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4 Reasons to Be a Whistleblower

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.

Next: General Incompetence >>

  • Photo_user_blank_big


    27 days ago


    I recently took my young toddler age 1 to the ER because it was after hours and her SCREAMING and fever was none stop, I suspected it was an ear infection but knew her suffering could not wait until morning. The secretaries and nurses were all wonderful and caring, and then suddenly came in a ferocious beast, he handled my little girl in an extremely violent manner, there was no nurses in the room, just this monster, my husband, me, and our child, he firmly gripped her skull as she screamed in pain, as I finally realized what he was doing was not what a normal doctor would do and stood up to grab my child, he suddenly let go and declared "she has an ear infection" and left, I asked my husband if it was just me or if he really was being rough with our toddler and he said "I was ready to get up and knock him out!" which is an unusual statement for my husband. A year later our children began playing with a local nurses children, she admitted to dating an ER doctor who abused her 2 year old little girl, she said he "yanked her hair out", it only took his name to know it was the same ER doctor who mishandled our daughter, I did not know at the time that we could have reported the incident, but she is a nurse and I am surprised she let it go, can anything be done now or will it take this doctor abusing another child before anything can be done?

  • Photo_user_blank_big


    over 3 years ago


    Well, there's a reason why every doctor should have a background check before being hired in any kind of hospital, people's lives depend on doctors and when a doctor is unethical, unprofessional or corrupt things can take a really bad turn. So yes, it's important for someone to be the whistle-blower, that sets everyone in the right professional norms.

  • Nerdynursebutton_max50


    almost 4 years ago


    I hate to hear things like this CVShaw9

  • C


    almost 4 years ago


    I have been a "whistle blower" on numerous occasions during my nursing career. The "whistle blower" occasion that I am most proud of is that with regard to the "Fen-Phen" settlement case. I suspected that nurses, doctors, attorneys, echocardiographers and others were submitting false echo cardiograms for the purpose of obtaining HUGE fees for themselves and huge settlements for their clients. After I reported the same to the law firm responsible for monitoring the settlement, I was asked to appears at a deposition in Philadelphia by the law firms involved. There, instead of asking me questions about the facts of the case, the law firm attorneys, about 5 or 6 attorneys, personally attacked me for the purpose of denigrating my credibility! The same made it clear to me that they had spent hundreds of thousands of dollars "investigating me" and that I would, personally, suffer the consequences of this "whistle blowing". I asked the law firm of the institution representing the settlement to appoint an attorney for the purpose of representing me in this matter so that my personal economic and legal interests would be protected. THEY REFUSED TO DO THE SAME. In the end, I, probably, saved the settlement entity tens to hundreds of millions of dollars in fraudulent settlement fees. I, also, probably saved the lives and health of innumerable patients from being falsely diagnosed and treated for non-existent cardiac problems. The US Federal Court eventually ruled that these same law firms had engaged in fraudulent "organized criminal activities" and imposed dramatic "RICO" sanctions on the same as a result of the same. I was subjected to significant long term economic retaliation because of the aforementioned. While Federal laws protect "whistle blowers" that involved Federal Funds, no such laws protect "whistle blowers" that do not involve Federal Funds. Our current economic crises, which involve fraud, conspiracy, and massive theft at the private and public level, are the natural result of the aforementioned lack of appropriate legal protection for "whistle blowers" concomitant with the huge institutional financial, legal, and political forces which can promulgate the same while retaliating against those who do "whistle blow".

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