Drunk Student

  1. A student in one of my summer evening classes shows up intoxicated consistently. Any suggestions? Should I just pretend I don't know about it? I mean she even "tops" off her "soda" in class...... I know it's not responsibility to be the morality police, but...
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    About dosamigos76

    Joined: May '03; Posts: 394; Likes: 40
    Patient Care Manager-Hospice
    Specialty: 7 year(s) of experience in Hospice


  3. by   nadia562002
    I have some rather strong oppinions on this topic. If you dont tell someone, another person may not. It is in the best interest of everyone to get this issue taken care of before someone gets harmed or killed.
  4. by   dosamigos76
    Who do you tell? She's due to start the program this fall.
    there's no question...this person has to be reported for the safety of the patients....period. do the right thing & report them...if you don't & something happens...you're just as responsible as the drunk student...& if this knowledge is found-out...you'd be jeopardizing your chances in getting expelled, not being able to graduate, or sit for the nclex-rn with your sbon...is keeping silent worth all that?

    one thing you'll have to get use to in order to be an effective nurse/supervisor someday & that is you'll have to have a strong backbone. there will be times when you'll have to confront staff regarding patient safety & other job issues. you'll may be faced with having to discipline staff (from verbals to dismissals) for whatever reasons. you'll feel bad about it i'm sure...but you'd be acting in the best interest of the patients & other staff. this is part of nursing & you'll learn more about it in your professional nursing leadership courses.

    i know no one like to be a stool pigeon...but we're talking about people's lives here. if you still are uncomfortable about turning the student in & having them know who done so...then write an anonymous letter to your clinical instructor...or report this person along with your other class/clinical mates...doing this would show an united front & how everyone else feels about this situation...you wouldn't be the only one submitting the complaint. good luck in whichever you decide to do ~

    originally posted by dosamigos76
    a student in one of my summer evening classes shows up intoxicated consistently. any suggestions? should i just pretend i don't know about it? i mean she even "tops" off her "soda" in class...... i know it's not responsibility to be the morality police, but...
  6. by   dosamigos76
    I agree with what you're saying, the only problem as I see it is that we're not in the nursing program yet, we're finishing the prerequisites. She's already been accepted to the program because she's taken the LPN part of our program previously. I did just e-mail one of the instructors in the RN program with non-identifying information regarding this student and requested advice from her.
  7. by   meownsmile
    Your college still has rules concerning alcoholic beverages on campus grounds. All you can do is take your suspicions to your instructor, and let them handle it from there. If it is the odar of alcohol that has caught your attention, just mention that you are noticing someone has an alcohol odar to them in your area and it bothers you. No need to point fingers to one individual because the instructor may already have noticed it. Put it in the instructors lap to deal with, and you dont have to take any grief for "reporting" someone if you let the instructor collar the "stinker"
  8. by   MishlB
    I believe this may be a vioaltion of the school's policies...look in a school handbook, and talk to someone immediatley. My guess is this person won't stop once they enter other classes. And may continue to do so on the job....
  9. by   graysonret
    A person such as this, has a definite alcohol problem...and a problem that won't go away with graduation or license. Funny thing these days...if this person was smoking, everyone would be all over the person about it, yet, with drinking, shoulders are shrugged and we tend to want to ignore it. Shame of it all, is that this person will probably die from alcohol, much sooner than any smoking will do. Statistics show that 9 out of 10 people with this person's problem die from alcohol or alcohol related diseases. You're looking at a person who is now drinking, probably, 24/7. The reason why I say that, is because the person is drinking in class. In that situation, this person will not last. Sooner or later, a patient will be harmed, or this person will fail...either in class, clinicals, or a shift. Worse, this person is very ill and needs help. My advice? Report the person. Look at it this way. You're probably saving a life. Hopefully, your classmate. Good luck!
  10. by   kats
    My husband actually had to deal with a situation similar to this. To make it worse, the person who showed up drunk to work was his best friend and he was a jet mechanic ( we were all three in the navy at the time.) My husband first tried to talk his friend into leaving early (saying he was sick or something) but when that didn't work he reported him. It was the only thing he could do. Unchecked, the pilot of the plane could have died if the friend had made an error. The same thing could happen with people working in a hospital. After going to a military alcohol program and realizing that he did have a problem, the friend thanked my husband and they remained friends for many years after. It really isn't something to be left alone.
  11. by   debRNo1
    Originally posted by dosamigos76
    . Any suggestions?
    My suggestion is report her

    Like someone said this drunken student may very well pass and turn into a drunken nurse. I have had first hand experience with this and it was pure misery for all involved.

