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Question About Reporting Abuse

Hypothetical Scenario:

You are a new CNA. Your CNA who is orienting you gives a bedside report to the night shift CNA before leaving for the day. While at the pts bedside, (pt is assumed to only speak Spanish only because he only speaks Spanish to the staff), she tells the night shift CNA, "He urinated all over himself and it even went up into his pillows and oh my gosh . . ." yadda yadda--with a laugh.

You say, "The pt is right there and I'm sure he understands English. Please do not do that in front of the pt." and you walk out of the room. The CNA follows you out into the hallway and asks, "What do you mean by that? I was giving a bedside report. The night shift CNA needs to know what went on during the day."

You say, "Not like that. We aren't supposed to say things like that about the patient or in front of the patient."

Is what the CNA did considered patient abuse? Should you report it? Would you fear reporting it being the new person at the facility?

Hi Valliloves,

In my opinion, yes, that CNA acted in an improper way. There are better - read tactful - ways to address patients mishaps. Incontinence is embarrassing enough without having someone casually make light of it. Especially in front of the patient. And it doesn't matter whether or not this patient understood what was said or not. Leave the juicy gossips (no pun intended) out of it.

Straight No Chaser, ASN, LPN

Specializes in Sub-Acute & Long-Term Care Nursing.

It would fall under emotional abuse, because it's a humiliating statement to make in front of the patient, if that's the way it was worded.

Personally, I don't give that kind of report in front of the patient, I make mention of it before or after I am in the room with the oncoming shift.

Sadly, this is common practice and happens a lot. In my opinion, you did the right thing by bringing it up and letting her know it's not OK. Personally, I don't think reporting it will do any good, but I certainly would if a pattern develops.


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