Recently a nurse working in surgery was charged with theft of a controlled substance and more importantly put her patient at risk for harm Abbott nurse accused of stealing painkiller. The news report reads that the nurse self-administered a narcotic pain medication instead of her patient during a kidney stone removal procedure.
It goes on to say that the patient obviously realized that something was amiss, implored her nurse, and the nurse was quoted telling her patient to ‘suck it up’ by going to their happy place, or ‘beach’.
Stories like these sadden and scare me sometimes. As nurses, I think we sometimes forget the gravity of our responsibilities. We get so caught up in the ‘do-ey’ things of our job (Yes : do-ey things. It was a wonderful quote by an old, dear, and highly respected nursing instructor). The hands-on tasks consume us so much that we look ‘through’ our patient. Remember the saying, “Can’t see the forest through the trees”. We forget that there is a human being there. A human being that is entrusting us with their most important asset – their safety, heck their life.
We deal in life and death, we all do on some level. When we don’t do our job, or we make a mistake (granted, it sometimes has to be a BIG mistake), someone can get hurt. I think it would do us all well to remember what it is like to be a patient (if you can).
Thankfully this patient suffered no lasting permanent injuries. I have never had a kidney stone, nor had one removed, but I have taken care of those that have. I am very aware of and empathize with the pain they have to endure, and to rob them of the ability to decrease or minimize that painful experience is just treacherous in my book.
I for one read this article and kindly reminded myself that today I am the nurse, and not the patient. People depend on me. I don’t want to let them down. Clearing away all the red tape and bureaucratic â€˜crap’ still leaves me to tend to my patient. Stay focused on what really matter my fellow nurses.
My heart goes out to that nurse, I do hope she finds the help she so greatly needs.