    It started with lies, I was a (former LPN) new RN and she, an LPN was hired as med nurse in LTC facility. Told me SHE was an RN too-but liked to push meds so therefore worked under her LPN
    license Never did see her actually intoxicated at work but definately hung over quite a bit. Sad to say she was a decent nurse when she wasnt rushing around to get done and have a cocktail. She lied like a rug.................. Many feel that this is a touchy situation and rather ignore it than to do something about it and thats what happened here. One DON did put a sort of write up in her file that she had smelled like alcohol but after that one left nobody else would face the fact that we had a drunk amongst us.

    At a dinner for a coworker she MADE me and another nurse TASTE her "soda" to prove she wasnt drinking ? Then went and get the bartender to top it off- shortly afterward she was stumbling around telling her tall tales. She broke a few glasses by hitting tham with a knife and was nominating ME for nurse of the year ??? Began to offend just about everyone with racial/religious/sexual jokes then stumbled out with the untouched dinner and someone elses pocket book that she insisted was hers and it was basically a tug of war to get the purse back.

    They eventually made her MY charge nurse- lucky me. She would get LOADED (not on duty) and begin to call her coworkers at home or call the facilty asking for someone or anyone. Once she told a terrible lie that her mother died. Then 2 years later when my father passed away- her mother really died and she couldnt tell us- She showed up at my dads wake LOADED, stumbled in and made me very very uncomfortable. She worked that day and showed up at 3:20 (in uniform) so my guess is she pounded down a few on the short ride there.

    Once I was on eve shift and she called to tell me her husband was "beating" her and that the police were coming to get her, naturally my first thought was "where are the kids?" (2 teens)
    Couldnt make sense of what she was saying and she called every 10 min. and I had to tell the receptionist to "hold" her calls. The worst was when she called the facility one SAT AM to say she just found her husband DEAD. Concerned coworkers wanted to leave and help her and I was accused of being uncaring and cold hearted because I wouldnt let them leave and said it's all a BS line- shes drunk. Well the calls went on for many hours, She fell and was locked in the BR, ems came and took "her best friend" away, he WOKE up at the morgue- he wasnt dead after all, a helicopter was coming to transopt him to a hospital with no heliport- on it went till I guess she passed out and the calls stopped. Another nurse who knew her from elsewhere said no- he died a few yrs ago.......the man is aliveto this day.

    She tried to scam all of us into signing a "monitering" sheet for her ( apparently she did have previous trouble elsewhere) Oh someone gave her a "bottle" for Xmas and it was on her med cart- never drank any "on the job"- but was being monitered anyway !!?? Shows up at a coworkers house that she had these papers sent to without permission (who wouldnt sign them) 2nd story apartment and fear that she would fall down leaving and there was dead husband behind the wheel of the car !!??

    She got to be paranoid and one eve all mgt stayed late to do a chart reveiw. The calls from her began and most times she would hang up. Think she got paranoid, thought we were there digging the dirt on her and resigned the next day. The letter was so self incriminating and also bizarre- had I been DON I would have hand delivered it to the DOH. No action was taken, she wasnt reported and went on to work elsewhere..............Im sure her behavoir hasnt changed.

    sorry to ramble...........

    report the student so they could get some help

  12. by   dosamigos76
    Wow! I am so sorry that you and your coworkers and the patients had to go through all of that.
    I have e-mailed one of the nursing instructors and I will contact the teacher in our class. I am thinking of changing my seat so that I can personally witness her behavior. I sit in the front of the class while she's in the back.
    Thanks everyone for their input. I didn't want to sweep the situation under the rug, but wasn't sure how to actually handle it.
  13. by   rnnurse2be
    Tough one, but she (nor any other students) need to know you said anything to the profs.

    Good for you to take the stand. Look around at all the other students who couldn't or wouldnt!
  14. by   Jen2
    I say report it. I say this because I take school very seriously. I have worked so hard to get where I am at and people like this sicken me. I understand that this person is probably sick but for heavens sake take school seriously. I have the same disrespect for cheaters, and those people who don't do there assignments and miss class and expect to copy your notes. I am young and find myself staying at home and studying while my friends and classmates are living it up. Then they cry when they fail an exam and wonder how in the heck I was "lucky" enough to get an A. I am also working while in school. I am not a stick in the mud, I know how to have fun, but in moderation. I celebrate after the A and not b4 it. If you don't report it someone will either get hurt or the person will eventually fail. Lets just hope they fail b4 it gets to this point. Let us know what happens.