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Helplessly standing by

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous' started by jael, Nov 11, 2017.

  1. jael

    jael Active Member

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    At the risk of starting another emotionally heated thread I am sharing my experiences of this past week because it is causing me a lot of angst.

    I'm a nurse. I'm a damn good one. Some of my traumas relate directly to my job. I dont want to get into deIails. I have purposefully tried to avoid working in those areas of nursing since the traumas.

    In my latest employment situation I've run into some disturbing situations. This past week, I witnessed a doctor being verbally abusive to my elderly patient. The patient was frustrating to work with. She has her own opinions and is not a pushover. Suffice to say, she makes the job of finding her after hospital placement difficult.

    This patient has a court order saying that she must be placed only where her dog can also stay. The patient had zero family. She has a guardian. Don't get me started on those. Anyway, the patient is at a point where she needs moderate help with her care in daily life. Social work and the doctor cannot find a place that will accept her with a dog. So, the doctor picked a fight with my patient. Then later charted that the patient did not require the emotional support of her dog. That she was unable to care for her dog. The doctor went on to chart that the patient was aggressive and attempted to strike the doctor. This did not happen. I was there. The doctor used this lie to justify ordering a long term dose of an antipsychotic on the patient which I was directed to give via injection. Basically, the drug was to snow the patient over so that she couldn't object to her placement. It would also be evidence for a judge proving that that the patient was violent and needed advanced placement.

    I refused to give the injection. I was told that security would be called to hold her down and it would be administered anyway. I spoke with the social worker. She said that she couldn't find placement for the patient with a dog. She stated that she wouldn't do anything.

    I documented the patients situation as best I could. It was in direct opposition to the doctor's notes. I doubt it would hold weight with a judge.
    The patient said she would commit suicide if she lost her dog. I didn't document that word for word because I didn't want a further psych case built against her.

    This patient has no one. No family. No govt appointed advocate on her side. She is being drugged against her will. She will lose her only support. All because she is difficult.
    I want to scream.
     
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  3. TexCat

    TexCat Not a cat or a native Texan. Premium Member

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    Thank you for being ethical and doing what is right in this situation. I hope that you will be able to guard yourself from this stressor best you can.
     
  4. jael

    jael Active Member

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    Disciplines outside of nursing don't seem to understand that it's a part of nursing practice standards to be ethical and to be patient advocates. We are not the handmaids
     
  5. jael

    jael Active Member

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    Crap.^^^^^
    We are not the handmaids
     
    crazydiamond47, Rain and Snowflakes like this.
  6. Freida

    Freida Been There, Done That, Lived to Tell the Story Premium Member

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    This is totally unacceptable.

    You can report that to your state attorney general's office and to adult protective services. If the guardian knows it's happening they need to be reported also.

    I am so glad you were there for her. This is just wrong and it makes you wonder how many other times they have done this
     
  7. Justmehere

    Justmehere Defying the odds Moderator Premium Member

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    @jael - oh how terrible!

    I commend you on your efforts to do the right thing. I am so grateful that in the middle of such a horrible situation, you were there to make a stand for what is right and good.

    May you find some peace and rest today. (I will refrain from the very harsh words I have for that doctor.)
     
  8. Tornadic Thoughts

    Tornadic Thoughts I'm a VIP

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    I'm so glad you were there for her. I'm so sorry people like that are allowed to continue destroying lives at such rapid rates behind closed doors. Grrrrrrrr...
     
    Esterio, crazydiamond47, Rain and 2 others like this.
  9. jael

    jael Active Member

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    Thank you for your replies guys.
    I am frustrated beyond words and I feel like my hands are tied. The patient keeps looking to me for answers and to be rescued from this situation and there's no comfort I can give her. The most I can do is to anonymously complain to the hospital. Maybe to a patients rights advocate. However, the odds are greatly stacked against me and the patient.

