Can't read cursive?!?!?!

  1. So I was in a hurry and didn't write a MAR entry in printing (okay half was half wasn't..lol...ya know when your flustered when..LOL!). I had NO idea it would become so much of an issue!

    You see, they just hired a new caregiver (non licensed..go figure!) who can not read or write in cursive! So I had an order for Digoxin..typical stuff...hold dose if pulse is less than ___ (my doc chose 55). Well...she couldn't even read the word Digoxin since I put it in cursive...so she gave anyway (okay with the MAR protocol we have, they must match up bubble pack label to MAR three times...ummm how can she have given the med if she can read the MAR???).

    So I got in trouble since she gave it with a pulse rate of 50. Okay one, you better let me know if you are going to hold the med since I need to assess, and two...ME?!?!?! I know how to read cursive, everyone I know except for this one knows how!!! What the!?!?!?!?

    Anyway..my administrations suggestion "print everything!"...okay yeah fine, I will print MAR entrys..no probelm..but charting?!?!?! Heck no!

    I totally confronted the admin and told them how seriously dangerous it was for this to happen, that notes are written per shift to let caregivers know what is going on, and if she can't read it???? But they told me "she has a learning disorder and we can not discriminate!"...and I said "okay..you tell the family of that when you go to a patients funeral!!!!!!!".

    She is still employed because of a discrimination deal...what do you think? To me it is like having someone that can't read English or do math...no place in healthcare!!!!!!!! (scares me that she is giving meds!!!!!!!!!!!!).

    I am contemplating documenting all the admin I have talked to, and calling the board! So far we have covered for her, rewritten much, but still..she will never be able to read what is in the care notes past 2 weeks ago!!!!!!!

    Heck, I thought reading doc orders was bad enough..but not to be able to read cursive??????
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  2. Visit Antikigirl profile page

    About Antikigirl

    Joined: Oct '04; Posts: 2,757; Likes: 415
    Happily in Nursing Education!; from US
    Specialty: 13 year(s) of experience in Education, Acute, Med/Surg, Tele, etc

    18 Comments

  3. by   meownsmile
    does your state not have rules governing medication administration? I'm not clear as to whether you are talking a group home type situation or a LTC at this point. But in my state ANYONE
  4. by   meownsmile
    (CONT,, DARN PUTER) anyway,, make a short story, dont they have basic testing for anyone administering medications to others? My state requires passage of at least a GED and 8th grade level math and english tests in order to administer medications. If they are already on staff,, they have to pass the GED, then go through the education modules and pass the tests also. Just wondered.
  5. by   Marie_LPN, RN
    If you can't READ it, then you shouldn't GIVE it.

    A learning disorder? That's dangerous,and she needs to do something else if she can't read something well enough to give a med.

    (And if she's not licensed then WHY is she giving DIGOXIN??!!!!)
  6. by   Antikigirl
    Quote from meownsmile
    does your state not have rules governing medication administration? I'm not clear as to whether you are talking a group home type situation or a LTC at this point. But in my state ANYONE
    I work in an assisted living facility.

    In my state it seems kinda tricky! If a nurse delegates it than that nurse is responsible! Okay I didn't delegate this one, and I wouldn't have!!!! But then I get the old "discrimination" lecture! No, I don't think it is discrimination if someone can't read a mar to label!!!!!!!

    I am the ONLY one at my facility having a probelm with this (which is scary!), and I am the most laid back nurse there! If I have a probelm with something..normally people listen well...but you play the 'discrimination' card...ears shut. (she is white, 19, and about to go into nursing school too! EEEEKKKKKKKKK!!!!!!!!!! If she makes it in...I will about give up the future of my state r/t nursing!!!!!!!).
  7. by   Antikigirl
    Quote from Marie_LPN
    If you can't READ it, then you shouldn't GIVE it.

    A learning disorder? That's dangerous,and she needs to do something else if she can't read something well enough to give a med.

    (And if she's not licensed then WHY is she giving DIGOXIN??!!!!)
    Caregivers give meds...I guess it is a "assisted living" deal...when I have come up with complaints before, I have found that "assisted living" has its own grey set of rules! UHGGG!

    Yeah, it scares me...that is why I refuse to delegate it! I think, and have begged for MA's to give meds..but the facility won't pay for it...so I am kinda stuck! But...I check as much as possible and most of my licensed personal are great if not more careful and strict on med admin that most nurses I know...it is these non-licensed ones I fear!!!!!!!! I mean, how can you know if the med is working if you don't know what it is...or side effects...my admins answer "that is why we put medicine reference books in each cart!" UHGGGG

    I am doing what I can to change that...but the boards and state reviews find it okay so far...but not to read cursive???? NO WAY!!!! Too dangerous!!!!!
  8. by   Antikigirl
    Quote from meownsmile
    (CONT,, DARN PUTER) anyway,, make a short story, dont they have basic testing for anyone administering medications to others? My state requires passage of at least a GED and 8th grade level math and english tests in order to administer medications. If they are already on staff,, they have to pass the GED, then go through the education modules and pass the tests also. Just wondered.
    Scary thing meow...she graduated high school and is in college..for prereqs for RN school!!!!!!!! Guess that 'discrimination' card she plays gets her far! OUCH!

