Fired after voicing concern about narcotic counts

  1. Yesterday I was fired. Not for anything I did or did not do or for incompetance but simply because according to the office mgr. "you just don't fit in." :angryfire Drugs weren't signed out. Proof of us records don't exist. Wastage not witnessed. I start a new job on Monday. Plan to report this to the board of nursing and the DEA.
    Last edit by paigeRN1962 on Nov 10, '06
  2. Visit paigeRN1962 profile page

    About paigeRN1962

    Joined: Oct '05; Posts: 19
    RN in Dr.'s office
    Specialty: 17 year(s) of experience in ICU,ER


  3. by   Mulan
    I think I'd report them to the DEA.
  4. by   bargainhound
    Keeping your notes is definitely a good idea.
    Keep them for at least 3 years.......longer if you can.
  5. by   lorster
    Were you on probation for being a new employee? If so, they don't have to give you a reason. You don't fit in is all they have to do. If you were not on probation, you should appeal to the company. And I would request an investigation because they will be audited at some point and if your name appears on the record, you will be questioned. If you were on probation and cannot appeal, please write up a report and keep it in your home file so that you do not forget names, dates etc in case it comes back to haunt you. And in this profession, it could. Good luck and keep us posted.
  6. by   Mulan
    I'd report them to the DEA. They are in violation of federal law if they are not accounting for narcotics. If you don't want to give your name do it anonymously.
  7. by   paigeRN1962
    Yes I was a new employee on probation and I realize they don't need any reason at all however it is clear to me that I was fired for knowing too much.
    Last edit by paigeRN1962 on Nov 10, '06
  8. by   Mulan
    Quote from paigeRN1962
    I want to protect my license and because I believe it is just a matter of time before they are investigated.
    That's a good reason right there to report them. If you wait you may be one of the ones being investigated.

    Call a lawyer, run it by him, see what he has to say.
  9. by   subee
    Quote from paigeRN1962
    Yes I was a new employee on probation and I realize they don't need any reason at all however it is clear to me that I was fired for knowing too much. This is a private physician's outpatient surgery office so there is no one any higher up to complain to. The physician either doesn't know or doesn't care. He is leaving signed blank prescription pads unsecured where anyone in the office can use them. His initials are on the wastage of narcotics but ony until the place passed inspection for AAAHC. Since Aug 2006, drug counts are spotty and witnessing wastage is nonexistant. I want to protect my license and because I believe it is just a matter of time before they are investigated.

    If this doc is so sloppy, I would have some suspicions that HE is the one using the leftovers. Certainly, state regulators would be interested in someone who leaves prescriptions for anyone in the office.
  10. by   TrudyRN
    Well, I think you should speak directly to the physician.

    I would NOT let it be known that you copied anything, as I think it was illegal to do that, however necessary it seems to have been. You can be ordered to produce them in Court or turn them over to law enforcement or defense attorneys, I think, and that could be a big mess.

    I don't think you should be discussing something this serious in public, either. Just my opinion.

    I guess it wouldn't hurt to get an attorney on your side, maybe talk to the Board of Nursing, the MD licensing authority, the accrediting agency(ies), and anyone else you can think of, after speaking to an attorney.

    I think you should rejoice to be out of there and go apply for unemployment compensation while you hunt for another position. I would not mention this job on my resume.
  11. by   lyceeboo
    "In the 10 weeks I worked there, in spite of numerous wastages of narcotics after giving conscious sedation everyday, this RN never once asked me to co-sign her waste. She is using multi-dose vials of Demerol, Fentanyl, Ketamine and versed. Nothing has been counted for the entire time I worked there."

    "What should be my next move to protect my license because my initials are on the drug sheet for Demerol wastage and it does not add up?"

    "What is the best way to handle this and not have my license put in jeopardy?"

    IMHO- I agree this doc is either sloppy, too casual with narcs or has a possible drug problem. And DEA prob should be notified. But as for protecting your license I think you need to notify your BON today.

    I did a study of BON complaints for a class and you might be suprized to see how often the person who "doesn't fit in" gets blamed. The nurse who is a little different from the crowd or one who rocks the boat can fairly easily be made to look guilty when the others gang up on him/her.

    IMO calling the BON seems like a no-brainer in this situation. I know it is very unpleasant and you need to spend your time looking for a better job but you'll really be out of luck if your license is threatened. (Sounds like you followed all the laws while there so you should be safe from false accusations.)

    Good luck and best wishes in your job hunt.
  12. by   paigeRN1962
    I start a new job next week. However it is a violation of the nurse practice act to not report the unsafe practice of a nurse providing patient care. I feel it is the only way to protect myself from being targeted later. If I wait until this place gets audited, and didn't report them first, I am as guilty as those involved for not reporting it. It is a very bad position to be in. I am just thankful to be out of there with all my limbs.
  13. by   BabyRN2Be
    You are doing exactly what you should be doing: protecting yourself and your license. I'm glad that you already have a job because narcs is not an area in which you want to play around in.

    I worked at a place as a CNA where narcs were not even locked up! I left that place pretty fast after I found that out. There were many things that this facility could have been in so much trouble for... I didn't want to be there when the axe finally fell - and it did fall. I'm very thankful I listened to my intuition about getting out of there.
  14. by   paigeRN1962
    Regarding making copies of the proof of use a health oversight agency, HIPPA Law 104-191 allows these records to be copied without prior patient authorization when used for audits and investigation when making a legitimate complaint against a nurse. Therefore, these copies of records will be turned over to the BON and not kept in my possession and will be filed with a formal complaint.