Need advice about new job

  1. Hey all,

    Hope you all can provide me with some advice. I recently started a new job while in school as a 'Safety Partner', which means I am a sitter for patients at high risk for falls. I float to various units and work Flex, so I'm only scheduled one day a week and I pick up any other shifts I want.

    I have now floated to the same unit twice and each time there was an issue with med admin by the RN.
    The first time, my pt started to gag while swallowing his pills and spit one out into the RN's hand. She washed it down the drain and came back a while later with a new one in a pill cup. She left it on the bedside table and said she would give it to him when he was awake. Well it sat there for a couple of hours and I caught her in the hallway to remind her it was there. Her response was "oh, you didn't give it to him w/lunch?" with a wink. My response was "Uh, no." The pill then sat there on the table until the end of my shift. I went to report off and told her it was still there, she said "OK".
    The second time it happened the RN said he would give my pt her meds when breakfast came and left her meds in a pill cup in the room. So I rang him to let him know breakfast was there and he said he was on his way. Well breakfast was finished and he came by about a half hour later and asked me "What time did she take her pills?". I told him that she hadn't taken them, so he went in the room and gave them to her.
    I feel that I need to say something to my manager b/c I don't think this is safe. I know that I'm not giving any pt any meds but what about others in my position? My number one concern is patient safety and I'm not trying to lose my license before I even get it. I also do not want to be a 'rat'. Again, this is only on one of the units I've been to. Any advice would be appreciated!
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    About FarmgrrlRN

    Joined: May '03; Posts: 292; Likes: 6
    Specialty: 4 year(s) of experience in Pediatrics


  3. by   Tweety
    Leaving the pills at the bedside is a poor practice. These nurses are negligent in their care at worst, lazy at best. A profressional should always witness a patient taking their meds.

    I think you would do well to alert the manager of a potential problem. If you are precieved as a rat and anger someone, so be it. Your first and primary concern is for the patient. If they aren't getting their meds on time it could have consequences. What if it's a diabetic medicine, an antiarrhythmic, or something time-released?
  4. by   suzanne4
    You are there as a sitter to watch the patient..................if they are worried about falls in this patient, perhaps they need to worry about them having their meds also? I would definitely report it to your manager, it is the nurse's responsibility to take care of their patients' meds not yours. You did the right thing by notifying them first, and they chose not to take care of it, then next step is to talk to the manager.

    Good luck to you in your schooling. You are definitely going to be the type of nurse that I would want carrying for me..........
  5. by   PBAJS
    do inform your manager of what happened.

    after working a few months (at a previous place of employment) i was told to watch and see that a patient took the meds. :uhoh21:

    the next day [color=#a0522d]without mentioning a name i spoke with the don. soon after my coworkers (and the pill givers) were told what was and was not their responsibility.

    perhaps, as i had not mentioned the name of the pill giver ... we had continued a good working relationship.

    am i a (carefully worded) little 'rat' ?

    good luck to you.

  6. by   barefootlady
    Talk to the manager. Explain what has been going on. I hope these nurses get a firm warning on their duties. Good luck.
  7. by   missmercy
    I agree with prior posts -- very poor nursing practice to leave medications sitting somewhere -- totally unreasonable for the nurse to expect you to be administering them for them!!!!

    Yes, the manager really needs to know -- that is totally unacceptable and dangerous practice. You probably wouldn't HAVE to name names -- but it needs to be reported!!
  8. by   purplemania
    you are there to provide patient safety. Medication errors are not safe to the patient or to the visitor who walks in and picks up the meds. You are being responsible by informing the manager. Good for you! You are being a patient advocate.