    I'm not attached to the patient really. Just, I am sick to have witnessed these events and to be expected to be complicit in it. I have one fellow nurse who also witnessed the incident and agreed that my patient did nothing aggressive. She has been administered the drug twice now.

    I don't know what to do.
    I don't know that there's anything I can do.
    Management has been out all week so I can't take it to them. Not to mention that they are piss poor at leadership.
     
  10. whiteraven

    whiteraven Well-Known Member

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    I'm so very sorry you are in this situation. My heart is breaking for this patient.

    I left nursing, in part because I was put in positions like this one too many times. I worked psych and I came to understand that very few truly care about the patient and those that do have to sell their souls to get things done.

    If I were in your shoes today, I would likely make several anonymous reports (if I wanted to keep my job) - you can send completely anonymous emails through Tor - to the hospital, the state board (falsifying documents, for starters), the attorney general, and whoever else I could think of. There would likely be an investigation or two, but at least you would not be the initiator.

    Take care of yourself.
     
  11. jael

    jael Active Member

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    I made an anonymous report to hospital administration yesterday. Probably will produce nothing. Probably just shot myself on the foot. Lol
    That's better than letting it slide I guess.
     
    Esterio, Muted, Freida and 1 other person like this.
  12. Ragdoll Circus

    Ragdoll Circus I'm a VIP Premium Member

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    This is distressing to just read about, so I can only guess at the emotional toll it’s taken on you. It wouldn’t take too much bad luck and it could be any one of us in that lady’s situation and that’s confronting. Don’t forget to look out for your own needs and wellbeing as well, yeah?

    If this situation is a one off, maybe it’s something you can move past in time? Because you do a lot of good work for a lot of people, every day. Maybe you’re not in a position where you can get the right outcome for every patient, but don’t discount the good stuff you do because of one bad outcome that you couldn’t prevent (not for lack of trying, mind you, which you should be incredibly proud of).

    If not, how do you manage that? How do you look after yourself?

    For me? There was an occasion where I was working for a guy in a situation that I couldn’t accept on ethical grounds. But there wasn’t anything in reality that I could actually do about him or the way he operated. I had to find an alternative, because I could either sink myself trying to be the whistleblower, or I could just look the other way. Neither were acceptable options.

    My decision was to change who I was working for, which fortunately just meant switching rosters rather workplaces, but I would have gotten a different job if it had come to that. To me, maybe I couldn’t do anything about him, but that didn’t mean I had to work for the guy. I didn’t have to be the one helping him.

    It wasn’t much. Didn’t change him, but that wasn’t ever going to happen. Not in reality. But what it did do? Was protect me. I like the fact that I have a conscience. My conscience, my sense of doing what is right and ethical, is something I need to protect. For me.

    Maybe this isn’t the incident that pushes you over the edge. But keep it in mind. Your sense of what is right, your motivation to actually move your arms and legs and do what is ethical? Is so important. And you need to not lose that. Maybe you can’t change the outcome for this woman, but there will be other people you meet in life who will benefit from your sense of right and wrong, so it’s worth protecting.

    Sometimes, finding a place where you can work and keep your conscience is the alternative when the only options are whistleblowing or putting your head in the sand. Either way, remember that you are doing good. You are. It’s not always possible to get the right outcome for everyone.
     
    Last edited: Nov 14, 2017
    Esterio, crazydiamond47, jael and 2 others like this.
  13. Esterio

    Esterio Well-Known Member Premium Member

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    Hi jael
    I am sorry for what you are having to go through. I am proud of you for standing up for a patients rights. There is to much done to people against their will in order to accommodate them. I has spent the last 7 almost 8 years watching what goes on and it makes my blood boil at times what they do to someone that is hard to deal with. Mostly the patients are scared and need someone to hold their hand and help them get settled. There are lots of other nurses like you out there and we need more that will stand up for the ethical treatment of there patients. Thank you for being there.

    Peace be safe my friend:hug:
     
    jael likes this.
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