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I think I just ended someone's career

Nurses   (27,260 Views 145 Comments)

Asystole RN is a BSN, RN and specializes in Vascular Access, Infusion Therapy.

24,698 Visitors; 2,139 Posts

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saltwaterstat has 20 years experience and specializes in pedies and er.

4,639 Visitors; 98 Posts

reading your post I thought you absolutely did the right thing by reporting her. but the non-chalance about the staple throwing and whatever was also a shocker. I can't think of a group of people that I have ever worked with, would have done anything like this. these were nurses? cna's?--really doesn't matter as we are all supposed to be in the position of helping.

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3 Followers; 96,576 Visitors; 36,681 Posts

Are you going to get in trouble for discussing this on AN? I hope not.

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P-medic2RN has 3 years experience.

2,532 Visitors; 99 Posts

I would fire the staple shooters on the spot, and send the LPN to rehab and try to save her...No excuse for professional adults acting like children in the work place. She is a person with a disease.

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17,310 Visitors; 714 Posts

That is very sad for the nurse and a disgusting display childishness from the other staff members.

As mentioned before-- you did not end her career. She did.

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HIPPIECHIKRN has 31 years experience.

3,697 Visitors; 47 Posts

If someone hasn't already said it let me say that she cut her own career short. Don't feel sorry for someone who so flagrantly disregards their own safety not to mention patient safety. Feel sorry for the patients who did not get their pain meds and are suffering!

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10,390 Visitors; 1,381 Posts

I wouldn't feel bad... You know, maybe it's best that she won't be working in nursing (at least, for a while). That's like having an alcoholic be a bartender. If she's serious about recovering, she could probably use the time away from temptation.

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SrqGrl,LPN has 12 years experience and specializes in Family Practice and GI.

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Have some compassion for this woman. I had the same addiction that ended in 2007. I NEVER stole meds from patients, however, I had a 90 pill a day addiction--which I, obviously, acquired illegally. After about 8 months of this going on, I was finally caught, thrown in jail for 12 hours and went through a 30-day hell coming off that junk. I was placed on "diversion" (which is for first time offenders), probation for 5 years. Thank God I didn't loose my license but, I was looking at 2 years in prison...it was a horrible ordeal. I didn't get addicted illegally--my doctor had me on tons of narcs for serious back problems and fibromyalgia. Then he moved out of state and I was cut off--within 24 hours. I was placed in the hospital for 2 days to come off of 80mg of Methadone and then relaesed into society feeling like death. So, then I figured out how to get Hydrocodone. I couldn't help the addiction--it took over my life. I have beat the odds of relapse. I can't believe those employees were throwning things and staples at that poor woman. Should she have been stealing from the hospital? Absolutely not. But, addiction tells you to get it anyway possible. I am disgusted that they did that to her. We, as nurses, are to have compassion for others. All we can hope is that she straightens her life out and gets back on her nursing track...:nurse:

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2,385 Visitors; 102 Posts

Have some compassion for this woman. I had the same addiction that ended in 2007. I NEVER stole meds from patients, however, I had a 90 pill a day addiction--which I, obviously, acquired illegally. After about 8 months of this going on, I was finally caught, thrown in jail for 12 hours and went through a 30-day hell coming off that junk. I was placed on "diversion" (which is for first time offenders), probation for 5 years. Thank God I didn't loose my license but, I was looking at 2 years in prison...it was a horrible ordeal. I didn't get addicted illegally--my doctor had me on tons of narcs for serious back problems and fibromyalgia. Then he moved out of state and I was cut off--within 24 hours. I was placed in the hospital for 2 days to come off of 80mg of Methadone and then relaesed into society feeling like death. So, then I figured out how to get Hydrocodone. I couldn't help the addiction--it took over my life. I have beat the odds of relapse. I can't believe those employees were throwning things and staples at that poor woman. Should she have been stealing from the hospital? Absolutely not. But, addiction tells you to get it anyway possible. I am disgusted that they did that to her. We, as nurses, are to have compassion for others. All we can hope is that she straightens her life out and gets back on her nursing track...:nurse:

I am happy for you. I am not excusing the staffs behavior but I am not surprised by it either. I think it all comes down to fear. We all are human with the same weakness, 'there but by the grace of God.' And to cover this possible weakness, some of us strike out. We tend to view any type of an addiction as being a matter of personal choice. Personal choice over which everyone has control. We tend to ignore each person's personal weakness, so that we can view ourselves as stronger, better, then the addict/nurse. And if she/he steals from a patient, that makes them lower then low,reinforcing our own sense of superiority. And it allows us to short change the addict on our compassion and understanding.

I hate going into the ER for relief of any type of pain, so I rarely do. Unless I come in bleeding and broken, staff tends to view me as a patient just there to get drugs. In a sense I am just a patient there attempting to get medication, I HAVE PAIN!!! And their judgemental attitude isn't going to help me. And the judgemental attitude of nurses doesn't help this addict either. It just makes the nurses criticizing feel better then themselves and allows them to justify their attitudes. I am not saying to ignore an addict/nurse who steals from her/his patients, just attempting to point out it is a symptom of the disease. Feel free to report them, they should be, just don't put yourself up there to high.

Pride comes before the fall.

GrannyRN65

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4,158 Visitors; 210 Posts

I don't feel sorry for the junkie lpn who endangered her patients. She had a choice. She made the choice to get wasted at work. I hope she never gets her license back. And anyone who feels sorry for her because she has a "disease" .. I bet they would feel differently if they were assigned to take care of you or someone you love. Just saying.

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withasmilelpn has 18 years experience and specializes in Rehab, LTC, Peds, Hospice.

9,722 Visitors; 580 Posts

Supervisors get prosecuted all the time for what their staff do under their charge. Whether they are present, involved or even aware or not. (no I do not believe this is fair - it just is.) If I were you, I'd do my best to investigate and write up the staff involved, making it clear that this sort of behavior - (abuse, assault - which is what occurred) would NOT be tolerated. Then I would make sure our policies on dealing with impaired staff are clear (if not - push on clarifying them) and hold mandatory on inservices on impairment, facility policy and workplace violence.

The whole situation sounds deplorable honestly. It's not right what she did, she could've harmed a patient, and she needs help and possibly to lose her license. But the way it was handled - like I said - deplorable.

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4,205 Visitors; 201 Posts

You did the right thing with this nurse. However, I would have done something about those people who take time out of shooting things at another human being in her most vulnerable time. Seems there is something wrong with the culture. Normally, it is not possible for a nurse, specially an outsider to be able to get hold of so much narcotic as she did.

The bosses need to look internally too. Probably you need to get out.

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riggy3 has 30 years experience as a MSN, RN and specializes in Surgical ICU, PACU, Educator.

1,282 Visitors; 30 Posts

asystole rn,

by no stretch of the imagination did you end the lpn's career. you may have saved her life as well as patients lives in her care. what you did was very difficult, also very necessary. from a licensure aspect we as rn's have a responsibility to advocate for our patient. by allowing an impaired nurse to continue to work you are now accountable for the actions she takes.

this nurse should have been sent directly to the emergency room.

i do not understand the torment from the other staff members. the staple and tape throwing group should also be disciplined.

with appropriate rehabilitation this nurse may become one of the best nurses you ever work with in the future, she has you to thank!

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