A Student Learned the HARD way... (a little long)

  1. ..about how serious pt. confidentiality and access to their chart info is. (this was unbelievable)

    On a med-surg floor a group of students were assigned. A patient on that floor just happened to be the brother of one of those students and happened to be admitted on that floor. He was not assigned to any of the students (he was there for a kidney stone).

    Well after clinical was over and all of the students signed off, the sister of the patient (we'll call her "April") went in to visit her brother. He evidently mentioned something about being in pain, and April came out in the hall and said to the nurse "are you just stupid or are you AWARE that he is in pain?". The nurse replied "he had not rang his bell and had not said anything, i was just about to go in there and ask about his pain level". April: "Well i wanna know WHEN he is scheduled for pain meds again, WHAT he is taking, and how OFTEN he's supposed to get it, GOT IT?". Nurse: "I will go in there and speak to him now, but i cannot discuss his medication with you." (How did i know this conversation? April yelled at the nurse so loud, i could hear it 35 ft down the hall.)

    So she did, he rated his pain at a 2, and the nurse went to look to see when his next dose was due. Another 45 minutes had to pass before he could get it. The nurse told him this and he said "oh i wouldn't call this pain, if it gets any worse, i'll let you know". The nurse told him that she could make a call to the doctor if he needed an adjustment on pain medicine. He said "I'm OK, but i will let you know if i'm not" and smiled. And the nurse closed the door.

    And during all of that conversation, April had gone to the med cart, pulled out the MARs for her brother, went up to the desk, grabbed the CHART, called the doctor at HOME, and started in on him, saying "i know what's best for him, he needs something ELSE, instead of being played off the way you're doing him." Meanwhile the charge nurse made two phone calls, one to security, the other to the clinical instructor, who was one floor down in an education meeting.

    So the instructor came on the floor at the same time the charge nurse said "this information is private, and you cannot see this without his consent and the doctor's consent" and grabbed the chart and the MARs. April started screaming a bunch of cuss words about "the incompetent ******es on this floor!" and saying "I'M more aware of how to do things that you idiots are, for God's sake". Right about then two security guards came up and asked her to leave, and she refused. The had to physically carry her to the NM's office, where the clinical instructor said "you're out. You broke the rules, i'm filing the paperwork TONIGHT for your dismissal".

    So she was kicked out of school, and was overheard the other day making calls on the payphone to every nursing school around here trying find a way to finish school. All evidently said no, as soon as she'd explained what happened that she wasn't in her program anymore. I'm guessing that she pretty much just shot her career as a nurse, when this goes on her permanent record.

    I think the majority of her problem was anger and stress with the long hours and so much time.

    It's a shame though. Two months from graduating, to be kicked out and barred from returning because of violating pt. confidentiality. And after all the preaching and lecturing we've all gotten in class where it's concerned, i cannot believe someone would lose their cool like that and blow it.

    (edited for spelling)
    Last edit by Marie_LPN, RN on Mar 12, '04
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    About Marie_LPN, RN

    Joined: Jun '03; Posts: 17,036; Likes: 1,007
    Operating Room Nurse; from US
    Specialty: 5 yrs OR, ASU Pre-Op 2 yr. ER


  3. by   WalkingInTheRain
    Wow, life can teach some hard lessons. Hopefully, one day she will be able to recover from it and learn from her mistake.
  4. by   Carolanne
    That is an incredible story. Sounds like a movie! "April" obviously has some serious anger issues and probably doesn't belong around sick people right now anyway.
  5. by   manna
    Wow... sometimes lessons have to be learned the hard way.
  6. by   Marie_LPN, RN
    I figure she had some psych issues before, and that this was just the final straw.

    Thing is, her brother's a nice guy, easy going, but always let someone know when he needed someone, so i don't understand why April reacted the way she did.

    Forgot to mention when all of this went on out in the hall, the patient had no idea until the nurse told him.
  7. by   Catma63
    I'm totally shocked to think a nursing student would dare to behave in such a way. She had to have been out of her mind nuts to do so!
    The nursing instructor was right in kicking her out of school. Though I hate it when someone is dismissed from a program, I can't imagine this could have gone any other way. I can only imagine what was going on in everyone's mind that witnessed this and am sorry to hear that that nurse had to endure such abuse.
  8. by   gij1
    What a story! She must be young, immature, or totally stupid. Probably should not be in nursing. It is understandable that one would get emotional about a family member in pain, but not at all to that length. You must always remain professional, as a student, and then out in the real world. I hope April finds her way in life.
  9. by   Sheri257
    Makes you wonder how she got this far, just to blow it with only two months to go.
  10. by   meownsmile
    Well lets hope she doesnt try to start working with children. If she cant control herself with adults, she needs to stay totally away from the little ones. Obviously some psyc issues with this lady
  11. by   Hellllllo Nurse
    Total nut job.
  12. by   PMHNP10
    Ticking time bomb comes to mind, and I am glad this happened when it did, and not while she had her own set of pts. I feel horrible for the nurse who had to listen to this psychotic rant. From what I gather from the post, it sounds as though she maintained her professionalism.
  13. by   Marie_LPN, RN
    The nursee's take on it (what she said this morning) was this: "I'd rather take a bunch of **** off of someone if it seals their fate that they'll never be in my position EVER."

    The patient was discharged, so luckily we won't see her around anymore. And now, the hospital is going to bring up charges.
  14. by   Gator,SN
    Her behavior was terrible and unprofessional, but maybe your instructor should have been on the floor with all of you during your clinical time so that when she first became upset she could have counseled her about what was happeneing so that it did not go this far. Whose license do students work off of? Possibly, she should have been sent home to collect herself and make up the clinical day later...??
    Does anyone behave rationally when they think that a loved one is in pain and suffering? Her perception of what was going on may have more to do with fear about her brother being ill, his mortality, guilt over something...etc. I see this irrational behavior with family members almost every day. Something is usually going on within that we do not know about.