"Missing" narcotic please read need help!!!

  1. Ok so today is my day off, and I wake up bright and early to a phone call from my job. I didn't answer it but checked the machine and it was the dayshift RN supervisor telling me she has to ask me some questions for me to please call her back. I called her back and she is telling me that on Monday of this week pharmacy came to bring meds, I signed for them and apparently they brought a patients vicodin, and those are now missing???

    So I am like ok, first of all I am trying to wrap my head around this at the crack of dawn and get my thoughts together. She asked me if I remember receiving the narcs, and I told her no. You have to understand that pharmacy comes at least 3 times on my shift, so no I don't remember specifically receiving that residents narcs. I did explain to her that if the narcs were received I had one med cart for one particular hall which does not have the narcs in it. The other nurse I worked with that night had the other med cart which had the locked box for narcs. If the med was received I would have had to add however many the pharmacy sent to the pt's current count, and I would have had to give the narcs to the other nurse to put in the locked box because she had that med cart I did not.

    So she told me she was going to call me back she was going to call the other nurse. I waited about an hour then called her back. I was not worried at all because I know I did nothing wrong, if I received the narcs I would have put them where they belong, I have no reason to steal anything never would! So I call her and she says oh that nurse doesn't remember getting anything either that night the problem is that you signed for it, and you may be losing your job over this because it's a narcotic. So I called the DON no answer, call the ADON which is very very nice, she proceeds to tell me that she knows I would never take anything but that this is a huge problem and that the police have to get involved, it's probably going to involve a lawsuit, and I could possibly lose my license.

    She asked me to come in and write a statement, this is when I started to get worried. All I have wanted to do all ever since I was little was to become a nurse, and now that I am a nurse this cannot be happening. I worked so hard to get where I am today. So I write my statement basically saying that yes I may have signed for meds that day but I do not remember receiving narcs for that resident. One thing you have to understand is that when pharmacy comes they have a clipboard and they hand you say 2 bags then on the clipboard it will say 2 bags 2nd floor they say sign here then they leave. You do not know you are getting a narcotic unless you open the bag. Inside the bags are invoices with the residents names & presciption # of all the meds that they sent us in the bag. Those invoices we keep and send down to the offices. So my other suggestion was to look for the invoices if we have one with that residents name & pres # then I have a problem! If not it was never received. So the ADON pulls out the invoices for that day....guess what it's not on there whew! Then she calls pharmacy and asks about that prescription and the pharmacist says we are filling it now, and she says but is it just being filled for the first time or was this filled & sent on Monday like we were told earlier? She asked him like 5 times and he repeatedly told her that it was RE-ORDERED on monday but just being filled today!!! So she just told me well just take it as a lesson, you are fine.

    My question is this has me thinking do I need to get liability insurance to cover myself just in case. Because thinking about this situation and the fact that I could have ended up losing my license is really scarry. Does any LPN's out there have this insurance. Please tell me your thoughts on this. I am going to enjoy my day off today despite what happened earlier but I want to do things differently from now on. Also, what are your takes on the way my facility handles receiving meds from pharmacy? Why do we have to have 2 nurses count narcs before& at change of shift but just 1 nurse can sign for narcs and not double check before pharmacy leaves to make sure we have what they claim to be giving us???
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    About justwannabanurse

    Joined: Dec '07; Posts: 63; Likes: 10

    14 Comments

  3. by   TAB_RN
    I cannot see where liability insurance has anything to do with this situation. The only advice I can give, is NEVER EVER EVER sign for something that you are not fully aware of what you are signing. If you are signing for meds, then make sure you open the bags, look, and compare to the list the pharmacy is having you sign for. That is just common sense. They wouldn't have somebody sign for it if they didn't want to hold somebody accountable. Lesson learned.


