Theft at work?


Hey I almost hate to even think about this but I'm wondering if stealing is something that happens at work among nurses, between hospital staff etc. Do you ever take extra precautions to make sure your things are safe like having a purse or bag with a lock on it, leaving credit cards at home or in your scrubs, etc.


941 Posts

I'm a float nurse and I keep my keys, money (bring very little with me to work) and phone in my scrub pockets. I have a bag that I carry but nothing of value so I thought. I had some bath and body works travel sized lotion in it and it was stolen. I'm not able to lock it up because some of the floors don't have any available lockers. So now I buy cheap dollar store lotion and keep it in my bag.

So to answer your question, anything of value I keep on my person. I don't carry a purse only a work bag. I wear my stethoscope all day and never take it off unless I'm actively using it or let anyone borrow it. Heck I don't let anyone use my pens or scissors either!

Editorial Team / Admin

Rose_Queen, BSN, MSN, RN

6 Articles; 11,430 Posts

Specializes in OR, Nursing Professional Development. Has 18 years experience.

Use basic common sense. If it's valuable or has sentimental value, don't leave it in a vulnerable place where anyone can get at it. I bring a purse with me (has wallet, cell phone, badge, pager, and keys), but I also have a locker since I work in the OR. It's locked up. If I worked somewhere where I didn't have a locker, my keys could stay in a pocket and that's all I'd be bringing to work with me besides maybe a packed lunch. I don't travel with the kitchen sink and don't really understand those that take huge heavy filled bags with them everywhere.

Extra Pickles

1,403 Posts

people who reach into other people's bags and steal things are everywhere and that includes people who work in a hospital. if you leave your purse or tote bag where someone else can take something out of it you shouldn't be surprised to find that it happens because it will.

Use an employee locker if you have it, leave your valuables in a locked car or don't take it with you to work at all. If you wouldn't leave something unsecured in a bus station you shouldn't leave it unsecured at work. People steal, protect yourself.

Specializes in HH, Peds, Rehab, Clinical. Has 4 years experience.

Oh yeah. Items will sprout legs and walk off from anywhere. In a hospital stethoscopes are particularly vulnerable!

Buyer beware, BSN

1,137 Posts

Specializes in GENERAL. Has 40 years experience.
Oh yeah. Items will sprout legs and walk off from anywhere. In a hospital stethoscopes are particularly vulnerable!

You're right! If I had a nickle for every disappearing scope, I wouldn't be rich but I'd be a lot less regretful.

Remember most people in a hospital are not paid the incredible fortune nurses are paid so that may be the genesis of the incentive to steal; although one time it was a physician, I knew, I believe.

Must have been the pathological thrill of the heist.


11 Posts

Yes things will disappear but don't just blame your fellow nurses. The docs/residents will walk off with your stethoscope in a minute. Hospitals used to supply stethoscopes to everyone but now that is not the case. When they did they had to replace them every few weeks because they all disappeared.


72 Posts

Yikes! Unfortunately, sometimes nurses and other hospital staff do steal... When I worked in the ER as an RN, I had a patient who actually went into a cabinet that was really hard to get to and stole my wallet! The joke was on him, because my money was in another part of my pocketbook and I called all the card companies. Travel light and take what you need, securing it as much as you can :)


7,735 Posts

Specializes in retired LTC.

Not just purse/tote things but I've known staff's hung-up coats to be targeted. I remember one time 'I THOUGHT I had some loose change in my coat pocket', but 'NO', I must have been mistaken. Or so I thought. But after several times, I realized that we had a thief among us in our staff coat room. I wish I had been inventive enough to have figured out some type of booby-trapping, like ooey-gooey red dye toothpaste in my coat pockets just to identify the thief!

And then one nurse's new London Fog ($$) raincoat was actually stolen.

This was years ago - no honor among thieves then and certainly not now.

TheCommuter, BSN, RN

226 Articles; 27,608 Posts

Specializes in Case mgmt., rehab, (CRRN), LTC & psych. Has 17 years experience.

Peoples' lunches have been turning up missing/stolen from the shared refrigerators at the central office where I remotely report to (I work from home).

The employees who report to the office Monday through Friday have been dealing with this nonsense. Basic decency would (should) guide a person to refrain from taking something that belongs to another individual.

loriangel14, RN

6,931 Posts

Specializes in Acute Care, Rehab, Palliative.

Not a problem where I work. People leave their phones and purses in the report room. Never heard of any thefts.


157 Posts

Specializes in Med/surg/ortho. Has 7 years experience.

Yes it happens everywhere so be aware and don't just leave your valuables where it would even be possible for this to happen