6 weeks into school, I got stuck and i don't know what to do - page 4

Hi all...so, i'm in my 6th week of nursing school and i got stuck w/ a used diabetes lancet...my prof. rushed me to student health services where they took my blood to test for everything, gave me my... Read More

  1. by   RNConnieF
    Have you looked at a new school? This should NEVER have happened. At every facility I have worked at recapping would get you fired. Your instructor is not fit to be working with students, your school should have gotten rid of him/her 20 years ago when recapping was banned, and your program director is right now sitting in a lawyers office not sure how to deal with the situation, that's why he/she hasn't gotten back to you yet. You desirve better than this. Get thee to a new school.
  2. by   globalRN
    Quote from RNConnieF
    Get thee to a new school.

    Oh yes, I definitely think that is a good idea.
  3. by   CaliNurse
    as for my personal opinion,

    you are not at fault for any part of it
    your instructor instructed you to do this.

    you instructor is guilty of the following:
    neglect, noncompliance with standard/universal precautions, noncompliance with the hospital's and your school's infection control policies, endangering his/her students, incompetence, stupidity, ignorance, i could keep going on and on.

    i can't believe this! anyone reading this please remember this - if you ever get stuck save the sharp they can test that also. they don't need a consent to test a sharp. once the sharp exposure happens immediately stop what you are doing and wash the area with soap and water. if it a mucous membrane wash with water for 10 -15 minutes. then straight to the er.

    i hope your instructor somehow finds enough brains to stumble onto this web site so he/she find out how stupid all of us thinks he/she is.

    once a year i hold the flu vaccine for my hospital. i get to inject everyone. i usually don't have a sharp container in my office but i get one for this. he should have made sure you had one if not two. the type of lancets you used are now not used in facilities or by health care workers in 2002. where these lancets supplied by the hospital or school?

    if it was me i would take them to court. i am not one who usually thinks legal action should be the first step but this is like practicing nursing from some other time zone. this is like a truck driver running out of gas. this is as crazy as sending ice to the north pole. this is like surgery without gloves. what the **** ?

    i would keep a journal and write down a daily entry of your anxiety, stress, and health. this means something to judges.

    i would demand that my medical care is paid for 100%. i would demand that my sharp exposure is added to their sharp exposure list required by (i think) osha. if they became shi**y with me i would demand that my education be paid for also !!!

    i think some people think it is common for nurses to be stuck. i todays world with all of our safety syringes, safety iv start cannulas, safety lancets it is not as common as it once was.

    compare to my peers i am a new kid on the block but i have been a nurse for 12 years. i have never been stuck by a sharp.

    the number one rule once you recap it throw the cap in the trash!

    take you meds, start a journal, get a malpratice attorney now, with pen/paper in hand come monday morning i would be demanding to see the very most top gun at your school. don't take no for an answer. take down names and titles and what they are telling you. scare the crap out of them. demand that instructors resignation. there may be a reason why he/she is not in bedside nursing anymore. if they get an attitute with you or speak to you like you are just a student remind them that your tuition pays for their salary. remind them of words like "osha, jcaho, dhs (health department), cdc, newspapers, tv news, radio stations & contact your congress man/woman. you are not only doing this for you but for every new nurse that comes after you who may be put in the same situation.

    sarah keep us updated.

  4. by   Youda
    Originally posted by RNConnieF
    .... and your program director is right now sitting in a lawyers office not sure how to deal with the situation, that's why he/she hasn't gotten back to you yet. You desirve better than this. Get thee to a new school.
    Yeah, I thought that was probably why she couldn't get hold of anyone on a Friday, too! They are busy trying to figure out how to cover their butts! And didn't want to talk to her until they had all the same answers!
  5. by   Youda
    I just thought of something else. The school won't just be worrying about legal liability! They are worrying about their accreditation! I checked with my BON's website, and something like this, if reported to the BON in your state, would cause the school to be surveyed, and the entire program put under the microscope. Bottom line is that they could lose accreditation, especially if there have been other incidents that you may not be aware of.

    Another weapon for you to use if they give you any crap! And, as someone else suggested, if you don't transfer to another school, then at least demand NOT to do clinicals with that instructor. Some reasons are obvious, but she could also give you a rough time or try to weed you out of the program to protect herself.
  6. by   beaRNwhenIgroUP
    i know i've already said this...y'all are so great! when i go back to school monday i am going to feel so confident and ready to stick up for myself...thank you so much!!!
  7. by   beaRNwhenIgroUP
    well...i just talked w/ the director of the program. she says students have to pay our own medical bills you know "if we had to pay for needle sticks we'd never be able to run the school"

    so, i said "what about the fact that we were not given the proper saftey devices?"

    she said "well when the sharps container was there, it was your choice to pick the sharps out of the glove"
    (e.g. i offered to do it)

    when i mentioned that i am taking antiviral drugs and that i don't want to put them on my insurance because if i do i'll never get life insurance

    she said - well they gave you the option of not taking them, right? they didn't tell you that you have to take them...

    so - i gave up & hung up and came here...what is my next step????
  8. by   Youda
    A personal injury attorney. That's your next step.

