Question about med control (volunteer)

  1. I am new to this site. I am not a nurse, I am a hospital volunteer who works on a patient floor.
    Recently the hospital where I work has decided that all drugs, IV bags, etc., have to be handled only by RN's or LPN's. They come up from the pharmacy via tube at the nurses' station. Only the nurses can take them out of the tubes & set them inside a locked room that only they can access. (I can understand the narcotics being under control, they are already in a pyxis. If a controlled substance has to be picked up from pharmacy, an RN has to go & sign for it.) The strange thing is, if something is not controlled, I can still go pick it up from the pharmacy.
    The big problem I have with all this is that patient supplies (cups, water pitchers, etc.) are in the same room.
    A big part of my job is to get such things for patients who need them. Now I have to track down a nurse every time a patient wants a pitcher or cups or toothpaste or whatever! This makes it extermely hard to do my job. I am so frustrated I am thinking of giving up a job that I otherwise love.
    I am told that all this is a JCAHO requirement. I am wondering, is it really a requirement that ALL such items have to be so tightly controlled? Could the hospital be panicking because our JCAHO visit is due soon?
    Perhaps the nurses on this board would know about this.

    Thank you
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    About justavolunteer

    Joined: May '05; Posts: 195; Likes: 183


  3. by   TiffyRN
    I have often fantasized about changing jobs every 3 years or so, in other words timing my employment at any given facility to end before the "insane" period starts a couple of months before JCAHO visits.

    If this is a volunteer job, I would quit and come back after JCAHO leaves. Why punish yourself like that? And yes, hospitals go completely certifiably insane right before JCAHO arrives, and just when you don't think they could get more ridiculous, they restrict or change one more think, hours before JCAHO arrives!
  4. by   justavolunteer
    The main thrust of my opener was to see if anyone could point to a specific regulation about locking up everything. If it could be specifically shown that our mgt. is going overboard, they might relax & make my life easier
    Regarding 'why go through the punishment', a lot of my volunteering has been quite rewarding. Pt. floors are generally somewhere between insane and really insane. Mine is no exception! The nurses are always so thankful for my help. I have always been made to feel very welcome by the staff. (The nurses are not thrilled with the JCAHO nonsense, either.)
    I started volunteering because I was ill a few years ago & saw how hard nurses work. (They didn't do anything spectacular to save my life, they just CARED!) They must have been doing something right, to inspire me so.
  5. by   Aneroo
    If you know it's a JCAHO thing, then I would suggest stick it out. If you work in a restaurant, the manager won't like it much if you quit the day you think the health inspector is going to come, then ask for you job back. Even if you're not paid, I think it is unprofessional to quit and then come back because you're being surveyed.
    As far as things being locked up, it's probably mostly a cost issue. You might not be doing it, but other may be like, "Oh, I can stick this is my bag, and no one knows it's gone". ALL of our stuff is in a Pyxis. Alcohol swabs, hair brushes, water pitchers...
    I take out a bunch of stuff and go ahead and stock up their room. I go ahead and give them extra cups, straws, linens... If the room is empty, but you're expecting a new patient, go ahead and put hygeine supplies in there as well. -Andrea
  6. by   mom2michael
    That sounds so frustrating for you. Have you thought about talking to the manager of the dept about perhaps getting you a cart with all your supplies on it that isn't locked up or perhaps an area you can store all your supplies for the day, that way you only have to bother the nurse 1 time a day to get into the supply room? That way you have what you need, the supply area can be locked up and everyone might be happy. Our supply area is not locked, but there is a video camera in there. All drugs controlled or not are kept in a pyxis or a locked cabinet which also has a video camera.

    I wish you luck and I hope you can work this out so you don't have to leave there. It sounds like you would be missed terribly by everyone if you had to go.
  7. by   VivaLasViejas
    Where I work, we have closets called 'nurse servers' in all the patient rooms where we keep everything from Attends to straws to medications. (The meds are in a lock-box, of course.) They are JCAHO-approved, and staff can access them at any time they need to. So no, what you're describing is NOT necessarily JCAHO-related..........sounds like TPTB at your workplace just don't know, or don't care, how hard it makes life for volunteers and staff members to be unable to get to supplies when they're needed. :stone