    I even offered to teach her cursive...but heck, that will be interesting! I still wouldn't let her pass meds if I had anything to say... How did she pass high school????????????? UHGGGGGGGGGGGGG
  9. by   Marie_LPN, RN
    I get sick of the discrimination card. Legitimate claims are one thing, but sometimes people take advantage of itbecause they know they can get away with it.

    I mean if she kills a pt. is she going to claim discrimination then, too? Sheesh.
  10. by   Marie_LPN, RN
    Cardiac drugs should be left up to nurses, sorry.
  11. by   Antikigirl
    Quote from Marie_LPN
    Cardiac drugs should be left up to nurses, sorry.
    Ehhhhhhh...sometimes...my caregivers where trained by me in cardiac issues, and some can dance circles around many! So I don't have much griping for Dig with caregivers I KNOW! (most have been in over 15 years!). It is these new caregivers that the state says "don't have to be licensed"...that scares me..not that having CNA's do it doesn't...but it is these ones that scare the living ..........out of me!

    My CNA's are so scared with giving meds that they take pulses..get this...for one full minute apical!!!!!!! YEAH I have them trained right..and if they are borderline..they ask me to come in and re-assess...but these newbies..they don't ask!!!!! That is scary!!!!!!! I ask them what digoxin is (after the other nurse trains them) and they say....'water pill?".........OMG!!!!! Three mins with me, believe me, they know what dig is and what lasix and k is all about! But they hire these non licensed faster than I can keep up!!!!!! (I am part time!).

    It is a trend to be aware of...this 'assisted living' areana is gaining serious momentum, and I think it is far from an answer! The way my admin sees it...the patients don't know a water pill from a heart pill...at least these gals have a reference..you or a book! SCARY!!!!!!!!
  12. by   Antikigirl
    Well...okay, so back to my question...what do you think of this situation, and should I call the board!


    I had to go into work at 0300 today, I am part time day nurse only because my hubby is a paramedic and we have a 10 year old child. I was shocked to see this on my schedule and thank goodness my hubby was just driving up as I needed to go to work!!!!!!!!! WHEW...I didn't get a lick of sleep...which reminds me..why the heck am I awake???? Oh yeah...those coffees since 3! LOL!!!! (BTW, I sent the admin a nice letter saying "this once please, I sweated bullets because my hubby wasn't home till 3am! I detailed this in my entrance interview, and have a copy...I can't leave my 10 year old child unattended or I loose my child and license!!!! Thank you!)
  13. by   weetziebat
    What a scary situation when someone who is unable to read cursive is in school to become an RN!?! I haven't worked in a hospital in awhile, but don't docs still [font=Arial Black]write orders? How can she possibly use "discrimination" as an excuse? How do you make it through high school if you can't read cursive. The world does not run on printing alone! Yikes!!

    I work with caregivers who give meds, but the only meds I delegate them on are given via gastrostomy tube. Luckily the other meds are mostly for GERD and constipation. And I never delegate till I am totally satisfied that they know what they are doing and what to do if any complications. Also don't hesitate to rescind the delegation if I feel that is needed.

    Myself, I would definately notify the BON.
  14. by   Antikigirl
    Quote from weetziebat
    What a scary situation when someone who is unable to read cursive is in school to become an RN!?! I haven't worked in a hospital in awhile, but don't docs still [font=Arial Black]write orders? How can she possibly use "discrimination" as an excuse? How do you make it through high school if you can't read cursive. The world does not run on printing alone! Yikes!!

    I work with caregivers who give meds, but the only meds I delegate them on are given via gastrostomy tube. Luckily the other meds are mostly for GERD and constipation. And I never delegate till I am totally satisfied that they know what they are doing and what to do if any complications. Also don't hesitate to rescind the delegation if I feel that is needed.

    Myself, I would definately notify the BON.
    Oh man..I don't let my cg's ever touch a g tube!!!!!! No no no...I don't need that call in the middle of the night saying "oops!!!!"...grrrrrrrr~!

    Oh well...I really do think this is enough to call the BON about...I found out about this last week..and with the hours I have put in..well frankly I am tired! So maybe tomorrow on my day off I can call...the only thing is..can I call without giving my info...it would be better for me if it all came down and I can look shocked, and smile on my breaks!!!!! Ya know???

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