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Nurse Stealing Narcotic And Get Away With It

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by April90 April90 (New) New

I have a coworker that pocket narcotic for himself. This nurse has been working there for a long time. He is very clever and sneaky about it. He will pick the right pt and take the remaining narcotic or would give multiple times in one shift to confused pts. My place they don't compare it, they just file the narcotic paper. I have already raised my voice to my supervisor and boss but he is one of the favorite nurse therefore things will not escalate as it should. Any suggestions? Anyone have similar experience? 

Sour Lemon

Has 11 years experience.

49 minutes ago, April90 said:

I have a coworker that pocket narcotic for himself. This nurse has been working there for a long time. He is very clever and sneaky about it. He will pick the right pt and take the remaining narcotic or would give multiple times in one shift to confused pts. My place they don't compare it, they just file the narcotic paper. I have already raised my voice to my supervisor and boss but he is one of the favorite nurse therefore things will not escalate as it should. Any suggestions? Anyone have similar experience? 

What have you seen, exactly, that leads you to believe the narcotics are being "pocketed"? I'm sometimes the only nurse to medicate confused or non-verbal patients with PRN narcotics, but it's because it's very clear to me that they need them- despite the inability to communicate that need.

What is your role at this workplace?

Sorry, maybe I should have made it clear. By giving med to confused pts, I meant a confused pt that always refused to take their routine medications let alone giving every narcotic q4 or 6 hours. Yes, maybe he is just that one nurse that can always give to pts. Yes, I also give pain PRN meds to confused pts but I will always try non narcotic med first to pts that refused to take any medications before I pop out narcotic. This is a LTC setting. 

Also medications that was sign off as given does not match with the remaining count that was delivered by pharmacy. We still use paper charting. 

Been there,done that, ASN, RN

Has 33 years experience.

On 11/12/2020 at 12:00 AM, April90 said:

Also medications that was sign off as given does not match with the remaining count that was delivered by pharmacy. We still use paper charting. 

So you have proof of diversion. Your report to management was ignored.

Next step is an  anonymous report to your BON. 

macawake, MSN

Has 13 years experience.

13 hours ago, April90 said:

I have a coworker that pocket narcotic for himself. This nurse has been working there for a long time. He is very clever and sneaky about it. He will pick the right pt and take the remaining narcotic or would give multiple times in one shift to confused pts.

I’ll echo Sour Lemon and ask you; what have you actually seen? Meaning with your own two eyes. Saying that a coworker is pocketing narcotics for himself, ie stealing, is a serious accusation. If you make it, you need to be certain that you have in fact witnessed that specific act. 
 

11 hours ago, April90 said:

Sorry, maybe I should have made it clear. By giving med to confused pts, I meant a confused pt that always refused to take their routine medications let alone giving every narcotic q4 or 6 hours. Yes, maybe he is just that one nurse that can always give to pts.

This additional information makes me think that you haven’t actually seen him pocket whatever discrepancies you’re having in the narcotics counts. If you had, why would you allow for the possibility that he has more success medicating confused patients than the rest of you have? 

I can’t offer you legal advice but I know that if I ever found myself in a similar situation I would make sure that I only reported what I was certain was factual. I would not speculate, guess, assume or point fingers without hard evidence. I’d describe what I had witnessed. Like for example the counts being off and on what date, time and location this was noticed. It will be someone else’s responsibility to investigate and ask the follow-up questions.

Are you 100% certain that the only possible scenario is that medications are being stolen/diverted AND are you 100% certain that the individual you accuse is the ONLY possible perpetrator? 

I don’t know you and I don’t know your coworker. It’s possible that your suspicions are correct. But with the limited information available to me, I think there’s room for alternative possible scenarios.
 

Edited by macawake

18 hours ago, April90 said:

Also medications that was sign off as given does not match with the remaining count that was delivered by pharmacy. We still use paper charting. 

So are you participating in a count when you come on duty and when you go off duty?

And using proper steps to report these discrepancies?

What have you done so far. What happens when you come on duty and find discrepancies?

Easy for me to say but I wouldn't hang around a place where everything is loosey-goosey like this. It's dangerous.

August Marie, ADN, CNA, LPN, RN

Specializes in MedSurg. Has 5 years experience.

Why would anyone take the cart if the count is off? I would not accept any responsibility if the narc count is off. That then falls of you or whoever receives those keys and signs it over. No ma’am! 

On 11/12/2020 at 10:24 AM, macawake said:

I’ll echo Sour Lemon and ask you; what have you actually seen? Meaning with your own two eyes. Saying that a coworker is pocketing narcotics for himself, ie stealing, is a serious accusation. If you make it, you need to be certain that you have in fact witnessed that specific act. 
 

This additional information makes me think that you haven’t actually seen him pocket whatever discrepancies you’re having in the narcotics counts. If you had, why would you allow for the possibility that he has more success medicating confused patients than the rest of you have? 

I can’t offer you legal advice but I know that if I ever found myself in a similar situation I would make sure that I only reported what I was certain was factual. I would not speculate, guess, assume or point fingers without hard evidence. I’d describe what I had witnessed. Like for example the counts being off and on what date, time and location this was noticed. It will be someone else’s responsibility to investigate and ask the follow-up questions.

Are you 100% certain that the only possible scenario is that medications are being stolen/diverted AND are you 100% certain that the individual you accuse is the ONLY possible perpetrator? 

I don’t know you and I don’t know your coworker. It’s possible that your suspicions are correct. But with the limited information available to me, I think there’s room for alternative possible scenarios.
 

I echo your sentiments. In the absence of valid and reliable evidence, OP is opening herself to serious libel and defamation of character litigation. OP can speculate, but thus far, there are inadequacies in her observations. Therefore, s/he is merely engaging in speculation. I’ve seen nurses go on break and return with symptoms of being somewhat impaired, but I did not have sufficient evidence. As such, I kept quiet and put my antennas up. Eventually they were found and punished. Some nurses want the guillotine to be executed without proper proof of guilt. 

It's been a long time since we did paper charting but it's pretty much standard procedure that if the counts don't match up time stops until the discrepancy is resolved. Keys are not handed off and nobody goes home until it's settled. The count sheets don't just get filed away somewhere.

AbbeyR, ADN, BSN

Has 22 years experience.

Paper charting for narcotics in a major hospital was why I must face my BON. Keys missing, counts off and meds not getting co signs for waste and b/c I spoke up I WAS REPORTED... wanna keep your license in good standing leave that job asap

RML, RN

Specializes in ER-Tele-dialysis’s. Has 17 years experience.

It’s a serious allegation, and before you make assumptions, to talk to the nurse about your concerns. I think it’s not fair to make allegations unless you verified your concerns