This one time, after departing Da City’s employ, I worked for a hospital in Da City. After several adventures as a staff nurse, I was promoted to supervisor.
The way things worked, was the staff nurses attempted to untangle the problems that developed,and then punted the resistant ones to me. So, one evening I received a phone call from one of the floor nurses, relating that Mr. Man was due some coumadin (a blood thinner, used post blood clot, among other indications), and she had none in her medication drawer to administer to him.
Thinking, “This is why I get the big buck!”, I asked her, “Have you looked on the counter, and checked the medication record?”
Yes to both, no accounting for the coumadin either place.
“Did you call pharmacy, and request that they run some up to you?”
Again, yes, she had. Her explanation of why Our Friends In Pharmacy had not delivered the medication, was intriguing. “They said that it had been in the drawer when they swapped them out this morning, and they were not going to send any more up, until tomorrow.”
Puzzled, I asked, “Did they explain how your patient was going to get his medication in that circumstance?”
“Nope, simply said that they would not deliver any more.”
“Let me look around. I’ll be right up!”
I arrived on the floor, and, sure enough, no lonely coumadin on the counter in the med room, nor on the counter in the nursing station.
I called Our Friends in Pharmacy, and asked the pharmacist about the missing coumadin.
“It was there this morning, I’m not gonna send any more. Everybody knows that the nurses take meds from the drawer, I’m tired of it!”
It had been a kind of grueling night for me, and I was not in the mood. “So, let me see if I’m hearing you correctly: you are telling me that you have personal knowledge of nurses diverting medication from patients for personal use, did I hear that right?”
His reply? “Yeah, everybody knows it. It goes on all the time!”
I set my trap. “So, what have you done about this information?”
“Nothing. Everybody knows about it, nobody’s gonna do anything!”
“So, you are telling me that you have personal knowledge of medication diversions, and you have done nothing about this knowledge, did I get that right?”
“Yeah, nobody’s gonna do anything about it, so, yeah, right.”
“What do you suppose the Board of Pharmacy would think of this revelation? Tell you what, why don’t I write them a letter, documenting this conversation, and you can find out, in person, what they think of a pharmacist who has personal knowledge of medication diversion, and takes no action to end it. That ought to be very educational, don’t you think? In fact, if you are here, with the needed coumadin, before I finish that letter, perhaps I will not have to send it at all! Maybe, I could write a letter telling the hospital administrator how wonderful it is to work with pharmacists who are so very, very collegial. Bye-bye, now!”
I asked the nurse, standing next to me, if I could borrow her pen and have a sheet of paper. “What for?”
“Got a letter to write!”
“What sort of letter?”
I told her, “That depends on whether or not we see your favorite pharmacist up here with your coumadin in the next few minutes, or not!”
I heard the pounding of footsteps on the stairs, and heard his wheezing before he even reached the stairway door.
I love it when we all work together to help our patients!