Non liscensed/medical personel passing meds/Lost PT

  1. Is it just me or have the laws changed? My employer (to cut costs/nursing staff of course) is having day shift RN's set up meds then having techs (counseling type techs not medical) pass meds on PM's on a basic floor, including narcotic/cardiac meds! They have no medical training and wouldn't know s/s adverse effects. There is NO nurse on this unit PMS/MNs...I don't know how they get away with it except the patients are allowed to self administer, but then why would they have the RN pull the meds on day shift and set them up? I thought that was illegal to set up meds for the next shift?

    Last weekend they "lost" a pt Sat noc that was confused and in etoh withdrawal, pt was on their 4th day of wd and not doing well, when security came to me sunday am they told me they were looking for a pt that was a black with long hair (could not describe any further) and that the patient was missing from unit since Sat night and since it got dark they decided to resume the search in the am. We'll they found pt on company grounds face down in the mud and ice, still alive-barely.

    I am so disgusted with my employer, they are always spouting the patient comes first but here's the kicker. THe patient was not a black man he was caucasion, so they treated him for 4 days and didn't know what race he was? And he was known to be confused, so why wouldn't they serach all of the grounds at night, umm flashlights anyone?

    Must be major damage control going on because it has not hit the news yet. I am angry and disgusted, this place has such a stellar reputation but if the public knew what really went on, ugh I can't imagine. I feel so terrible for this patient and the family!

    It will be interesting to see if the any of the "dirty management/administration" will leave over it or once again they will just find a scapegoat. Sadly I suspect the latter. It is such an unsafe workplace for both staff and patients. I'm caught in a rock and a hard place, need the health benefits until I find another job (actively looking believe me!) and wanting so badly to report to the state/feds. Management is very hush hush of course, will only tell us the patient is "still alive" when asked about pt.

    I feel morally/ethically someone needs to make that call to prevent further tragedy. What would you do?

    Last edit by MsPiggy on Jan 17, '07 : Reason: poor spelling
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    About MsPiggy

    Joined: Oct '06; Posts: 139; Likes: 60
    case manager, BCCCP; from US
    Specialty: 22 year(s) of experience in med-surg,sa,breast & cervical ca


  3. by   RN BSN 2009
    OMG What an awful story... I don't know what to say other than someone will have a big lawsuit on their hands very soon!

    Would've been cheaper just to hire the nurses rather than pay the lawsuit! eh!!
  4. by   gitterbug
    This place sounds too dangerous to work. I would not want to think of the lawsuit this place will face. I think I would run away from that job asap.
  5. by   NRSKarenRN
    Each state has differing regs regarding RN's prefilling medications, depending on type of facility. A call to your Board of Nursing is in order to locate regulations for your state.

    Your wise to start looking for another position re above incidents.
  6. by   Cattitude
    has anyone heard of counselors (unlicensed) being allowed to give out prepoured methadone in a rehab. facility (in ny)? i'm going to try and look it up on the state's site. i just always thought they were so strict with narcs, especially methadone.
  7. by   MsPiggy
    I'm not sure about NY, but I'm pretty sure in MI it's not considered legal to set-up meds for the next shift, this is what they do in the facility I'm at. The day shift RN (not me) sets up the meds in little envelopes including cardiac/suboxone meds and leaves it for pm shift during which a counseling tech with no medical training passes the meds..I would not do it but I have heard that they are describing this as the patient self medicating. Note that the RN signs the MAR when she sets up the meds so would that not make her responsible for poss adverse reaction even if she was long gone. Sorry, if I don't pass it myself I'm not signing anything

    It's not good though, there is no nurse on the unit from 3pm til 7am, no one there trained to recognize adverse reactions...I wouldn't think it would be legal anywhere in a hospital setting. I do know in the methadone clinics in MI methadone is usually passed by a LPN.
    Last edit by MsPiggy on Jan 22, '07 : Reason: forgot to add something to post