    They said, "students have to pay our own medical bills"
    Answer: Not when the school CAUSES an injury.

    They said, "if we had to pay for needle sticks we'd never be able to run the school"
    Answer: So this happens so often? Would accreditation and OSHA want to know how often this happens?

    They said, "it was your choice to pick the sharps out of the glove"
    Answer: I was following the example set by my instructor who was picking sharps out of the gloves.

    They said, "Well they gave you the option of not taking them, right?"
    Answer: So are you suggesting that it would be preferable to get HIV or Hepatitis?


    Sarah, I am furious for you. I thought of you several times over the weekend, and I'm so glad you posted an update. I'm gonna have to leave it to some of the others for ideas on what to do next. All I can think of is an attorney. Not only is this jeapordizing your health, but your education now as well. I think that's too great of a potential loss to just let it go.

    I'm worried that they are going to give you crap all the rest of your program, because they're making it out like you're too blame, and that's going to show up in subtle ways from now on in this program.

    Is there anything those of us following this thread can do for you to help beyond advice?
  9. by   Youda
    Sitting here thinking . . .

    Start a journal and write down as many details as possible, including what you are feeling. Be sure to include every attempt you made on Friday to talk to someone. Record as much detail as you can from the phone call with the director of the program. Include names, date and time, telephone numbers, etc.

    Do not speak to them again. If you feel you want to say something to them, do it in writing.

    No matter how responsible you may feel at times, do NOT ever admit to any blame.

    Wow. I am having a profound need to go tell someone off or wring someone's neck!
  10. by   RNConnieF
    Have you talked to anyone at your BON? They might be able to at least give you some advice on the legal issues in nursing education. I know the school is not bound to pay for medical costs except...... a paid employee is directly responsible for your injury, the direction from the instructor they hired and pay was dangerous and unfit, NO nursing student should EVER be taught that to recap, dig around in a sharps container, or in any other way handle sharps after use is acceptable clinical practice. I still think that your instructor is not clinically fit and should not be entrusted with the education of new nurses. I just wonder what would happen if she was found unfit either in a legal setting or by members of her own profession if the school would then be libal for your injury. You might be able to do this without any laywers, check it out with your local congrass person how to file an offical OSHA complaint against the instructor, the program director, the nursing porgram, and the school board of directors. That should get you some type of response. OSHA won't mess around and I think they have to at least investigate an offical compliant. You might also be able to file a complaint under workemans comp., not for funds as you are not covered, but for unsafe workplace practices. Your local representative's office should be able to help you out. As a last case, consider going to your local paper with the story (or at least letting them think you will). As educators of future nurses your program is entrusted to keep you and your patients safe from your inexperience while you learn. Would your community like to know that one of the instructors entrusted with maintaining safety advocates and even sets an example for recapping used sharps. The nursing shortage and the crushing need for new nurses is hot news anywhere. If your local paper won't interview you state your case in a letter to the editor asking the reading public if they think this might be just one reason for the nursing shortage. You'll get print with that one. I can just see it now: "How Training Nurses Contributes to the Nursing Shortage" "Dear Editor, I am a Nursing student at XYZ School of Nursing and as such I am in the unique position of being able to assess how the clinical instruction of sutdent nurses may be contributing to the lack of bedside nurses. As a studnet I..." then you go on to describe your experinece with community health nursing, the response of your instructor, and the response of the program director. End you letter with: "If I remaine healthy I intend to continue my nursing education since I am dedicated to the profession of nursing, however it will be at a differeng school, one which is committed to producing nurses with only the best clinical and classroom education." Should work. Good Luck.
  11. by   traumaRUs
    Sorry, but in the state of Illinois, as of January 2000, you CAN INDEED test the source patient WITHOUT his permission if a needlestick or body fluid exposure incident has occurred!!!! I have worked in other states, Indiana, Nevada, Alaska and overseas in Korea, Spain and Japan and Illinois is one of the few states that do allow it. THANK GOD!!!!

    Are you still at this school????
  12. by   Youda
    Sarah, are you in the United States or another country?

    To the others: do you think the instructor should be reported to the BON as a complaint against her license?
  13. by   kittyw
    Call an attorney!!!!! REPORT to everyone you can think of!!!!

    Get a family member - mom/dad someone to help you walk through all of this - and to listen in on conversations. TAPE everything!!

    Report the incident to BON, file any complaint you can get your hands on.

    This prof. does not belong in the nursing field at all!! Much less teaching students..... You were there to LEARN.... you don't enter into a school knowing it all (or why bother going to school?!?)