Reporting for racial slurs/substance abuse

  1. I have an acquaintance who is also a nurse. We don't work at the same facility. Recently she sent me some nasty texts about a friend of mine who is African American, and she used some really nasty racial slurs. I politely corrected her terminology. She assured me that yes, she did mean to use that word. This was pretty upsetting to me. I don't believe that there's any place for racism in nursing. Especially for someone who is so blatant about it. I thought about reporting her comments to her employer. In the meantime, a friend sent me screenshots of texts that the same woman had sent her detailing her illegal drug use. She talked about smoking pot, snorting lines, drinking, and driving home after.

    Y'all. I don't even know how to feel about this. I'm disgusted and disturbed. She works in pediatrics. I feel very strongly that I should make her employer aware. I've never done anything like that before though.

    I guess my question here is...should I? I wanted the opinions from peers who aren't directly involved. Am I just being a busybody? My concern is for her patients, for obvious reasons. If I do report, will it even be taken seriously? I do have proof (my screenshots and the other girl's). I've never been involved in a situation like this and it's just making me sick. Thanks in advance for any advice and/or opinions.
    •  
  2. Visit nurse_kimbo profile page

    About nurse_kimbo

    Joined: Feb '12; Posts: 71; Likes: 210
    Unemployed LPN; from US

    33 Comments

  3. by   Rose_Queen
    Check the nurse practice act for your state- you may be expected to report such activities if you are made aware of them to the BON. Tread carefully.
  4. by   canoehead
    I agree the behavior is unacceptable.

    She didn't use those slurs at work. If she presents herself as a respectful kind person at work, and then lets loose, being a jerk at home, I don't think she deserves to lose her job. I wouldn't associate with her anymore, but everyone has to earn a living.

    The drug use on her own time could affect her work, but you aren't in a position to evaluate that.

    I'd back away from her and the situation, she sounds like a mess waiting to happen.
  5. by   SgtSkeletonRN
    Golden Rule:

    do not f--- with another persons livelihood.
  6. by   Emergent
    Wow, it sounds like a lot of lowlife drama to me. You call her an acquaintance, but you are are pretty close texting terms with her, where she is cutting loose some opinions not suitable for polite company. And then your friend is privy to this gal's illegal activities?

    It's not a crime to use racist slurs. What is her employer going to think if you report that? That you are a silly, vindictive woman. Now, if this lady puts that on social media, that's another story.

    As far as the drug use, that's more concerning, especially the drunk driving, if that's true. But, from what you are saying here, you sound like a) you need better friends and b) you need raise it up a few notches and leave the High school drama in the past.
  7. by   JKL33
    Quote from nurse_kimbo
    I've never been involved in a situation like this and it's just making me sick. Thanks in advance for any advice and/or opinions.
    I suspect what's making you sick is your association with such people.

    There is no one in my life who would text me anything remotely like this.

    I agree w/ checking your legal obliations and other than that I suggest you soothe your conscience by reevaluating the company you keep (and being on texting terms does count as keeping company...)
  8. by   nurse_kimbo
    Just to clarify on my relationship with this person: we're not friends. She dislikes me, and occasionally texts me or messages me from different accounts. I block her and don't hear anything for a while, then a few months later she tries again. I appreciate your opinion though, and if I did associate with her, you're correct, I'd have to re-evaluate big time.
  9. by   nurse_kimbo
    I do appreciate everyone's input. After reading all this, it seems to me that contacting her employer would be more interaction with her than I'd like to engage in. That being said, regardless of her actions toward me, it's none of my business. Hopefully her employer will notice if her behavior affects her job. I was thinking as a parent that if I was the parent of one of the children she cares for, I'd like for someone to say something. That's not my place though.
  10. by   JKL33
    Quote from nurse_kimbo
    Just to clarify on my relationship with this person: we're not friends. She dislikes me, and occasionally texts me or messages me from different accounts. I block her and don't hear anything for a while, then a few months later she tries again. I appreciate your opinion though, and if I did associate with her, you're correct, I'd have to re-evaluate big time.
    She sounds a little dangerous for the fact that you are someone who comes to mind to the point that she is determined enough to find other ways to contact you.

    If this ever happens again, don't reply at all and block that number. Don't be "friends" with her OR any of her friends; disable/cut any possible contact with her on social media and never reply to her again no matter what.
  11. by   rkitty198
    I wouldnt mess with her out of fear for myself. You do one thing to that woman and she will know it was you, especially if she is harassing you from these other accounts and stuff as you say. I wouldn't want to mess with a woman like this. If her behaviors were truly causing issues with her work performance let her work be the judge of that. You don't work with her or know how she performs at work so you are not close enough to the situation to even have to turn her into the board if the state mandates. Now the friend who she texts the drug use to, she should if your state mandates such things.
    Ignore her and stay away!
  12. by   CrunchRN
    Let them dig their own grave.
  13. by   FuturePsychNP21
    Wow, I'm actually really shocked at the replies on this. I have a completely different opinion I guess. As far as the racial slurs, if she is not using them at work I don't think that is reportable to her employer (although I wish it was because in an ideal world nurses would not be so terrible and there is an obligation to the profession to behave like a decent person outside of work as well as at work). But with that being said, the illegal drug use is one million percent your responsibility to report to her employer, whether or not you are legally obligated. I don't care that she isn't using drugs at work (yet), there is a reason employers have drug tests and require nurses using illegal substances to go through treatment. If it is not impacting her job yet it will eventually as it becomes more problematic and she works with kids which makes that even scarier.
  14. by   jodispamodi
    In my state the BON requires that if you know a nurse is working while impaired you are mandated to report them. The keywords here are "know", since this was reported on a friends social media, it would basically be hearsay. I mean, I guess, if the person directly said to me "I'm snorting coke and then going to work, and snorting lines in the bathroom" I would report, but if a friend said she told me she's snorting coke and going to work, I would encourage the friend to report it. But if I didn't see it or hear it with my own eyes and ears, ...
    As far as the racial slurs, if she is talking about specific patients, and making them identifiable I most likely would report under Hipaa, or possibly as verbal abuse/hate speech but if she talks this way about everyone (she does have the right to free speech), I would confront her on the terms she is using but not likely reportable, she wouldn't be my friend anymore for sure. But who knows at work she may refrain from improper comments, or she may use them and someone at her own work will report her. jmho.

close