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travel nurse with HIPAA violation

by berdy25 berdy25 (New) New

I need your help

Lets start art by saying I have traveled for 5 years all over the USA, in very important hospitals with lots of important patients. I am 30 years old and have a perfect traveling profile. Okay moving on. I took an assignment on a small local hospital. Everything was going fine and I extended the contract. Mean while something horrible and sad happened locally, made it to the national news and some of the patients came to our hospital. Weeks passed and I get called in to this office. The director accuses me of accessing one chart, because my name is on it. I defend my self saying we look up hundredths of patients and I have no reason on looking up this high profile chart of which name I didn't know at the time. The director says hundredths of staff members have been looking at these charts and I am going to do as I would any of them and terminate your contract. I assured her I didn't do this and if I Did it was 100% accidental. We get emergencies all the time and wrong patients names. I also said my log in could of easily been accessed and used to look at this chart.

I was not provided with any dates, times, or reports accessed. I was only told it was "less than a minute". My contract was terminated 3 weeks early. I'm not only in shocked but upset, but embarrassed personally, financially and professionally. I can no longer work in this hospital or any affiliated hospitals and with the traveling company that was the middle person between my company and the hospital. I have been tagged as level 1 HIPAA violation.

People at the hospital are being extremely supportive saying it was wrongful termination and the hospital is trying to set an example out of me, since I am not a union member. Also saying I should get and attorney since i was only doing what I was thought. For what I know one staff member and my self were terminated. What do you guys think I should do?


Has 43 years experience.

Contact your malpractice insurer and a labor attorney.

Good luck.

It is most telling that you were terminated and you aren't part of the union but none of the other union members who looked at it were. Get an attorney for sure!

TriciaJ, RN

Specializes in Psych, Corrections, Med-Surg, Ambulatory. Has 40 years experience.

Is there any way to check if the hospital had a financial crunch and had to quickly trim expenses? Travelers are expensive and easy to fire because they are not union-represented. This sounds like a pretext if I ever heard one. Follow the money.

What pertinent private information could you have possibly ascertained from looking at a chart for about 1 minute? You could have easily mistakenly opened this chart when looking for another persons. Not fun being a scapegoat. I too would be livid, get an attorney, and sue them for wrongful termination.

Please be sure that you speak with your malpractice insurance.

In the meanwhile, the "act" of not locking your computer when you step away from it is the "new black" in corporate compliance, as then anyone can look up anything under your name and it leaves your footprint as opposed to theirs. And gets you in trouble as opposed to them. And there are, unfortunately, those who look for accessed computers to satisfy their own need to be "in the know".

I am sorry that this happened to you. Best wishes moving forward.

Esme12, ASN, BSN, RN

Specializes in Critical Care, ED, Cath lab, CTPAC,Trauma. Has 41 years experience.

Call your malpractice...less than a minute? I'd be contacting someone.

Those who say get an Attorney don't understand what you have to go through. It is time and money and the board od Nursing is not your friend. You are tagged only at your agency not the bored of Nursing. I would move on and get another JOB. Unfortunately I was stalked and had to use a firearm. I was fired from my hospital of 15 years I was unaware of my PTSD but they made it very clear of my poor performance, the next three employers the same and its hard. I took my city to court for not protecting me and my family and lost. If I could do it all again I would have moved to Alaska, not married and not had children because Nursing does not support what it tells you to support for your patient. Attorneys make money from your despair. Don't do it!!!!! When I get out of my hole and get another job. I will begin writing my book to warn others about the judicial system and Nursing.

Contact an attorney. Less than 60 seconds?!? Yep, I'd be hot too.

Being a nurse and having PTSD along with having to use a firearm doesn't sit well with a lot of people. Best of luck to you.

Edited by Nibbles1
Reworded so I wouldn't be "flammed"