I made a huge mistake.. I made up vitals and got caught..

  1. Hi.. I am a medical assistant. Usually I am really good at this. But for, I am not sure what reason.. I have been making up blood pressures for babies, and children and also the oxygen levels of most patients... Yesterday I got caught. The patient had asked the nurse if someone was gonna take her childs b/p and o2. She said the assistant already did.. The mom was like, NO she didn't ... Then the nurse asked me if I did, I said yeah.. Big mistake.. I am not sure why I lied, or even made up the vitals in the 1st place.. Then today, I did the same thing.. I made up the 02 for a patient.. I put 96% and I guess the patient was admitted to the hospital recently, and needed 02 help.. So he was curious to see what it was.. When I had 96 he was like wow.. Then listening to his lungs, he decided to check it himself.. It was only 80%.. He hasn't said anything to me, but I heard him talking to his nurse, whi is somewhat my boss.. I am not sure what to say or even think... I just feel ashamed.. Especially thinking what are they thinking about me... Like that I am a bad worker.. And questioning my past work. What should I do to make this right.. I am not going to do that ANYMORE, and I will be making sure vitals are done on everyone. But what if I get asked about the situation what can I do or say????? Please help me..........
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  2. Visit Talk2much555 profile page

    About Talk2much555

    Joined: Mar '05; Posts: 15
    Medical Assistant, CNA

    52 Comments

  3. by   letina
    Firstly, ALWAYS admit your error, NEVER try to bluff your way thru.
    But WHY??? Why did you make up the vitals? This is serious stuff
  4. by   fabnurse
    Quote from Tmontalvo
    Hi.. I am a medical assistant. Usually I am really good at this. But for, I am not sure what reason.. I have been making up blood pressures for babies, and children and also the oxygen levels of most patients... Yesterday I got caught. The patient had asked the nurse if someone was gonna take her childs b/p and o2. She said the assistant already did.. The mom was like, NO she didn't ... Then the nurse asked me if I did, I said yeah.. Big mistake.. I am not sure why I lied, or even made up the vitals in the 1st place.. Then today, I did the same thing.. I made up the 02 for a patient.. I put 96% and I guess the patient was admitted to the hospital recently, and needed 02 help.. So he was curious to see what it was.. When I had 96 he was like wow.. Then listening to his lungs, he decided to check it himself.. It was only 80%.. He hasn't said anything to me, but I heard him talking to his nurse, whi is somewhat my boss.. I am not sure what to say or even think... I just feel ashamed.. Especially thinking what are they thinking about me... Like that I am a bad worker.. And questioning my past work. What should I do to make this right.. I am not going to do that ANYMORE, and I will be making sure vitals are done on everyone. But what if I get asked about the situation what can I do or say????? Please help me..........
    Dude, you know how to take vitals the right way and understand the necessity? Ask yourself this first. How long have you been a medical assistant? Sometimes people behave this way because they are bored with what they're doing. Maybe you need a change. You need a challenge. Further your career. Sometimes people want to be caught so they can be FORCED to take actions that they can't bring themself to carry out. This could be a good thing for you in the long-run...the foot in the @!! you've been looking for. I know it sounds off-the-wall, but trust me on this. You already know what you did is wrong...just face the music and be honest and take whatever comes your way. Also, are you facing stressors in your personal life? That could be it, too. Hope it works out for you.

    -Sophia
  5. by   medsurgnurse
    "Especially thinking what are they thinking about me... Like that I am a bad worker.. "

    Of course they think you're a bad worker, they have every right to think that you are a bad worker. I'm not saying your a bad person but what you did was so very wrong. You need to think about to the harm you may have caused, what you did could have caused someone's daeth, for example the man with the O2 sat of 80%, that would require hospitalization, but you said it was 96%. So the doctor would base his decision that the patient was well on the O2 sat of 96% and send the man home. I know you said you feel bad, but mainly because you got caught. You did not mention the harm you may have caused to the patients.
  6. by   nesher
    You have stuck your foot in this one.
    I am hard pressed to think of a rational reason to explain why you would do this...I imagine because there isn't one. I also have to wonder - you say you won't do it again, but would you be lying about vitals now if you hadn't been caught?
    It's a good question to ask yourself and be honest with your answer. Why would you make up O2 sat levels when all that is requred of you is to stick a device on a finger tip? What would lead you to behave this way? As far as making up B/P's - that is a pretty serious issue. These are clearly ill people - in the hospital for a reason - B/P's are all part of the overall picture involved for treating whatever ails them. Your lying could have serious consquences for their health. And the fact that you did it again after being caught the day before makes me think you need a different area to work in. I feel for you as I see you are young (from your profile) - but really it's no excuse and bascially you don't have one.
    I am afraid I wouldn't trust you if I were working with you.
  7. by   Talk2much555
    Quote from letina
    Firstly, ALWAYS admit your error, NEVER try to bluff your way thru.
    But WHY??? Why did you make up the vitals? This is serious stuff
    I made up the vitals cuz in my office, there are about 4, 1pm patients who walk in the door at 12:45. I help check them in, insurance and etc.. Then I get them ready.. Maybe its not every day that I have 4 patients but there were alot tp check in and have ready for the nurses and doctors.. So one day made up some vitals.. And they made me feel like superwoman, for having everything under control and doing everything soo fast.. But in honesty, it was a lie.. Ever since, then i just been making the lie worse, by continueing to make up the vitals.. Its like once you tell a small white lie, it grows into a huge lie, and now look where I am.. I am soo nervous, of someone confronting me on the subject... What can i do now?
  8. by   Talk2much555
    Quote from fabnurse
    Dude, you know how to take vitals the right way and understand the necessity? Ask yourself this first. How long have you been a medical assistant? Sometimes people behave this way because they are bored with what they're doing. Maybe you need a change. You need a challenge. Further your career. Sometimes people want to be caught so they can be FORCED to take actions that they can't bring themself to carry out. This could be a good thing for you in the long-run...the foot in the @!! you've been looking for. I know it sounds off-the-wall, but trust me on this. You already know what you did is wrong...just face the music and be honest and take whatever comes your way. Also, are you facing stressors in your personal life? That could be it, too. Hope it works out for you.

