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Resident's rights

Geriatric   (1,812 Views 15 Comments)
by remched remched (Member) Member

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I think I got myself into a sticky situation. I have worked at the ltc I am in for about 5 months as a perdiem. We have a FT LPN who has a real attitude problem. She curses and yells at anyone in her way. One night I was doing a treatment on a patient, and she started talking about this nurse. She said "this nurse" did a treatment on her the previous night and ripped off the old bandage until it hurt, yelled at the resident because she couldn't "help" this nurse more, and put a bandage on too tight (the resident ended up cutting it off herself). This resident, by the way, is alert and oriented x3. The resident then proceeded to tell me, "I think she tries to hurt me". I told the resident to speak to the director about this. Well, in speaking to the director myself (about a different matter), I told her about this incident because it was eating at me. I also told another nurse who was on duty at the same time that night, and she advised me to speak to the DON. The DON asked me if I would put it in writing. I felt compelled to do so, or it would look like I made it up. I want to be on the side of the residents, it's their home. But, now I am afraid this nurse will come after me. Did I do the right thing, or do you just turn the other way?

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UM Review RN is a ASN, RN and specializes in Utilization Management.

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You did the right thing.

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Daytonite has 40 years experience as a BSN, RN and specializes in med/surg, telemetry, IV therapy, mgmt.

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You did the right thing. We have a duty to protect the residents. I've worked in LTC off and on for many years. The DONs who care can't do anything if they don't get written documentation on things like this from others. He said/she said incidents are tricky, but if enough people will document these things it shows a pattern of behavior that can't be ignored. At least the DON now knows to keep an eye on this nurse. Hopefully, the DON will follow up and interview the resident as well. I wouldn't worry about this nurse coming after you. She needs to be more concerned about people reporting her. Just don't gossip about her with others because that will set her off. Who knows how many people have protected her by not reporting her out of some kind of fear. As long as you are doing your job correctly, this nurse is the one who needs to worry. In my experience, once she realizes that people are starting to report her behavior she'll either shape up, take steps to hide it (which means she'll only pick on residents who can't tell on her, which is a dirty shame) or she'll stupidly continue to do what she always has done proving her ignorance and either get herself fired or wind up quitting because "everyone is against me!" (Really?) When this happens and other caring nurses are aware of it, they start keeping an eye on these people. And, if she even spoke in a threatening way to me I'd go toe to toe with her and tell her, "Just try and see how far you get." Once one person steps forward and tells, that gives others the courage to tell what they are observing as well.

At my last LTC job I had a patient tell me "The other nurse never checks my blood sugar," when I was doing a fingerstick on her. I reported it. It led to a big investigation where it was discovered that this RN was making up blood sugars all the time and charting them. It was verified by checking the memories of the glucometers. That led to a discovery that she was not giving a whole bunch of medications to the confused patients found by the pharmacy coming in and auditing her medicine cart an hour before and after one shift that she worked. She was gone after that. Never did find out if she was fired or quit. The main thing was that the patients were protected from any of her further shenanigans.

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All I can say is thanks for the support. I have spoken to other employees there, and I have only met one who actually doesn't complain about her. One nurse told me when this nurse has been on, her med cart for the next nurse is a mess. I have heard that people think she is defensive because she really doesn't know what she is doing. So, I guess I took the first step in trying to straighten her out. I want to feel like a professional when I do my job, and now I think I will.

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Jo Dirt has 9 years experience.

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There is no sense in mistreating anyone and I can't put up with it.

When I was a CNA I actually did report another CNA for being abusive to the patients because I saw it myself. She would bark orders at them and literally jerk them around, and before I got in a position where I wanted to jerk her hair out I went to the DON, who said my complaint was not the first. But if I was going by what someone else said, I don't think I would run and tell at first. I would definitely find a way to mention that the woman complained dressing changes really hurt and she asked us to be more careful and see what happened from there. Then if she wanted to get hateful we could take it from there.

