I was Wrongly Fired from My Nursing Job

Okay, here goes. I am a male nurse that works the ER in a small 6 bed ER. We see approx. 30-40 patients every 12 hr shift. I had been working in this ER since graduating nursing school 1 1/2 years earlier, and so the story starts. It was my first night back. I work the 7pm to 7am shift. This time I was to work friday thru monday. Memorial day week end to top it off, but I loved my job and didn’t mind the hours. It was approximately 2 am in the morning when i received an order to admin 50mg demerol and 50mg phenergan to a pt. pretty standard order.  The ER was too cheap to but a PIXUS or any other type of self counting drug dispenser, so it is left up to the nurses to keep an accurate record of the drugs given and to whom, what drugs we still have on hand, yadda, yadda, yadda.  After drawing up the medication, I noticed that we were short, or missing, ten 75mg demerol vials, to those who don’t know, 75mg would be enough pain medication to knock out a 250 lb man! Yet, we were missing ten of these individual doses!! At once I asked my co-worker (the other RN in the ER) if she had any knowledge about the missing drug medication to which she said she had no idea where it was.

Let me pause ever so briefly here and give a little background info on my co-worker for the night. She had worked for the hospital about a year ago when had been fired for a HIPPA violation. (she disclosed private patient information to someone who had no business knowing. GOSSIP) the hospital was sold to a new company and the nurse manager and her were good friends, so once the new company took over the hospital, the nurse manager hired her back unconditionally. Two weeks prior to this night, the ER manager, pissed of this co-worker of mine and this co-worker put in her 2 week notice. THIS NIGHT WAS HER LAST NIGHT IN THE ER!!!!

Anyway, back to the story. I had called the night supervisor to come and check on the discrepancy.  The night supervisor came down, called the ER manager and the Director of nursing(DON) at home and they also came to the ER. This is where it gets bad. The ER manager told me to go to the lab and submit a urine drug screen. No problem. (for those of you wondering… it came back clean!) then I was told by the ER manager “you look sleepy. What did you do with all that demerol?” I was left speechless that she could think that I could do this! Just a week prior, I was called in her office to find out I was nominated nurse of the year and had won!! (which recinded is due to the fact that the award ceremony was to be the following Tuesday, after all this!!)  She had the in house ambulance crew take me home. she wouldn’t even let me drive!! after I left, they searched my car!!

They fired me for “falsifying documentation. It is technical, but true. i always had the bad habit of saving up my paperwork till the end of the night, when the ER was quiet to finish my paperwork. and seeing as how I had signed out medication without documenting it in the charts (remember that i was sent home with escort before i could do my charting)……they fired me for it!!

I have been labeled a drug abuser. and it has been impossible for me to find another job!!I am getting out of the nursing field, a field that I absolutely love, and going back to being an industrial maintenance mechanic/ electrician.

I have learned a great deal from this lesson. DON’T TRUST ANYONE and DOCUMENT DOCUMENT DOCUMENT.  If you are a new nurse, please remember this story as it has been hard for me and my family to get through. My wife is also a nurse at the same hospital (L&D), and it has been hard on her to go back in there. She is 7 1/2 months pregnant. I only hope I can find a job before this baby gets here. Thanks for taking the time to read my venting. I do feel better now.  I have no doubt that my co-worker took the drugs, yet she was not even drug screened. I guess that’s the benefits of being buddies with the ER manager and the DON.