Resources >> Browse Articles >> On the Job


4 Reasons to Be a Whistleblower

4 Reasons to Be a Whistleblower

Do you have what it takes?

Steve Berman | NursingLink

3. When general incompetence is witnessed on the job.

Is a doctor using non-traditional medicines or techniques? Are patients’ symptoms being ignored, or not noticed at all? Have you witnessed something during a surgical procedure that was a blatant mistake but nothing was done or it was covered up? These are all reasons to blow the whistle.

4. When a doctor is harassing nurses and other hospital employees.

This isn’t extremely common either, but excessive yelling and foul language can be a reason to complain. Harassment based on race, religion, sexual orientation, or disability is definitely something a nurse should bring to the attention of the proper authorities.

However, being a whistleblower is hardly tempting for most people. According to a survey of physicians, 17% of doctors had knowledge of an impaired or incompetent physician in their workplace, and “one-third of those doctors had not reported the matter to authorities such as hospital officials or state medical boards.” And in one Texas case, a nurse was fired and went on trial for slander after sending what she thought was an anonymous letter complaining about a doctor’s actions to the Texas Medical Board. (She was acquitted.)

The whistleblower policy is different from state to state, but for the most part they’re similar in terms of reporting any sort of improper conduct without the chance of receiving poor treatment in return. The best thing to do is to review the policy in your state and/or healthcare facility, and follow the rules completely. After filing a complaint, resist the temptation to let a coworker know that you’ve complained, because if that person says anything to anyone else, you may face unwanted consequences.

What other reasons are there to be a whistleblower?

Next: Should Nurses Blow the Whistle? >>

Related Reads:

  • Photo_user_blank_big


    28 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".

NursingLink School Finder

Save time in your search for a nursing or healthcare degree program. Use NursingLink's School Finder to locate schools online and in your area.

Get Info

* In the event that we cannot find a program from one of our partner schools that matches your specific area of interest, we may show schools with similar or unrelated programs.