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I think I got myself into a sticky situation. I have worked at the ltc I am in for about 5 months as a perdiem. We have a FT LPN who has a real attitude problem. She curses and yells at anyone in her way. One night I was doing a treatment on a patient, and she started talking about this nurse. She said "this nurse" did a treatment on her the previous night and ripped off the old bandage until it hurt, yelled at the resident because she couldn't "help" this nurse more, and put a bandage on too tight (the resident ended up cutting it off herself). This resident, by the way, is alert and oriented x3. The resident then proceeded to tell me, "I think she tries to hurt me". I told the resident to speak to the director about this. Well, in speaking to the director myself (about a different matter), I told her about this incident because it was eating at me. I also told another nurse who was on duty at the same time that night, and she advised me to speak to the DON. The DON asked me if I would put it in writing. I felt compelled to do so, or it would look like I made it up. I want to be on the side of the residents, it's their home. But, now I am afraid this nurse will come after me. Did I do the right thing, or do you just turn the other way?

You did the right thing--and NO, you can't just turn the other way. No one should when a resident is being abused, and this sounds like a case of resident abuse. I wonder how she's treating the people with dementia who can't communicate what's happening, or how she's treating people when no one else is around. People who abuse shouldn't be allowed to take care of vulnerable people.

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ktwlpn is a LPN, RN and specializes in Med Surg, Homecare, Hospice.

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But, now I am afraid this nurse will come after me. Did I do the right thing, or do you just turn the other way?
You certainly did the right thing-that resident is someone's loved one.She could be your mother,my grandmother or- heaven forbid-ME someday....What you did takes courage and sadly too often many of us tend to look the other way.I'm sure this nurse has been a problem for along time-this is not news to your DON.That's why she sopke with you about putting everything in writing.She has to establish a paper trail so she can start progressive discipline and eventually get rid of this nurse is these things are true.If she confronts you which I doubt she'll do make sure you have a witness.If she strikes at you call the police. Do not be afraid-people get what is coming to them. Karma rocks....

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BoopetteRN specializes in LTC since 1972, team leader, supervisor,.

71 Posts; 1,814 Profile Views

i have worked in ltc for 34 years, nurses have to be resident advocates and not allow abuse of any kind. the current trend in ltc is resident choice, and there is a focus on resident's rights. you did the right thing. my facility has a zero tolerance for abuse from anyone including the residents themselves (meaning resident on resident abuse, in that case the abuser is on one on one supervision until they expire or have a change in condition where they are no longer a danger to another resident). when a staff member witnesses any form of abuse, the supervisor is notified. all staff and residents who may have witnessed the event are interviewed. if it is a staff member, he or she must write a statement of what happened in their own words and then they must leave the facility pending a complete investigation, which usually lasts about 24hr. there is then a meeting with the don, and the event is founded or unfounded. in the past year there have been several reports of abuse from other staff and everyone feels comfortable with the process and knows that if they are accused of something, that the investigation will bring out the truth and there have been no hard feelings over these investigations. privacy is very important to our residents, but sometimes bad things happen behind closed doors, so it is so important for staff to watch out for our residents, noting changes in behavior, and statements that may indicate hidden abuse.

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lovingtheunloved has 12 years experience as a ASN, RN and specializes in LTC, home health, critical care.

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It's people like that who give LTC a bad name.

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BoopetteRN specializes in LTC since 1972, team leader, supervisor,.

71 Posts; 1,814 Profile Views

i do not understand what you mean, i believe in empowering residents and staff to improve ltc. by having such an open policy on abuse, everyone staff, residents, families, and consultant staff all understand what an important issue it is, and everyone knows what is tolerated and what is not. abuse is subjective, especially because we all come from different cultures and backgrounds, what may seem to be abusive to me, may not be seen as abuse by someone else, which is why investigations and obtaining statements are so important, that way no one is slandered by a complaint by a person who is upset or vindictive.

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