I have a huge problem with this... opinions please

  1. I work in an LTC that has 3 units. 2 units are connected and one is a locked unit. tonight while doing my med pass, i heard yelling coming from the other unit and see the nursing supervisor go flying by the opening between the 2 hallways w/ a resident on her heels. I heard her yelling " you assulted me" so i immediately went to the unit to see if she needed help. (we have very few men working in the facility so all available nurses respond when there is a problem) when i reach the nurses station, the unit nurse(agency) is sitting behind the desk looking like a scared cat and the super is on the phone w/ the police. the resident is standing at the desk holding a replacement trach tube package in his hand and gesturing wildly at the super. I asked the unit nurse what happened and she said he hit the super. the supervisor then yells GET HIM AWAY FROM ME so i escorted the resident to the lounge and got him to sit down. when i got him calm enough that he could talk to me he stated i can't breath and need my tube changed. (he's not on o2 just has the tube in his trach) i go to the unit nurse and tell her he needs his tube changed. she doesn't move. i check the resident and again go to the unit nurse and tell her he needs his tube changed NOW.... still, she doesn't move. I grab gloves off her cart, take the replacement tube from his hand and change it. The old tube was extremely dirty. he instantly calms down and begins to apologize saying he just couldn't breath. he explained that he had been asking to have the tube changed for hours and they kept ignoring him, walking past him etc.. the last time he stuck his arm out to stop the super and that's when she said he assulted her. the police arrived and so did the assistant administrator. i explained to the officer that the resident was not a threat to anyone and was completely calm now. the administrator said we still had to send him to the crisis center as per protocol. the super had to be sent home early because she was crying and SOO upset!! i gave the administrator a written statement of everything i saw heard said and did. there is now a strong possibility that this poor man will not be allowed to come back to our facility becuse the super says he assulted her. I am furious at the super and the unit nurse. why didn't anyone take the two seconds and change the poor mans tube??? any opinions?
    Last edit by dawn30 on Oct 20, '07
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    About dawn30

    Joined: Jul '04; Posts: 48; Likes: 34
    Specialty: 5 year(s) of experience in LTC


  3. by   TazziRN
    [font=book antiqua]bless you for listening to him!!!! document it, turn it in to everyone in admin that you can think of. have the pt and his family also write in about it. even if he's allowed back, he has a legit complaint about the way a problem was ignored until it became life-threatening.
  4. by   ebear
    It sounds to me like the super has some personal issues and the unit nurse just simply didn't know what to do. I guess all you can do is try to support and defend the poor fella. It's good that you documented everything and I'm sure an investigation will be done. I hope they inquire as to why the man's trach tube was not changed. I can certainly understand a patient who cannot breathe will do ANYTHING to get someone's attention and are desperate for help (I would be too). I hope he comes back to you!
  5. by   leslie :-D
    dawn, thank God for you.

    get the ombudsman involved.
    call him/her yourself, from the privacy of your home.
    there's no reason for this pt's anxieties to have gotten as high as they were.
    it could even be perceived as negligence.

    please, let us know what happens?

  6. by   TazziRN
    I never think of the ombudsman.....that's a perfect suggestion!
  7. by   Grace Oz
    Thank God for YOU, Dawn!
    That poor man.
    I'd take the advice posted here. It definitely needs follow-up and further investigation.
    If he'd been my Dad ...............
  8. by   keaton90
    Im just a senior in HS, but I don't think its right to make anyone suffer by not being able to breath when it would of only took a few minutes to change his trach tube. But thats just my opinion.
  9. by   justme1972
    ...not that I'm advocating violence, but if you can't breathe or it's compromised, it leads you to do crazy things, and I think it's a natural response.

    I personally believe even if he knocked her into next week his actions would have been justified. To ignore the request for hours on something that serious, that is neglect on a whole new level.

    I would have been furious to witness that!
  10. by   keaton90
    This is just another thing I wanted to say.... Even if the pt hadn't requested it be changed, still shouldn't she should of checked it every now and then??? If so she should of knew that it needed to be changed. But like I said Im just a senior in HS, and I dont really know how all of this works yet.
  11. by   leslymill
    I hate to say this.........................
    Maybe he is better off somewhere else..
  12. by   BBFRN
    I think the super would be better off elsewhere.
  13. by   txRN07
    You know, I have had my RN license for 5 months now and I repeatedly see all of these seasoned nurses ignoring call lights, and simply going on break when a patient is requesting something for pain. Hey, I get used to the same requests too but my first priority over Starbucks are my patients! It sounds like you have not lost your heart for nursing and I commend you for that!
  14. by   meownsmile
    I agree the super maybe is out of her comfort zone. Noone should be there if they arent comfortable taking care of a trach and the facility is skilled enough to have them. The home should be careful, they may be walking on a slipper sloap if they ignored his need for stoma care and threatened his life by letting his airway become obstructed. If he has family around that is very attentive at all, they may be a long time hearing the end of this one.