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My patient is now an employee in the office I treat her at

HIPAA   (1,125 Views 5 Comments)
by NYNPLisa NYNPLisa (New Member) New Member Nurse

82 Profile Views; 1 Post

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I have been treating a patient for 2 years now as an NP. I just found out my my office manager that see will be employeed in the office and her role requires we work closely together. She plans on still seeing me. I am not essentially treating an employee and know every little detail of their medical issues/meds etc. I am not comfortable treating her if she will be a co-worker. Help. I don’t know who to go to. I guess I can go to my supervising physician and ask her opinion. 

 

Does this not not sound like it could go bad so many ways?

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58 Posts; 793 Profile Views

Eeek nope I wouldn't like this either. Because... discussions about her health may start happening outside her appointment times (in the tea rooms, casual discussions etc) and then discussions about employment could happen during her appointment times. And also she'll start knowing things about you that you may share with employers but definitely not patients. Hmm Nope. It just blurs the lines too much for my comfort. 

To be honest I am actually shocked SHE would want to be employed in the same place as you!! I'd find it quite awkward. It's interesting because I was a patient in our children's ward back in 2010 (I was 16), and I now work in the NICU that is right next to it, so basically I see the nurses that treated me back in the day on a regular basis, even working some shifts in paediatrics. And they absolutely know who I am and you know we've had a laugh about it and they're happy that I am now working as a nurse... but still.. I was in there for a mental health condition (anorexia) and it's like.. yeah this is a bit weird and embarrassing! But it's not like they're seeing me on an ongoing basis... I dunno..! 

Hopefully your supervisor can help you out here... definitely not something i'd be keen on. 

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Ruby Vee has 40 years experience as a BSN and specializes in CCU, SICU, CVSICU, Precepting & Teaching.

65 Articles; 13,944 Posts; 170,494 Profile Views

Have you had a conversation with your patient/new colleague about your discomfort with the situation?  Perhaps you two can agree on some ground rules that will make this less uncomfortable going forward.

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kp2016 has 20 years experience.

237 Posts; 3,231 Profile Views

I have personally had this experience. I was a patient of a particular NP when I changed jobs and started working in the same facility as this NP.

I was very pleased with how the NP handled the matter. When being walked around by my new manager she introduced me to NP. NP said great to have you onboard RN, please call me First Name. There was no indication we had ever met before. Later in the day, alone in a break room she quietly said “if you would be more comfortable seeing someone else for your care in future I would be happy to personally (privately) refer you to someone else. If you would like me to continue to give you care I’m fine with that, just speak to me privately and I will ensure your appointments remain private”. I later found out she provided care to several of my fellow nurses- because they personally told me, the NP blocked appointments for us when we needed them and never put our names on the schedule the entire office could see.

You could ask your supervising physician if the unit has a written policy on this matter, if they do obviously follow it. If you are really uncomfortable treating a co worker I would suggest discussing this with the patient / co worker privately,  it’s possible they are as uncomfortable as you and would welcome a referral to another provider. 

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Jory has 10 years experience as a MSN, APRN, CNM.

1,302 Posts; 11,738 Profile Views

Let's not make a bigger deal out of this than what it is.  This is very common for people that work in rural areas because of limited job opportunities.  At my office, most of the ladies see one of the providers in our office and are not charged for any visits unless it is lab work or a procedure associated with a  raw cost.  We don't think anything of it.  

Do we sometimes get the lunchtime medical question?  Yup...we sure do.  We also answer the question.  I rely very heavily on our nurses, medical assistants, clerical workers, and other staff.  Their health is important to me.  Their questions have never bothered me as they are minimal. 

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