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My coworker was high and got away with it

Nurses   (49,806 Views | 287 Replies)

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When I read this thread I automatically think of Scooby doo and the whole "I would've gotten away with it if not for you meddling coworkers"

Ahahahahahahaha!

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80 Posts; 2,280 Profile Views

Leave it alone, OP. You were the one who experienced this, not us. You know whether your concerns were well-placed and you know if your intentions were good. You were probably right, even if the way the charge nurse handled it was terrible. I believe you still did the right thing.

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153 Posts; 2,433 Profile Views

I had a coworker and her husband commit suicide over allegations of drug use. Please be careful of accusations. It was a tragic experience for all of us and the daughter they left behind.

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75 Posts; 2,803 Profile Views

The policy at my work when someone is suspected of being under the influence is...

Employee informs the charge

Charge informs the manager

Manager informs nursing supervisor

Employee is taken for immediate bac/urine drug testing.

Nowhere in this process are patients interviewed or the accused person's charting is checked. The op didn't do anything wrong. The charge should have looked up the policy and procedure for handing this situation.

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12 Followers; 3,956 Posts; 30,027 Profile Views

No one has said that a -legitimate- concern should not be reported. In order to get past this idea that the OP "didn't do anything wrong" or "did the right thing" let us pretend for a moment that there was indeed a legitimate concern (Humor me. We all know there wasn't a legitimate concern or else there would've been no need to check charting in order to try to prove it....). Anyway, the "concern" was, correctly, reported to the charge nurse. Everything that happened beyond that was wrong. Why does this matter? Well, to recap points already made, there are at least a couple of serious issues at play: The OP has acted illegally by accessing PHI outside of the guidelines of hospital policy and thus HIPAA. The reason that the records were accessed does not fall under the realm of hospital employees acting according to established policy in order to do the hospital's business. Secondly, the egregious manner in which this was handled in and of itself provides a legitimate defense for the accused. In pursuit of "justice" (or a misplaced concern for patient safety), the OP has opened his/her employer up to additional legal liability.

I don't necessarily fault a newer nurse for making a questionable report. Let's give the benefit of the doubt and assume that naivete and lack of wisdom/experience made this a serious and legitimate concern in the OP's mind. What happened next is not okay, and it is not all on the charge nurse. It would be all on the charge nurse if s/he launched an investigation alone while the OP stayed out of it. We all know that we can't memorize every policy, but we are responsible to know the gist of policies that apply to us. Experience (if not wisdom) should tell us that no where in nursing school or hospital orientation did we learn 'how to properly conduct a peer investigation'. For goodness' sake, LIFE experience should tell us that we aren't usually called upon to launch investigations that don't involve us personally. Someone using your SS#? Okay, great - investigate that, since you personally are being defrauded! Think a fellow shopper has a weird bulge under clothing and therefore may have shoplifted? Report if you must. Or better yet, MYOB. The point is, you don't need 20 years of nursing experience or a photographic memory of hospital policy in order to have known that this type of witch hunt was way out-of-bounds.

The concern with this whole mess is the lack of judgment shown at that particular juncture. And yes, I will extrapolate to say that, in this case, the judgment shown was poor enough to beg the question of overall judgment and competency to hold a position that requires non-judgmental decision-making, prioritizing, and accurate assessments.

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11 Posts; 687 Profile Views

I've read through the whole thread to this point and even if the picture of him eating a brownie/gummy/cookie/whatever other food was captioned "Happy 4/20" or whatever it said, that still isn't actually evidence that the food was made with marijuana.

If someone is concerned yes, report it, but everything else the OP did after reporting is completely inappropriate.

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1,403 Posts; 13,686 Profile Views

Betty Crocker? More like Betty CRACKHEAD! You mean to tell me that woman wasn't high 24/7? And don't get me started on Drunken Hines.

lol since Betty Crocker was never a living person but rather a product of advertising genius I guess we can assume whatever we like about her! :)

Drunken Hines, do they make rum cake mix?

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SmilingBluEyes has 20 years experience.

2 Followers; 19,584 Posts; 65,818 Profile Views

No one has said that a -legitimate- concern should not be reported. In order to get past this idea that the OP "didn't do anything wrong" or "did the right thing" let us pretend for a moment that there was indeed a legitimate concern (Humor me. We all know there wasn't a legitimate concern or else there would've been no need to check charting in order to try to prove it....). Anyway, the "concern" was, correctly, reported to the charge nurse. Everything that happened beyond that was wrong. Why does this matter? Well, to recap points already made, there are at least a couple of serious issues at play: The OP has acted illegally by accessing PHI outside of the guidelines of hospital policy and thus HIPAA. The reason that the records were accessed does not fall under the realm of hospital employees acting according to established policy in order to do the hospital's business. Secondly, the egregious manner in which this was handled in and of itself provides a legitimate defense for the accused. In pursuit of "justice" (or a misplaced concern for patient safety), the OP has opened his/her employer up to additional legal liability.

