reporting a collegue

  1. Hello I am hoping for some advice about a difficult situation at work.



    I am RN in aged care facility. I have a colleague (another RN) whom I have witnessed be physically and verbally abusive to elderly residents. This makes me sick. I have also seen her sedate residents with medications they are not prescribed. I feel I need to report this, it can not continue to go on.



    However she has warned me already it is only my word against hers. She also has threatened if I speak up that she will report me for a mistake I made a few weeks ago. One of my residents was prescribed a med that came in enteric coated form, he could not swallow it, so I borrowed from another residents meds a crushable form of the tablet. It was same drug and same dose so I didn't think it would make a difference, but I do realize now it was the wrong thing to do. I realize I made the mistake and deserve to be reported for it, but I am scared of losing my job over this event.



    I know I have to report this RN, as I owe it to the residents in my care, but I do love my job and don't want to lose it. Could I be fired for this mistake? I suppose I have no choice and will have to take my chance, but I am curious to know?



    I am also not sure how to go about reporting this abuse. Do I speak to my manager, or put it in writing what I have witnessed? It is only my word against hers, I have no evidence, will my complaint even be taken seriously? The other RN has been working for the facility a lot longer than I have. If they don't believe me then the only thing I will accomplish is getting myself in trouble, and making the other RN really angry. But I must do something to protect my residents. What is the best way to go about this?



    Thank you for your help [font=Wingdings][font=Wingdings]J



    Skye



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    About sax_journey

    Joined: Jul '04; Posts: 35

    14 Comments

  3. by   Tweety
    Call the police. This person is blackmailing you, is abusing patients, and needs to be arrested.

    Sit down and write down all the dates and times, including the blackmail, being specific as you can and report it to your manager, following the chain of command. Follow up closely with your manager to assure that proper reporting is being done.

    Good luck. I'm sorry for your residents.
    Last edit by Tweety on Feb 11, '05
  4. by   medpsychRN
    I wondering if there are other witnesses? I'd guess there are. I'd be concerned if I reported it to my manager and the nurse was fired she'd go to work somewhere else and the abuse would continue. In my state there is a hotline to call for elder abuse and I would call and report her.
  5. by   purplemania
    I do not think your mistake compares at all to hers. I would write down everything as recommended by 3rdshiftguy, then notify my manager. In Texas we are also obligated to notify the BON as protecting the public is a MAJOR issue. Do not engage in conversation with this nurse. Try to get on another rotation or look for another job if you are miserable there. Your job is important, but not as important as saving a life and it sounds like she is capable of going "all the way" with meds.
  6. by   Town & Country
    I know I have to report this RN, as I owe it to the residents in my care, but I do love my job and don't want to lose it. Could I be fired for this mistake? I suppose I have no choice and will have to take my chance, but I am curious to know?

    JMHO, but you seem overly concerned about your job.
    How LONG has this abuse been going on? Why did you not report it at once?

    I don't understand. If you actually SAW her abuse someone, she should have been stopped dead in her tracks!!! :angryfire I don't really know what to say now, because evidently, this has been an issue between the two of you for at least a few days, so you have waited to report abuse. That's very bad and I don't understand why............as far as "her word against mine", that's beside the point!!!
    Those poor old people in there NEED TO BE PROTECTED!
    Even if you report her and no one believes it, at least you TRIED. You did the right thing by reporting it. I wouldn't give two hoots about my job. I would probably submit my two weeks' notice when I reported her, so they couldn't "fire" me.
    At least call a hotline somewhere.
    Do something!
  7. by   DDRN4me
    I realize that you feel threatened, tha is EXACTLY what she wants!!!!!!

    run, do not walk, to the nearest computer and write down EVERYTHING..including your mistake and the threats that she has made to you regarding that. I imagine your facility also has med incident reports and other incident reports..use them and fill them out as well.
    Call the elder abuse hotline.and the BON
    then tell your manager that you are reporting that nurse to the police, and that you expect a full investigation facility wide regarding her actions.
    that way the NM wont feel blindsided and think you are covering your own tracks.
    Good luck and God bless...you are doing the best thing for the patient
  8. by   akcarmean
    Every one has good responses I can't add anything except to follow their advice. I have a grandma in the nursing home I would pray that if someone did that to her that it would be reported.


    Angie
  9. by   meownsmile
    I agree, some good advice. I would also go straight to the state's hotline. That way there is someone else besides management that is in on this. I would probly at least report her threats/blackmailing to the local police also, that way if there is some type of retaliation from her they are already aware of the situation and know where to look first. State ombudsman are a good place to go too.
    As far as her blackmailing you, you need to speak with the doctor, or have the oncoming nurse ask him to write an order for a substitute form of medication if needed. Then at least it doesnt look as if you were trying to hide anything and were doing what you felt prudent for the patient at the time. I doubt the doctor would have a problem if it were a med the patient needed. Then after the new order is written you can return the borrowed portion to the other patients meds.
    Switching a pill form is minor compared to the abuse of residents you are reporting.
  10. by   sax_journey
    thank you for your advice. you are right i should have reported immediatly. there is no excuse. i can not understand why i did not do this either. it is unforgivable. i cant change it now, but i can report it now and make sure she can not do this again. i have now written everything down. i will try to find out if any other nurses have seen similar things happen. i know it is wrong to be concerned for my job. i must protect the residents, this is number one priority. by keeping quiet i am just as guilty as she is.

    thankyou all for taking time to respond
  11. by   SmilingBluEyes
    Quote from 3rdShiftGuy
    Call the police. This person is blackmailing you, is abusing patients, and needs to be arrested.

    Sit down and write down all the dates and times, including the blackmail, being specific as you can and report it to your manager, following the chain of command. Follow up closely with your manager to assure that proper reporting is being done.

    Good luck. I'm sorry for your residents.
    tweety is 100% Dead-on. Take his advice, please! I wish you well. You would be doing RIGHT to report this, and involve the law.
  12. by   BELLE0924
    I think that you need to be the one to report any mistakes you have made. That is your responsibility as a nurse. As is reporting this individual. You are aware that the abuse if going on, if you don't report it, you are an accomplice. Good luck to you, and my prayers are with those patients.
  13. by   Soleilpie
    Quote from sax_journey
    thank you for your advice. you are right i should have reported immediatly. there is no excuse. i can not understand why i did not do this either. it is unforgivable. i cant change it now, but i can report it now and make sure she can not do this again. i have now written everything down. i will try to find out if any other nurses have seen similar things happen. i know it is wrong to be concerned for my job. i must protect the residents, this is number one priority. by keeping quiet i am just as guilty as she is.

    thankyou all for taking time to respond
    Sax, don't beat yourself up over this. You're taking action and that's the important part. You have obviously confronted this nurse in the past regarding her actions or she wouldn't have threatened you. So, it's not like you haven't done anything until now.
  14. by   HarryPotter
    Hi. I agree with all that has been said. I hope by now you have gotten all this straightened out. That you have reported her, that you have realized you are doing the right thing, that you are not going to be threatened. Let us know how all this turns out.

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