April 2, 2016 at 11:34 AM #102624
So I work in an assisted living facility in Idaho as a CNA/Med Tech and I was training a new med tech (not CNA certified). In our facility, a CNA license is not required but I feel it should be!
A little background: She was not hired by our Health and Wellness RN, but by our facility General Manager, who has no medical background but several years in hotel management only (also note that this new med tech has known the general manager for several years). The new tech also just had knee surgery just a few weeks ago and is struggling to walk the full shift.
The issues I have come across is this: on her first shift alone but with me as her trainer in the facility available to help and answer questions if needed, she had to leave her shift 10 minutes early due to severe pain and being unable to walk anymore. I attempted to finish it out (with no knowledge of where she left off other than whatever narcs were left in the med bag). So I attempt to finish her shift and discover that she gave one resident too many medications and did not give the prescribed narcotic sleeping pill. When I went into our office to ask her what meds she had given the resident, she was gone. She left without any authorization from me (I am the lead aide in the facility), so I had no idea what she had done. I also had to chart all of her passed narcs, that I was very uncomfortable doing as I was not the one who had passed them. I signed for them but noted that she had passed them in the med log. Also in doing her charting, I discovered that she popped and signed for a narc that she did not dispense. I asked the resident she supposedly gave the pill to and she said she didn’t take it.
I informed my direct supervisor of all of these issues and she told the RN. When I came in my next shift we discussed the issues I reported and instead of discussing it with the new tech, they decided to give her another chance and offered more training.
I trained her another 4 days and she made another error: she gave a resident another resident’s narcotic! Luckily the resident who received the incorrect narc did not have any adverse reaction. She also told the RN that she couldn’t work a full 8 hour shift due to her surgery so they have been having her work 4-5 hours of the shift and then have me take over the rest. Again I am not happy with this because I then have to log the narcs she supposedly administered, which puts me at risk of being just as liable for her errors since I am the one having to log the given narcs, even though I am documenting that she was the one administering them.
I know this is a long post but I need some advice as to what to do as my supervisors are not willing to reprimand, write her up or terminate her due to her friendship with the General Manager. I feel that she is a real threat to the residents and that her next med error is going to cause disastrous results. I also fear that this will fall back on me as her trainer and I do not want to jeopardize my future due to her incompetence. I have applied to my school’s RN Program and cannot afford to have any dings on my records due to following my supervisor’s instructions.
My questions are: can I go over my supervisor’s head and report my concerns to the state since they are not taking this as a serious issue? And who would I report it to since my facility does not require CNA certification to work here but does require medication assistance certification? And if I do go over my supervisor’s head and report it how do I ensure I will not lose my job or face any type of retaliation?April 4, 2016 at 10:43 PM #102637
Go straight to the top and report it, and report it to your state accreditation board as well. You can also report it to your ombudsman too (maybe?). Who supplies your meds for your facility? Their pharmacists would probably know who to report to if you’re not sure. People will say there’s no retaliation, and officially there ‘never is’.. But you need to do the right thing regardless, and I’ll tell you why:
1. Patient safety
2. Patient safety
3. Your possible liability/charting for her actions. ( we signed out carts when I worked at the NH, did a complete count of the narc drawer. Every. Single. Time.)
4. I would refuse to be made to chart this person’s, or anyone else’s meds.. Narcs or not. In the hospital I chart for me, not for you. If one can’t work a med pass on the cart then they need to find that person another position. It’s unsafe to pull them off in the middle of a pass.
5. Patient safety!!
Blowing the whistle is never easy, but you’ll do it more than once as a nurse; you’re a patient advocate and that’s what we do. 🙂 And shame on them if you do find yourself in a pickle afterward..good facilities would thank you for reporting the problem.April 4, 2016 at 10:44 PM #102638
Posting again so I can check the ’email replies’ button 🙂April 5, 2016 at 6:29 AM #102641
Thank you. I reported all of this to all of my supervisors and they put me in the hotseat, not her. What really sucks is that she was hired by my facility’s general manager because they are friends so even though I am more experienced with the med pass and have been here longer, she will always be defended! I spent over 45 minutes in a meeting with them about this and all they did was turn this around on me as to why I didn’t “fix” it!
My facility does not require any of the aides to be CNA’s, they just get OJT! But they do have to med certified if they want to pass meds. I have been the med tech on my shift primarily for the last 10 months and have been working for this facility for 18 months. I am considered an “oldtimer”! That should give you some insight as to how the management makes us feel. I would leave if I had another job but this facility is very flexible with my school schedule and I love my residents, they are what is keeping me here!
Unfortunately it may take a serious error that causes the death of one of my residents to make them realize what a mistake they made and they should have listened to me! Sometimes our guts tell us something and we really should listen! I certainly hope it doesn’t come to that though.
I appreciate your input and will move forward in taking this higher since my facility is not taking this seriously.
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