Outgoing LVN refuses to do a Narc Count

  1. I've been working the NOC shift (6P-6A) at a county correctional facility for a couple of months now. One of the nurses who I relieve from day shift refuses to do a narcotic count with me at the end of her shift. She makes the excuse that it's already been done when I arrive, and the RN backs her up on this.

    Every time I come to work, I ask her politely to do the count, and every time she refuses. Luckily, there are other nurses that understand Nursing 101, and will assist me in the count.

    I have informed my nursing supervisor of this problem, and his response was that "hopefully you two can work it out...".

    I have no intention of jeopardizing my nursing license because some other nurse refuses to do her job, but, I'm becoming increasingly agitated when I know I'll have to ask her again, and she will again refuse.

    Thoughts?
  2. Visit CaliBoy760 profile page

    About CaliBoy760, LVN

    Joined: Aug '08; Posts: 191; Likes: 246
    LVN; from US
    Specialty: 20 year(s) of experience in Hyperbaric Medicine and Wound Care

    15 Comments

  3. by   not.done.yet
    If you have another RN doing the count with you I doubt you have anything to worry about.
  4. by   mmc51264
    then I would not take the assignment. If she is not willing to follow protocol, then she can stay or abandon
  5. by   CaliBoy760
    Quote from not.done.yet
    If you have another RN doing the count with you I doubt you have anything to worry about.
    I agree. But, it's never the nurse who has actually done the med pass.

    My issue is with the LVN who did, but still refuses to count narcotics at the end of her shift.
  6. by   Julius Seizure
    Does it matter which nurse counts?
  7. by   katfish67lpn
    I had the same thing happen but I was working over until 3am (from my 3-11 shift in SNF) and the oncoming nurse (again at 3am) refuses to count with me...I finally had to call the on call nursing supervisor, who said "why would she do that?" Which my reply was "I have no idea." because I truly didn't and still don't. So the nursing supervisor asked to speak with the refusing nurse and she acted like she had no idea why "she had the bother you"!? She did count with me after the call but dang I mean really, it is MANDATORY. I don't do the "I counted and everything is fine". I really do "make" the oncoming/off going nurse do the actual count...I've seen too much in my years to do otherwise.
  8. by   CaliBoy760
    In the big scheme of things? Probably not. I refuse to start my shift until the narc count has been completed, and scrambling to find another nurse to do the count is a waste of my time and theirs when the nurse responsible refuses to do an integral part of her job.
  9. by   jadelpn
    Any other nurse can do the narcotic count with you. I would ask the offgoing nurse to find a nurse willing count narcs with you, and hand THEM the keys. You accepting the keys at the start of your shift without a count could be on you.

    I am not sure what the problem is, as I am sure this nurse counts at the beginning of their shift--and you at the end of yours, no?

    Part of the job when you have a med cart. And the supervisor "I hope you can work it out"?! SERIOUSLY, this is policy! This is not something I would think YOU need to "work out". Is your supervisor going to come count with you? Then the off going nurse can hand the keys to the supervisor and explain why it is she/he is unwilling to do it.

    Make sure you have malpractice insurance. And I am not sure what the reporting part of your facility is, but incident reports could change the protocol.

    This sucks and I feel like for whatever reason this nurse is giving you way too hard of a time.
  10. by   nursel56
    Quote from CaliBoy760
    I've been working the NOC shift (6P-6A) at a county correctional facility for a couple of months now. One of the nurses who I relieve from day shift refuses to do a narcotic count with me at the end of her shift. She makes the excuse that it's already been done when I arrive, and the RN backs her up on this.

    Every time I come to work, I ask her politely to do the count, and every time she refuses. Luckily, there are other nurses that understand Nursing 101, and will assist me in the count.

    I have informed my nursing supervisor of this problem, and his response was that "hopefully you two can work it out...".

    I have no intention of jeopardizing my nursing license because some other nurse refuses to do her job, but, I'm becoming increasingly agitated when I know I'll have to ask her again, and she will again refuse.

    Thoughts?
    You've got one nurse who refuses to do the narc count, the enabling RN who has a memory lapse about the purpose of a narcotic count, and a profoundly disinterested nursing supervisor.

    I will speculate from what you've said, your dilemma is more of unit culture beyond the specifics of the narcotic count. If so, you've got an uphill battle ahead of you. These groups tend to circle the wagons when they feel a new person may disturb the unwritten rules under which they operate.

    If you otherwise like your job there, and if you are not impeded in your efforts to have another nurse do the count with you, that is realistically the best option for now, having only been there a couple of months.

    After a few more months, you may learn more about the inner workings of the staff there, or perhaps decide to move on because your anxiety levels are higher than your ability to tolerate the substandard practice you observe. Sorry you are facing this, hope it all works out!
  11. by   Fiona59
    Any nurse on the off going shift can count with any nurse arriving. We have a couple on my unit who are always too busy to count.

    Ive forced the issue, and regretted it. Slow, can't count correctly, yes,seriously. 20 morphine in their hand and they will tell you 10? And they say it with a question mark. They drop packages, get flustered. It's painful,
  12. by   morte
    the off going nurse is responsible to count. if another nurse takes the keys without count, all problems will fall in that nurse's lap, not the off going nurse.
  13. by   MedChica
    Honestly, you're supposed to do count whenever you take the cart. Is the RN not counting with you? That's a problem.

    Corrections is odd. Where I work, some used to flip the cards upside down. The supv found out because another whined to her about it and blamed the new staff. I came in once and the supv gave me a talking to about it. I was like: ??? "I just got here. The cart is always 'like that when I get here'. I dont flip cards." Most of us came from the nursing home. Flipping cards upside down isnt a bad habit learned ... from the nursing home.

    Your supervisor is completely useless, by the way. I never ran across so many lazy mini managers until I did that specialty.
    Last edit by MedChica on Mar 30, '16 : Reason: forgot some stuff
  14. by   Hoosier_RN
    Quote from Janey496
    Does it matter which nurse counts?
    If there's an inconsistency in the count, the LPN needs to answer for it. For the sup to be so dismissive is wrong, as an incorrect narc count can be state reportable in most states

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