4 Reasons to Be a Whistleblower
Do you have what it takes?
Steve Berman | NursingLink
As a nurse, one of the most unsettling things one can face is seeing a doctor do something incorrect, incompetent, or unethical. Luckily, the vast majority of doctors don’t cause a problem in this area. They’re well educated, conscientious, and completely trustworthy. But doctors are human, and there are situations when nurses see things from doctors that trigger the questions no nurse wants to face:
“Did I just see what I think I did? Should I tell someone about this?”
Some scenarios are too serious to ignore, which means a nurse has to tell someone, or be a “whistleblower.” Whistleblower laws are in place to protect people in all workplaces from suffering consequences such as punishment, harassment, or termination when coming forward with a concern.
Here are some common reasons a nurse would act as a whistleblower.
1. If a doctor or nurse they work with is drunk.
This is pretty obvious, but hard to prove. In this case, speaking to a supervisor you trust can sometimes be a good step so someone can corroborate your story. However, if you have reason to believe someone has been drinking on the job, you should take action as soon as possible.
2. When a doctor or nurse is addicted to drugs.
While life isn’t like television, and situations like those found in Nurse Jackie where a respected nurse sleeps with the pharmacist in exchange for prescription pain pills are rarely if ever seen, drug use among hospital professionals does exist.