Reporting unethical behavoir

  1. I'm hoping I don't get slammed for asking, but I would like to know to what agency/ and or person would I report unethical behavoir in a nurse?
    Can I write to the State Board of Nursing? The Department of Health? The Attorney General?
    I have no idea on how to begin, but something needs to be done about this person and their actions before it becomes too late.
    Thanks all!
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    About GPatty, BSN, RN

    Joined: Aug '01; Posts: 3,725; Likes: 459


  3. by   purplemania
    Our Board of Nursing has a form online or you may mail them. Depending on the issue, the Risk Management person at your facility should know, as well as the nurse manager. Your policy and procedures might outline the process. If immediate pt. safety is an issue I would contact my manager or the House Supervisor. Our facility has a hotline for confidential reports. Good luck.
  4. by   Dayray
    You can start with the place where they work or you can go strait to the Board of nursing.
  5. by   redshiloh
    Do your career a favor and go up the chain of command. Your boss will not be happy to find out about this unethical person from the state board!
  6. by   caroladybelle
    Originally posted by redshiloh
    Do your career a favor and go up the chain of command. Your boss will not be happy to find out about this unethical person from the state board!
    Unfortunately, frequently one finds that one cannot do this. The perpetrater may be a member of management, or be in their good graces. That, and many suits try to cover up indiscretions of staff rather than report them appropriately, as that state investigation may cause bad publicity and a great deal of legal grief and paperwork.

    Anonymous report to the state board, if you are SURE of the allegation can sometimes be the best route.

    ***Been there, Done that And should have earned the Combat Pay for it***
  7. by   GAstudent
    DO NOT GO UP CHAIN OF COMMAND ON the place i work we have a hotline, mail in, or address..i will have to find it. IF you tell your boss then they will just comfront the person and someone will find out who told. The hotline or mail in you do not tell your name or anything.they give you a reference number and you call back to check on it. I will send you the number ..
  8. by   GAstudent
    Here is what we have where I work...

    Corporate Compliance Means following the law of *you place of work* The CCP is to help prevent
    -other unethical practices

    How does this benefit
    -improved job performance and quality of care
    -behave and provide care in an ethical way
    -work more efficiently
    -understand your rights and responsibilities
    *prevents crininal and unethical conduct
    -false claims act
    -ccp helps explain what is illegal and unethical

    The Enforcers
    *Department of Justice
    -United States Attorney
    *Department of Health and Human Services
    *Internal REvenue Services
    *State Attorney General
    *Private Parties

    Methods of Disclosure
    *Compliance Officer
    -confidential Hotline

    HOPE This helps..Mind if I asked what happend?

    Would you think of turning someone in if they tell a pt to shut up and go to bed?
  9. by   LaVorneRN
    I would recommend using your chain of command. Everyones facility and situation is different. The hospital I worked at had an Ethics Committee if you felt there were no result from your Nursing Manager or Director of Nursing. I would go to the Board of Nsg if you felt blown off after writing to or talking to your Nurse Mgr or DON.
    I agree with the person who said your DON would not be happy being contacted by the BON with a problem they were not given the opportunity to solve. There is sometimes a risk that comes with taking a stand for what is right. Is this something others will back you on? Will others sign a written complaint or report by you? You don't need the backup of others but depending on the situation it may help.
    Without knowing the details of what has happened this is the best mode of advice one can give. Good luck and always remember-CYA(cover your a**)
  10. by   jeannet83
    Julie, In my opinion, I think alot has to do with how comfortable you are with your supervisor. I've been a nurse for a long time and have had many different supervisors. There are some that I would feel totally comfortable going to with an ethical problem and certainly there were others that there would be absolutely no way I'd trust that supervisor to handle it in an appropriate manner (ie. let's just sweep it under the rug). Now of course, most supervisory people are going to recommend that you go to your supervisor because they are thinking about how they would feel if they had a Board of Nursing approach them about an issue. But , what you need to think about is taking care of YOU in this situation and resolving this ethical issue as promptly as possible AND especially if there are patient safety concerns at hand. As for negative publicity for the hospital or embarrassment on your supervisors part if you went to the Board of Nursing, to that I say, "Why?". They should be THANKING you for resolving the potentially ugly problem that is occurring in your work place, whatever that may be.

    Good luck to you and cya (go to the Board of Nursing).

  11. by   gwenith
    Julie - usually I would counsel to go through channels but if this is the same situation as you have posted before and it is your DON you are reporting then you must be EXCEEDINGLY careful. 1) check if your state has a "whistleblowers protection act" and tehn approach the union /professional body in your state and ask them. they should have a better idea bout local laws to be able to help you.
  12. by   jeannet83

    I totally agree with Gwenith in that you should proceed very carefully. I was reading the other posts and without knowing the actual situation that you want to report, it's hard to recommend whether or not and to whom to report an ethical concern. (And I am not suggesting that you do tell us what the situation is! unless you want to). But my point is that it has to be something really serious that affects patient care or a nurse's ability to provide patient care for me to report it. For instance, the unfortunate case of the elderly women with the PEG tube is just that, unfortunate; there is nothing inappropriate being done there. Often, withdrawal of therapy however cruel it may seem, may save the patient years of suffering. The episode of your DON sleeping with a relative of a patient: totally unethical but not something that I am going to slit my throat over by reporting it to the Board of Nursing. It's got to be something serious like drug or alcohol abuse affecting a coworker at work, a coworker stealing narcotics, or physical or verbal abuse of patients.

    Again, I do not know what the situation is but it sounds like you are not in the most supportive environment. I know that you are a new nurse (Congratulations!) however it may be time to send some feelers out for other job possibilities if this is behavior that is obnoxious but not necessarilarly reportable to a Board of Nursing.

    Just my thoughts. Good luck and keep us posted!

  13. by   MR.PICURN
    Chain of command is always the best course of action. Unless the problem starts at the top. Then my only question would be can the Union......Providing that you have one, help you. Alot of complaints are opinion based rather than fact based. The burdon of prove is always on the person (s) filing the complaint. Documentation and others that are willing to go on record is also helpful..... Pic your battles.......Ask yourself will this matter in 5-10 or 20 years....... If the answer is yes than you already know what to do.........Being willing to pay the price for the ride is the next question. Goodluck.........I know what your going through.....
  14. by   imenid37
    hey, i have been there before. i reported my former employer to the state admin. of occ. health for not having non-latex supplies readily available for latex sensitve staff. they brushed it all under the rug and frankly they lied. havind non-latex gloves locked in a supply room on another floor of the hospital that only the day shift manager has access to is not readily available when you work nights/weekends. i did try to reason w/ my employer, but it didn't work. they got no fine or punishment, but i think it did put them on notice that they were out of step. of course, this was almost 10 years ago when they thought we we were all whiners if we said we were latex sensitive. now they rightfully don't allow latex balloons etc. and try to be as latex free as possible. if you really think the issue is important as someone else know what to do. i wouldn't tell anyone what you are going to do if you feel the state is your only recourse, just be prepared for a letdown, but know it's not you, but the system that falls short.