891 Profile Views

This is more than unethical--it's stealing. Someone is paying for those meds and it isn't the LPN. If it were me I would point out to her that the patient is paying for those meds--maybe she hadn't thought of it. If she doesn't quit doing this after it has been pointed out to her you need to go up the chain of command. If the charge nurse is unapproachable maybe you will have to go to the DON.

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SmilingBluEyes has 20 years experience.

2 Followers; 19,599 Posts; 66,342 Profile Views

I am with Ted. I never take from patient's drawers, just from floor stock or ask the pharmacy for an ibu or tylenol. It is stealing from patients to remove meds from their drawers for personal use.

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BittyBabyGrower is a MSN, RN and specializes in NICU, PICU, educator.

1,823 Posts; 13,033 Profile Views

Let me tell you...when my dad was in the NH and someone ripped off his meds and I was paying for it, heads would roll! I know that some patients pay for their own meds and family brings them in. If I saw that I'd probably say...hey I have Tylenol in my bag, do you need it? If it cont then I would have to say something to the DON.

At my facility, even if it is floor stock you can get fired. Last year a nurse on a M/S floor took a swig of Maalox, was seen by the charge nurse and she got busted and then fired the next day. Stealing is stealing.

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Marie_LPN, RN is a LPN, RN and specializes in 5 yrs OR, ASU Pre-Op 2 yr. ER.

12,126 Posts; 32,670 Profile Views

I don't care if it's even a placebo, taking something that is directed for the pt. is wrong.

Like a prior post said, she should have taken 3 of the regulars out of the house stock.

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31 Posts; 884 Profile Views

With all the horrors I experienced working in the dungeon (my first job as an aid in a nursing home) I can't believe we're having this conversation. When she takes something of value then worry about it. Right now, just focus on becoming a good nurse yourself. If that patient ran out of freakin tylenol, there'd be pleanty more.

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