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Told to fake vital signs

Geriatric   (23,949 Views 90 Comments)
by gypsierose gypsierose (Member)

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2,434 Visitors; 81 Posts

Thank you for your reply! That is a really good point about talking to administration. I will ask the DON this week for some time. There are so many things going on here- obviously the VS equipment isn't everything. Thanks!

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3 Followers; 34,147 Visitors; 4,267 Posts

Its not that easy. This is a small town and this is the only SNF. I want to work in geriatrics, but I won't work as an RN here and am considering moving out of town for this reason. I have worked a few more days and have found that most nurses will lend their own equipment, but I still find that very sad and frightening. Other aides definitely fake VS but not me. What I don't understand is this- why aren't the nurses more concerned? Taking vital signs is a delegation and its accuracy rests on the RN to verify. If you did give metroprolol based on my fake BP that is the RNs license, not the CNAs. Any CNA would just say that was what they heard.

And what equipment did the CNA use?

If you want to work there, OP, just buy your own watch, BP cuff, pulse ox (these items are available pretty inexpensively through Dr. Leonard's catalog, online, at a local store) and thermometer with disposable covers. NEVER lend them to anyone EVER and do NOT EVER leave them anywhere in that hellhole.

Don't think for one second that the DON doesn't know there isn't facility-supplied equipment. She knows and is going along to get along, as are the owners and everyone in Administration. Notify JCAHO anonymously.

I'd report that nurse who told you to fake VS, too. She is not a good leader.

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2,434 Visitors; 81 Posts

Those things don't seem inexpensive to me. Priced out on Amazon, its over 150$.

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1,567 Visitors; 80 Posts

I would get the hell out of there. If that is doable.

Anyone or place that would tell you to knowingly break the law and put a patients life at risk is not a place to be.

How do they give meds when they have no idea what the vitals are?

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569 Visitors; 30 Posts

This is totally unacceptable nursing practice. Sure, find another job, but what about those poor residents?? Their health is being severely compromised and jeopardized by falsifying documentation, and worse, not even taking vital signs. Not only would I leave, but I would contact the state regulatory board and the ombudsman to report this action. Look up the licensing agency for your facility and report to them as well. If no one takes a stand then the problem will go on and on until someone loses their life. If you're not part of the solution, then you're part of the problem. Previous comments such as "Do what you're told soldier" and "Increase your malpractice insurance" are ridiculous. Malpractice insurance is not going to help you if you have done something willfully wrong!!!! You know falsification of documentation is a big no-no. No employee should be responsible for providing their own equipment that should be standard facility equipment. Just appalling!!!! Some heads need to roll!!!!

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189 Visitors; 1 Post

No one should ever "fake" vital signs. Go to your Director of nursing first, no response then Administrator, no response your state department of health. Do not wait for answers. This is important. You probably should still look for another job because a nurse that insinuates you should "make up" vitals will cause someone's death

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Rose_Queen is a BSN, MSN, RN and specializes in OR, education.

4 Followers; 4 Articles; 103,199 Visitors; 8,687 Posts

If you want to work there, OP, just buy your own watch, BP cuff, pulse ox (these items are available pretty inexpensively through Dr. Leonard's catalog, online, at a local store) and thermometer with disposable covers. NEVER lend them to anyone EVER and do NOT EVER leave them anywhere in that hellhole.

Other than the watch, this opens a whole other can of worms. Who maintains the equipment? Who verifies that it's reading accurately and is calibrated per the manufacturer's recommendations? And why on earth should someone spend their hard earned money on something the facility has a responsibility to provide?

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593 Visitors; 33 Posts

When I was a CNA, we had a certain amount of time to get vitals and 1 - 2 Dynastat machines to share. So I went out, bought my own equipment for about $75, and never looked back.

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gunny48 specializes in Emergency/Clinic.

2,728 Visitors; 24 Posts

Contact the State office, Medicare, Medicaid, news media, etc. ! "Make it happen". This facility needs to be immediately "surprise inspected", audited, and either corrected or shut down. This is not "care". This is criminal!

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576 Visitors; 60 Posts

You can take a carotid or wrist pulse, and count respirations. "Make it happen" is such a jerk response, but that doesn't necessarily mean the supervisor knows some of the other staff are faking numbers.

I would recommend verifying with the administration if they know about the lack of equipment. If it's a small town nursing home, probably most of the patients there are there under Medicaid, and if it's the only nursing home, getting it shut down could leave the patients with nowhere to go. I would report the _individuals_ you know are faking the numbers to administration. That's the least you can do. Also, could the community help with acquiring equipment? Local churches might be willing to fundraise or donate equipment needed. The local pharmacy and physician practices might also be willing to donate.

I don't know what BP equipment you were looking at on Amazon, but manual blod pressure cuffs are available at the drug store for less than $20. I think it's worth it to get one just to get fluent in taking BP.

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424 Visitors; 5 Posts

As a LTC nurse, I would be thinking about the credibility of this facility. And the nursing staff working there. Making up vitals is falsifying documentation, and is illegal. When sh*t hits the fan, make sure you have your own butt covered. If they ask you to get vitals, tell them you cannot without equipment. If they have an issue with that, they can go to management to complain - which will get them absolutely nowhere, as they will then realize that they are asking you to get vitals without any means to do so. The ministry will certainly care if things aren't being done properly - a lot of legal issues can come up in any health care setting, even when everything is done properly.

Document, don't do anything you know to be illegal, and start looking for work elsewhere.

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211 Visitors; 3 Posts

Response to JackDawson23: You're kidding...right?? If not, I pray to God that none of my loved ones ever has a nurse like you...I would be your worst nightmare if you told someone to essentially fake vs, falsify documents, and show a total lack of caring that human being that I love!!! You need to get out of nursing if you really believe that way...we don't need nurses like you!

Edited by RHolland7
Was in response to a post by JackDawson23

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