    -Sophia
    I personally feel that I like what I do here in this office. I run the office, its what I say.. People look to me to run everything.. But I just feel that with EVERYONE wanting me to do everything all at once, it was a quick and easy way to make everyone happy. When I saw, what I thought was the positive outcome, it became a thing... Checking in 5 patients was nothing.. Weight and height then make up the rest.. But I am not sure why I would of made the same mistake after feeling like crap from yesterday when I 1st got caught. I guess habits are meant to be broken... I just want to forget this whole situation.....
  9. by   2ndCareerRN
    I am a medical assistant.
    Better learn to flip burgers.

    Like that I am a bad worker
    You may be a good worker. Just an untrustworthy one.

    Honestly, if you were my employee, you would already be looking for a new job. I would also start steps to remove your licensure. Assuming you do have a license in the state you are in.

    Making vitals up is beyond serious in my book. You may have someone hypoxic (which you did), someone on the verge of a hypertensive crisis, or any number of things a set of vitals can help point to.

    I have no sympathy for you, as I said, if you worked for me, you would be on the street.

    bob
  10. by   talaxandra
    I know you already know this, but the first thing is that you have to stop making up vitals. People understand that sometimes it isn't possible to get everything done in time, even if this means you look less perfect.
    Taking obs is my least favourite thing to do - either they're fine, in whih case it feels like a waste of time, or there's a problem and that means more work. However, they're awesomely important, which I know you know.
    I agre with Sophia (FabNurse) - sounds to me like you're bored.
    The other thing is that, unless you (and your patients) have been extraordinarily fortunate someone will have been surprised that the vitals they took later didn't tally with yours.
    Only you can decide whether to 'fess up or not...
  11. by   Tiki_Torch
    Honesty is always the best policy.

    The only way to begin to fix a problem is to admit that a problem exists. Congratulations on admitting the problem. Now, lets fix it.

    Go to your boss and tell them what you did and why. I think if I were your boss I'd respect you more for admitting to something before I had to find out about it and present the facts to you. Put yourself in your bosses position... If you had someone working for you who did the things you did, how would you feel about that person? Now, if that person came to you to tell you they have made a mistake because felt overwhelmed with too much work, that they are very sorry and realize the seriousness of their errors, I'm sure that if you were that boss you would be a heck of a lot more understanding than if your coworkers went to the boss to complain about your serious mistake first. The boss should then be able to realize that you had too much work put upon you. A first clue to the boss that there was too much work put on you was that people were calling you "superwoman", because only a "superwoman" could be expected to get that much work done that fast.

    Tell the truth. Get if off your chest. You will feel sooooo much better!!! Be aware at how very, very important your work is and how much the doctors and nurses depend on you to get accurate vital signs and O2 sat results!!! (Often a person's vital signs are the first indication that their body is about to crash!! Just because a normal O2 sat is 96% doesn't mean that every person will register a 96%. There are no "right" answers with vital signs... the result for each person is as individual as each person.) I think you know deep in your heart how important this is. If you feel you still want to continue working at this palce, let the boss know what has happened, the sooner the better too. Also, be aware that whether you fess up or not, lots and lots of eyes will be watching you now, and you might hear whispers sometimes too. This is why I say own up to your mistakes, learn from them, take the punishment like a person with integrity would, and go on with life as a better person who can hold her head up with dignity.

    Wishing you only the best.
  12. by   Tweety
    You are gambling with peoples lives and what you are doing is more than "bad", it's criminal. Bad things could have happened to those patients you made up vitals on. Don't sugar coat what you've done. What you've done is dangerous and morally reprehensible. People trust you with their very lives if you can't handle that, then as was stated above, better learn to flip burgers.

    I'm not judging you, but you need to understand the magnitude of your lies. As you said you don't know why you're doing it, perhaps some counseling. I'm concerned you'll do it again if you don't get to the bottom of why you're choosing to lie when the truth is not only easier but safer.

    It is very mature and right of you to come clean and admit what you've done. Good luck.
  13. by   CHATSDALE
    i agree with those that say you need to find an other line of work...bad habits are hard to break and you will slip back into this the next time you are pushed to the wall
    sometimes the first thing we do at a new job is to look for the easiest way to slide through...i have seen nurses give meds which i knew contained lanoxin or a b/p drug and not take any v/s ... in our facility first med pass is started at least by 7a .. cnas are busy at that time feeding and serving breakfast..at any rate i prefer myself to check these type of v/s c meds that require it
  14. by   truern
    I'm sorry, but if you'd make up vitals what else would you lie about?? Med errors??


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