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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

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? >>

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  • 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


    over 3 years ago


    I hate to hear things like this CVShaw9

  • C


    over 3 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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