False Documentation & Relationships

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There's a newer couple at work (both have become my friend when they first started last year) and one recently told me they did all the other persons charting that night in exchange for an assignment being done for them......all the charting was done in the nurse's name who had those patients that night so there's no proof if I were to go to management. But I feel like it still needs to be addressed! I was Charge RN that night and I feel like it's my obligation to say something. It is very illegal and not safe for both of their licenses and their patients. Update: I did tell my manager and she gave me the option of having them called in to get spoken to by management, or tell them myself to stop as a warning and she would just monitor their situation from now on more closely (have no idea what this really means because if they don't say anything no one would be able to tell.)

toomuchbaloney

10,833 Posts

Specializes in NICU, PICU, Transport, L&D, Hospice. Has 44 years experience.

I wouldn't want to work in that environment.  Protect yourself.  

Delia37, MSN

158 Posts

Specializes in Critical Care. Has 15 years experience.

Makes you wonder what else they are doing "as a team". Is there any way they can be scheduled on different dates or far away from each other??  That definitely should be addressed by your manager (not you), so she/he can keep a paper trail (hate the fact she/he is putting that on you for doing the right thing).  However, be ready for the cold shoulder since they will know you were the one who reported them. 

Specializes in School Nursing. Has 38 years experience.

That is frightening! I can't believe that management is dumping talking to them on you. What unsafe practice. How do they know the documentation is correct? That could lead to harm to the patients due to incorrect info being passed on in the notes. Management should be addressing this immediately. 

Career Columnist / Author

Nurse Beth, MSN

174 Articles; 3,074 Posts

Specializes in Tele, ICU, Staff Development. Has 30 years experience.
beachynurse said:

That is frightening! I can't believe that management is dumping talking to them on you. What unsafe practice. How do they know the documentation is correct? That could lead to harm to the patients due to incorrect info being passed on in the notes. Management should be addressing this immediately. 

It sounds like fraudulent documentation is no big deal at this facility

JKL33

6,593 Posts

Curiouscat12345 said:

Update: I did tell my manager and she gave me the option of having them called in to get spoken to by management, or tell them myself to stop as a warning and she would just monitor their situation from now on more closely (have no idea what this really means because if they don't say anything no one would be able to tell.) 

LOL. I'd say something along the lines of "it's been reported, what happens next is beyond my purview"

Curiouscat12345 said:

I was Charge RN that night and I feel like it's my obligation to say something. It is very illegal and not safe for both of their licenses and their patients.

This really doesn't have anything to do with you being in charge. If you felt, as a nurse, that it was seriously unethical/fraudulent/unsafe, etc., then yes, you could feel obligated to say something either to the parties directly or to your upline depending on the situation. Which you did. As charge nurse, you aren't really more responsible for people's behaviors than any other staff nurse on duty. Typically rotating charge duties doesn't really involve any additional authority or appropriately significant compensation to deal with these matters.

It sounds like you got alarmed that they did this brazen thing. But now you've reported it. It's up to management to deal with it.

Aloe_sky

174 Posts

Curiouscat12345 said:

There's a newer couple at work (both have become my friend when they first started last year) and one recently told me they did all the other persons charting that night in exchange for an assignment being done for them......all the charting was done in the nurse's name who had those patients that night so there's no proof if I were to go to management. But I feel like it still needs to be addressed! I was Charge RN that night and I feel like it's my obligation to say something. It is very illegal and not safe for both of their licenses and their patients. Update: I did tell my manager and she gave me the option of having them called in to get spoken to by management, or tell them myself to stop as a warning and she would just monitor their situation from now on more closely (have no idea what this really means because if they don't say anything no one would be able to tell.)

Shouldn't you have addressed your concern in that moment to this nurse? I don't understand why nurses especially charge nurses see or hear something, sit around, say nothing, do nothing and then tell management. I was always taught the first step is to talk to the nurse directly before taking the next step.

JKL33

6,593 Posts

Aloe_sky said:

Shouldn't you have addressed your concern in that moment to this nurse? I don't understand why nurses especially charge nurses see or hear something, sit around, say nothing, do nothing and then tell management.

Definitely not wrong to say something in real time. I think a couple of possible reasons people end up sitting around and saying nothing are 1) because there is no shortage of issues that could be commented upon but we we are not the police and 2) from social, collegial and practical standpoints we can't always be embroiled in other people's problems and behaviors--whether as charge nurse or staff nurse. As I'm sure you know, it is often not a simple matter to correct or criticize a peer. It can become very unpleasant  very quickly. 

Personally I choose to draw a line - if the behavior/problem is significantly unethical/highly inappropriate or if it is illegal or dangerous, then saying something in real time is not optional on my part.  In the OP scenario I probably would have said something along the lines, "Oh--I would stop that immediately if I were you, it's fraudulent and illegal."

On the other hand, your comment kind of reads as if you believe that it's wrong/snitchy to just report to management first. That can be problematic. For example, what happens after I speak to my coworker first and give them a chance to correct before going to management? Now who is going to monitor this fraudulent, illegal charting tomorrow and the next day and the next day? Me? >> No. 

IMO people who are doing something clearly wrong may get a direct comment from me, but not because they are owed the courtesy of privacy/private  warning--they always have the option of not doing the clearly wrong behavior in the first place and then they wouldn't have to worry about whether their coworker is going to take the risk of warning them in person or just reporting them for management to deal with (which they get paid to do).

Very often this isn't simply a matter of being professional/collegial. There are a lot of other factors.