I would like my story to remain anonymous if you please. I will personally express that I feel many nurses hold back their stories for fear of retaliation and that nurses could literally write books about the short-comings, close calls, and corners they had to cut. I fear such a book would belong more in the horror section than in inspiration, sadly.
As such, I will share with you a brief story of my own:
We were short staffed one day on my unit, given the number of nurses we had in relation to the acuity of the patient population and the total nursing hours needed to perform the work. One of my superiors visited the unit to speak to me, and reported that the condition was too busy and that I should report it to my immediate supervisor. I agreed with their judgement and reported an unsafe condition and my intention to complete a POA later when time permitted. Management said they would see what they could do.
Later on, in an effort to try to meet the needs of our patients, I compromised safety by cutting corners in an attempt to more fully fulfill their safety, seemingly paradoxical, and a patient received an oral version of a medication instead of the injectable version that had been ordered. I immediately reported the error to the covering physician, who verbally informed me not to worry about the error as the oral version was safe for the patient and simply not to give the intravenous version since the oral version had been administered.
I notified my supervisors, and sometime later was summoned to HR for an interrogation into what had transpired. Ultimately, I was initially assigned sixty days suspension for what had transpired. I was not asked about the safety conditions that day, I never had a conversation regarding a follow up to a submitted SB Safe or what the hospital was going to do to rectify these conditions. I was issued punishment for reporting an unsafe condition, and then under duress, making a poor judgement to help a patient that did not result in patient harm.
It was at that moment, I lost faith in my hospital to accurately assess patient care conditions, take care of their staff’s physical and mental well-being, and their willingness to indirectly put my license in potential jeopardy. I considered resigning and hiring a personal attorney that would cost potentially thousands of dollars to assist in this matter. I still fear the potential for retaliation for the risk of sharing my story. I appreciate your confidentiality in this matter.
Submitted Anonymously by a PEF Nurse