    ... oh, just FYI -- ALL NURSES should have their own private liability insurance.
  4. by   Happy2CU
    Just a quick response here. I would absolutely recommend having liability insurance. I'm an LPN as well (work in dialysis). I have mine thru NSO. It's very reasonable, and I feel so much more comfortable having it. I would speak with your DON regarding the method that narcs are received from pharmacy. I worked at a nursing home once.....when we signed for meds from pharmacy we were signing for each specific med. Meaning we would physically inspect each packet and sign as received. I wouldn't be comfortable signing for narcotics without physically seeing them. Best of luck to you. Glad everything worked out okay. Hugz!!
  5. by   Happy2CU
    I reread your post..... I would definitely recommend a meeting with your DON and ADON. Call them back today to schedule this meeting. Things need to change with how meds are received and signed for. Your ADON was quick to tell you about "police, lawsuit, losing your license".....yeah,the method for receiving meds needs to change and definitely get personal liability insurance asap.
  6. by   SuesquatchRN
    www.nso.com

    I had insurance as an LPN and I have insurance as an RN.

    Cover yourself now. You can see how quickly the administration would have reported you to the BON. Your own malpractice affords you your own attorneys should you need to defend the license you worked to hard to obtain.
  7. by   Lovely_RN
    Maybe you should suggest a change in the way that narcotics are delivered to the floor nurses in your facility? Being handed a bag mixed with non-narcotics and signing for them without checking what's in the bag is really sloppy. What if the delivery driver from the pharmacy had stolen the narcs on the way to your facility and closed the bag back up? The handling of narcotics is too serious to rely on the honesty of others.

    Narcotics are delivered separately from regular meds where I work. During day shift the LPN goes to the DONs office and signs a narcotic book that is kept in her office and then takes the narcs to the unit to be placed in the double locked box. During evenings and nights when there is only one LPN on the floor the house supervisor receives the narcotics from the pharmacy, delivers them to the unit, then we both sign the book before the narcotics are placed in the double locked box. If your facility is not willing to change the way the narcotics are delivered then do not ever again accept that bag of meds w/o checking to make sure that everything listed has been delivered.
  8. by   morte
    i am still trying to figure out, why they thought the med had come in, without the invoice being there.....just beccause a med is ordered, doesnt mean it was sent!!!??....and, yes the narcs need to be separate from the reg meds...and inspected for right label and right number, the others we have 24 hours to correct....good luck
  9. by   justwannabanurse
    Well from what I understand the resident was completely out of her vicodin today so they called the pharmacy. The RN supervisor said she was told it was sent on 5/18 and this nurse (Me) signed for the meds that day. But, when the ADON called the pharmacy she was told no the vicodin was only ordered that day never sent. The only thing I can think of is our Rn supervisor is of asian decent no offense to anyone she has a accent maybe she misunderstood and thought they said it was sent on the 18th, but infact they said it was ordered the 18th??? Who knows I am just glad it's over with. Thanks for all your comments I have applied for insurance through NSO
  10. by   NC Girl BSN
    When I worked in LTC. Two nurses had to sign for all narcs. Why are they not doing that at your place. It would be easy for a drug seeking person to come behind you on the next shift and take the meds. If there is two signitures, then you have a witness to someone else seeing them. I would definetly recommend this. Also never sign for any Narcs without laying your eyes on them. There is no way you will be able to count the other meds but definetly count the narc.
  11. by   deedee1245
    The facility I work in has a 2 signature policy for narcs. Two nurses check the order, count the pills in the card, and both sign for the meds. It takes a little time, but you have covered yourself. Pharmacy delivery service also stays until we are finished checking in all meds ordered, whether narcs or not. It also covers them, their jobs, and the pharmacy.
  12. by   caliotter3
    No nurse should practice without malpractice insurance. And from now on, when you sign for meds open up the bag and go through each item as you check it off the list. Lesson learned.
  13. by   Earnedit
    I absolutely agree never ever ever sign for anything that you do not put your eyes on and count yourself. NO employer should ever expect you as a nurse to do anything less. If you receive meds, you make that delivery person stop and wait for you to count each pill and sign each line of the invoice. Also if its not there DO NOT sign for it. Write on there not present. Most pharmacy drivers are not professionals and they could easier divert narcs for street sale!!!! Your license is not worth risking... If you are taking delivery for another floor make that driver deliver to that floor. Don't except them, Your DON will understand.
  14. by   Cherybaby
    At my former job, we had great pharm delivery guys who understood that we were going to take our sweet time checking the cards and comparing it to the invoice. We didnt have a two nurse policy, we just did it for one another anyway. Saves a lot of headaches.

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