what could be the ramifications?

Nurses General Nursing


Hi all...been a long time since I've been here. Between school and working in the ER, not much time. I had an experience a couple of weeks ago and just wondered what the ramifications could be with something like this. Right now I am an ER tech, so I know that legally it can't really affect me, but I'd like to know what can happen to the nurses involved. Thanks.

Patient presented in private vehicle stating "I know I am having a heart attack, it hurts so much!" Patient is 46 yo. Brought into ER by stretcher and taken into trauma bay. Nurse comes in and asks a few very vague questions as patient is writhing in pain on the stretcher. Nurse leaves patient without a line started nor hooking up to monitor. Doc comes in (after listening to nurse stating that patient was a "drug seeker") and asks a few questions of fiance who accompanied patient. Doc leaves. Patient is still not on monitor and is without a line.

A trama alert is called and tech is told to move patient to a regular room. Tech is told not to bother hooking patient up to monitor because "he doesn't need it". Patient still complaining of chest pain and extreme headache. Nurse AGAIN told of this and nothing is done. Trauma rolls into ER and patient that was moved codes. Patient is revived, put on monitor and nurse tells doc that she did this and that as soon as patient was brought into the ER (none of which is true and I knew it).

Who is responsible for this nurses actions legally and can I be dragged in on all of it? She was reported to the nurse manager and as far as I know nothing was done. This particular nurse has also overdosed a pediatric diabetic..order read 5mg and she gave 50mg, overdosed another adult patient in the same manner and is busy flirting with the male EMT's. and having an affair with another nurse in the department, and ignoring most of her duties unless she absolutely has no choice but to do them.

I'm very concerned that she is going to kill one of our patients someday. I understand that there is a nursing shortage, but why in heaven's name would they keep someone on staff like that? What are the ramifications for the rest of the staff that may be on staff when she does these "mistakes"?


124 Posts

This nurse needs to GO, think about ramifications later.

Reality check though! It's hard as heck to get rid of people who don't do their job, are negligent or commit malfeasance. I've worked with people just like this (thank God they are in the minorty). We have reported and reported and they are still around. For example, when a patients meds are still in his med drawer the next morning and the same IVPB is hanging up, you KNOW darned well that patient wasn't medicated all night! Can we prove it, unfortunately no. The person signed the MAR and that's all the 'proof' they need. It's a very sticky process.

All you can do is report what you wittnessed and hope it is followed through.

micro, RN

1,173 Posts

no essarge, in your role as as Ertech you cannot be drawn into the legal scheme of things.........

but being aware is never wrong........

it is just so sad, that our medical system is governed by the legalistic and not our medical society.............

micro and out......

........probably more words to say, but I do not to discombombulate anything this way'

micro once and for all out..........


2,099 Posts

Specializes in Corrections, Psych, Med-Surg.

Dear essarge: Your post leaves me wondering what the ramifications could be for YOU. What are YOUR responsibillities in all this? Don't you have a supervisor to whom to render a written report? Aren't you working under an ER supervisor, as well? Don't you believe you have an obligation (legal, professional, ethical) to report these matters yourself, instead of waiting for someone else to somehow handle it?


28 Posts

You can always call your state board of nursing and anonymously report her.


Guest Crankyoldnurse

0 Posts

Hey, it never hurts to talk to a trusted supervisor and blow off some steam. Reality...an ER tech doesn't have a nurses' knowledge base and cannot judge her actions. My advice: let the nurses worry about the nurses.

Nothing worse than someone with less education and experience trying to judge another. You sure won't make any friends that way.

One of the worst things in nursing is all the 'one upsmanship' going on. I't pathetic.My motto is allow every nurse take responsibility for their own license. Less headaches that way.

Hmm...If she hooked the patient up to a monitor and started a line, wouldn't she have charted it? Did she write any vitals? If you did'nt chart it, you didn't do it. I assume the patient and/or the family will have something to say about what was done for him in his lawsuit.

You are unliscensed personnel and are not accountable for the MDs or RNs incompatence.


1,214 Posts

If it were me I'd be makin that anon call ASAP! It is time to deal sternly with incompetance. Do you think for one second that you would still have a job if this had somehow been your fault? Not a chance. They would have given you the boot. Save future patients the horror and get her out of nursing now before she kills someone. JMNSHO

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