I don't necessarily fault a newer nurse for making a questionable report. Let's give the benefit of the doubt and assume that naivete and lack of wisdom/experience made this a serious and legitimate concern in the OP's mind. What happened next is not okay, and it is not all on the charge nurse. It would be all on the charge nurse if s/he launched an investigation alone while the OP stayed out of it. We all know that we can't memorize every policy, but we are responsible to know the gist of policies that apply to us. Experience (if not wisdom) should tell us that no where in nursing school or hospital orientation did we learn 'how to properly conduct a peer investigation'. For goodness' sake, LIFE experience should tell us that we aren't usually called upon to launch investigations that don't involve us personally. Someone using your SS#? Okay, great - investigate that, since you personally are being defrauded! Think a fellow shopper has a weird bulge under clothing and therefore may have shoplifted? Report if you must. Or better yet, MYOB. The point is, you don't need 20 years of nursing experience or a photographic memory of hospital policy in order to have known that this type of witch hunt was way out-of-bounds.

The concern with this whole mess is the lack of judgment shown at that particular juncture. And yes, I will extrapolate to say that, in this case, the judgment shown was poor enough to beg the question of overall judgment and competency to hold a position that requires non-judgmental decision-making, prioritizing, and accurate assessments.

All. of. this. The OP is like a dog with a bone. She reported it. That is as far as she should have gone. Sorry---- I would never want to work with her. It almost feels nefarious the way she went after this. Report and then MYOB for heaven's sake. Stuff like this is why morale goes down the toilet. Busy-body people who feel they have the right to investigate people like they are the police. So wrong. Management needs to step in and tell her to back off; they have got this.

Edited by SmilingBluEyes

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507 Posts; 5,258 Profile Views

It sounds as if you are stalking him. If I were him I would press charges against you for stalking then obtain a restraining order against you, you have issues...

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507 Posts; 5,258 Profile Views

I did once joke around with an RT. Around 22 years ago @ 0300. Patients all snug as bugs in rugs, medicated, sleeping and we were all caught up (it was possible to be all caught up 22 years-ago when appys & choles spent 3 nights in the hospital.) Anyhoo I took Sweet & Low out and made it into lines; don't ask why, just being silly. RT friend was sitting next to me & knew it was Sweet & Low, we were both being silly but we were not attempting to pass it off as Cocaine. As I recall we just wanted to see if Sweet & Low resembled the real thing and wow, it bore a striking resemblance! I was just exhausted all of the time being new to nights, apparently RT was as well because I took a look at hime and he was staring at that Sweet & Low line, fixated on it with an "if only it were real" expression on his face, I knew on the spot he had a history as well. I found myself staring at it also fixated. At the time I thought of it as innocuous fooling around but it truly scared and made it real for me how close relapse can be. I had been clean and sober for 7 years by this time, I did not embark on parenthood, marriage or college until I got my act together getting clean & sober in 1989, as a waitress in a small town I did a lot of drunk walking & never was arrested; God looks out for fools and drunks, He sure looked out for me! Reading your post on making a line out of flour reminded me, I hadn't thought of that in awhile and while I thought of it as just being silly I never did anything like that again, that was too close for comfort.

Edited by SobreRN
typo

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ixchel specializes in critical care.

5 Articles; 4,547 Posts; 57,572 Profile Views

That's horrible! I am so sorry this happened to you. I sincerely wish you the best in righting this wrong done to you.

Ixchel, there are no words. I'm so sorry.

Ixchel I am so sorry you are going through this.

Thank you. I really appreciate it. This is actually why I haven't been around in ages. Life seems to be hitting an upward trajectory, hopefully.

ACTUALLY UM NO

I'd like to give some advice that you may take as an insult, but I promise it isn't.

When you use "um" in written conversation, everything you write after it comes across as childish and ignorant. Think about it: when a person emphasizes "um" in a verbal argument, do they tend to make a well-reasoned, mature argument? Personally, I find they tend to be rude and ridiculous.

I'm not saying you are any of those things, because frankly, I have no idea who you are or what you're like. But, know you are judged by writing it out in an argument.

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