Who should I say something to?

Nurses Safety


I am a Pharmacy Tech (nursing student) and tonight I observed my co-worker doing something I think is wrong. We prepack meds that aren't unit dose into bubble packs. I pour the meds into the cap and use a clean tweezers to place the meds into the little containers. Tonight I saw her pour a bunch into her hand, and then with the other hand pick them up one by one and put them into the containers.

My dilemma is: do I say something directly to her? Or should I mention it to my boss? I really like the woman and don't want to get her in trouble, but I don't think this is safe behavior. Who do you think I should say something to?


Specializes in Med-Surg Nursing.

I say you should talk to the person directly and then if you see her do it again --report her to your boss! I hate dealing with people who like to get others in trouble! just my 2 cents

Thanks. Your answer was my gut instinct. I really try to communicate openly with people. I'll just explain that I'm not trying to attack her, but explain to her that it doesn't seem sanitary. I have given her pointers in the IV hood since I know she doesn't have as much experience there. So far she seems to take my suggestions well. I just don't want to come off looking like a know-it-all, because I certainly don't!

Specializes in Med-Surg Nursing.

Hi Bassbird,

My husband is attending a Pharmacy Technician school and will be finished in 2 1/2 weeks! I am trying to convince him to become a nurse but he can't stand the sight of blood--lol!

Anyhow, I have had people "get me in trouble" with supervisors when all they really needed to do was talk to me first and BAM--problem solved. Then there are those that don't respond well to constructive criticism. We are here to do a job and don't need people to stab us in the back. Follow your gut instincts and I am sure that your colleague will appreciate it!


Specializes in All Surgical Specialties.


The subject of the handling of pills being unsanitary is not the only issue that should be addressed. Some of the meds could degrade in effectiveness due to handling. Some could be absorbed through the handlers skin. This could lead to serious health problems if multiple drugs are absorbed. Worse case, some cross contmination of one medication to another is possible and could kill someone. Worse case gloom and doom I know but very possible.:eek:

I would tell her directly. It can be done in a very non-confrontational manner, explaining the reasons why she should not handle the pills. If you see her do it again, then I would report it to the Supervisor.

I'm happy to say that interpersonal communication class payed off! I explained to my co-worker that she shouldn't handle the meds with her hands and why. She was very receptive. I don't think anyone ever explained it to her before, which is a bit frightening. Thanks for all of your advice. :D

You did the right thing.

Good job!!! :)

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