co-worker stealing narcotics

  1. I work in a nursing home. I have a patient who is prescribed percocet 1 tab every 6 hours PRN for pain. She generally takes one tab at 9AM and the other at 9PM. One of my collegues, who is a floater and occasionally works on my floor signed 4 percocet in her 8 hours (11PM to 7AM) shift. She was very clever to make the order look like 2 tabs(it was a handwritten order in the MAR, she channged it by adding I to the order which then looked like II tab), however, even if the patient was supposed to get 2 tabs she had her last dose at 9PM and the nurse who worked 11PM to 7AM can not give more than one dose during her shift. The same night she signed for 6 percocets on another patient who was supposed to get 2tabs every 6 hours, and had her last dose at 10PM. The nurse does not sign the the MAR for the PRN medicine but just signs the narcotics sheet.
    We complained to the supervisor and it was even relayed to the DON but no action was taken............
    After a week, a whole pack of percocet (20 Tabs) was lost along with its paper during her shift from my floor again. Everybody knew about it including the DON but she is still hanging in the building. Today, she was again on my floor....Eventhough I counted the narcotics with her,,,,, i was very much scared to give my keys to her..i have just ordered percocet for my patient, it will be delivered tonight. I don't wanna loose that but i wonder if I will see it in the narcotics box tommorow. To keep myself in the safer side, i had all the narcotic sheets copied for myself.....
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    About starbin

    Joined: May '05; Posts: 423; Likes: 72
    RN; from US
    Specialty: Nephro, ICU, LTC and counting


  3. by   bargainhound
    Keep the keys.
  4. by   leslie :-D
    the orders on the mar cannot be changed....they need to coincide with the md's original order.
    can you not trace back to the order?
    once you see the md wrote for 1 percocet and the mar states 2, the whole order needs to be rewritten to its' original intent.

    if you feel that certain, and your DON isn't doing anything, you can make an anonymous report to the BON.

  5. by   P_RN
    Is the patient aware enough to say what she received?

    If the DON prefers to be oblivious to this situation, then a report to the BON and possibly to the police would seem to be the next step.

    I would also do as the above poster says and trace the order back to the original and photocopy it. Is it the type order that has a back copy that goes to the pharmacy? This person is dangerous.
  6. by   meownsmile
    i would think if the DON is ignoring this she is as culpable as the one taking the meds. If something isnt done soon, id go elsewhere. People like this tend to have a real slick way of putting off their theft onto others to cover themselves. Remember she has probly been doing this for a while and has perfected her craft to protect herself. Be very careful.
  7. by   Katnip
    Document what you're seeing. No speculation, just the facts. Also document that you reported this to the DON.

    Then report this to your BON.
  8. by   gitterbug
    I agree with Cyberkat. You know that reporting the DON will require a hunt for a new job. You probably are thinking along those lines anyway, who needs to work where stealing is condoned by silence?
  9. by   TazziRN
    The nurse needs to be reported to the state, as well as the pt's physician.
  10. by   SuesquatchRN
    No advice. Just a big, "Oy gevalt!"
  11. by   texas_lvn
    In a sister facility, we had 90 (:0) ultracet come up missing. Everyone including the lunch lady was tested, with one outcome. I can not believe these people need stuff so bad to take away from needing patients. This also reminds me of the nurses who will wear old duralgisic patches, ect. I HATE THIS for the patients and for other nurses.

    I hope all turns out well for you. Good luck.
    Last edit by texas_lvn on Dec 14, '06 : Reason: ETA: She was fired, with a report to the BON with a license revocation.
  12. by   tiroka03
    My very first LPN job, the RN was stealing drugs. We both worked nights, and she began stealing more than usual. I reported many times that I thought something fishy was going on, but it seemed no one was interested. But they were interested. I think they at first considered it to be me, but they finally caught the RN red handed.

    That RN would have had no problem letting me get fired. What really upsets me, that you can't fire someone for this, they get to have counselling, and get their job back. Wow, if I ever missed giving drugs to my patients, and say sold them, instead of ingested them, I would be fired, and lose my liscense.

    Where else can you steal, and hurt people, and get away with it? Could you see the judge saying to a person who ran over someone while on drugs, oh thats ok, your just addicted, go in peace and use no more, heres your keys back.

    BTW, I read in a nursing paper a while back, that some nurses not only take the duragesic patches off pts back, but then the swallow them as well. yuck.

    I think if you stay silent, and it gets into court, you'll be coupable as well, I would go to the state, and find another job. Keep good and accurate account of what you see, and keep it with dates and names. Keep account of your action, who you told, and how often.
  13. by   lauralassie
    Go to your DON, Have that person count with her. Go to your state board of nursing. Most states have a system in place for reporting such things for investivgation. You will be doing her a huge favor, although she may not realize it at first.
  14. by   MS._Jen_RN
    From the Admin's side (I know, not a popular one)- They are not legally allowed to tell you what they have done in response to your report. For all you know they are gathering evidence and/or have already called the BON. You made the report. You did the right thing, give your DON a chance to do their job. If, after some time, nothing has happened I'd consider calling the BON.