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Should Nurses Blow the Whistle?

Should Nurses Blow the Whistle?

Jennifer LeClaire | Monster Contributing Writer

Mixed Outcomes

In August 2003, a jury decided that the Duval County Health Department fired Moore in retaliation for making accusations about unsafe departmental procedures. The two sides settled and Moore got her job back.

Hohman won her four-year battle against UTMB when a jury ruled that the facility retaliated against her for whistleblowing. The jury also awarded her wages and damages totaling $500,000.

But in Neldaughter’s case, even though the Wisconsin Coalition for Advocacy found that her hospital’s procedures for obtaining informed consent for shock therapy were coercive, she did not get her job back after taking court action.

“If you are thinking about blowing the whistle, then you need to make sure you are protected by whistleblower statutes,” advises Wright. “If not, then address it through your management or through your union. Court battles could take years to resolve and winning is not automatic.”

This article was originally published on Monster.com.

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    fundaiphone4

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    118 comments

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    emsmom129

    almost 3 years ago

    2 comments

    the person writing this article is obviously not a practicing RN. Those of us who are, know the outcome of whistleblowing.

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    Account Removed

    about 3 years ago

    Being fired for reporting unsafe, dangerous practices by a hospital, doctors, and other staff members risks patients and our nursing license. It is unfair, unethical, and illegal but it happened to me. I complained about these unsafe patient risk behaviors several times and nothing was done. I complained to administration, and nothing was done. The last time I complained to my unit supervisor I was terminated with a phone voice mail call while driving home after the shift. I was immediately locked out of my hospital email before I reached my home. The whistle blower laws did not help me. The state of CA did what they termed "an investigation", but never interviewed me or any witnesses other than staff members who were forced by the large hospital to testify in their favor or lose their jobs too. I filed complaints with CA State, Federal, and JCAHO. Nothing was done. This large Sacramento area hospital chain "bought off" everyone and ruined my career. My attorney said that there was nothing I could do as I had not worked there long enough. I was left with an unearned black mark on my career, post traumatic stress disorder and loss of income. We need laws that actually protect us and keep health care staff from suffering this abuse and damage.

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    kailikea1

    about 3 years ago

    2 comments

    I cannot believe I am even going to recommend this, but keep your mouth shut. If your company has a corporate compliance hotline, call that and know that you did all you can do. My reasoning? I filed a complaint to admin after being hit by a physician. 10 days later, my position was downsized. I hired an attorney. My employer produced a document dated before the incident showing that my and several other positions were under cinsideration for downsizing. My attorney said, there is nothing you can do about your job AND there is nothing you can do about being hit because "You didn't sustain any injuries." He did say I could file a police complaint, but I knew that would be the end of my career.

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    marce1

    about 3 years ago

    10 comments

    Easier to say than do-that you will do whatever it takes to protect a patient. I have had two sever incidences where I reported to the corporate level, one cost me a censure on my license and I have had a difficult time recovering and one cost me a job. I hired an attorney who advised me to accept blame ( the accusation) and whatever they do to me because I would lose my license if I did not. I feel sorry for the patients but you know what I am tired of being screwed over and will no longer defend anyone but me....

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    dottyjr2

    about 3 years ago

    6 comments

    It seems the people who wrong out weigh the people who believe in morals and do what is right. This is what our country is becoming based on. It is really sad. If i had to defend a patients rights i would do whatever it took. I would not care what anyone else says or what any company could do to me. My patients always come first.

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    Jeannie

    almost 4 years ago

    140 comments

    Yes, you probably need a damn good lawyer with abundant patience. I feel for the person who has to speak out. I mean, they spend YEARS of their life becoming educated as a nurse to BE SURE to adhere to certain safety procedures, then discover their own superiors blatantly disregarding them. No wonder the nursing profession is in such high demand...a rock and a hard place.

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    SSwaim

    almost 4 years ago

    20 comments

    If someone doesn't blow the whistle about the wrong doings that takes place than who will? If you have witnessed something that someone had done totally wrong, i.e: foreging documents. Then shouldn't you turn them in? Especially if it's medical records! I mean come on!

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    petra

    almost 4 years ago

    6 comments

    i foirgot to mention one feeling i have had....i felt "hunted"

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    petra

    almost 4 years ago

    6 comments

    sometimes the whistle gets blown and there is nothing to blow...like in my case ,beeing foreighn,the wrong way of expression...and than turning/twisting and out comes something away from what happend..unfair...i do believe,that the communication/to look into a situation,/empathy is very important...to asume and to go out from that ...wow...it can ruin life/put a cloud on familylife ...mobbing is beeing woven into that as well i think..there are always at least 2 sides to considder...........

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    zz1974

    over 5 years ago

    4 comments

    note corruption is everywhere, to varying degrees of greed of course, but b4 u blow the whistle, 1st seek out organizations that support your cause, also have your own personal attorney on speed dial before taking on a legal and ethical battle, b/c u r in a catch 22, its ur license, so protect urself 1st and know ur rights. i believe in life, u must always do what is right, even if that means leaving your job b4 being terminated - fyi documentation is key, you have to have factual data, and remember not 2 violate any hippa or other laws in the process of trying to do the right thing!

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    zz1974

    over 5 years ago

    4 comments

    u can report fraud 2 the insurance carriers anonymously - they will fwd the information to their fraud unit - this is a slower process, but what happens behind the scenes is they build a case before they go in to do something about it. lastly, admin/mngmnt/hr all do what is best 4 the company - so dont waste ur time their or telling someone otj what u r going 2 do. if ur facilty is accredited by jcaho, report them anonymously there, as well with the dept of health in ur state.

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    MsKlassy2008

    over 5 years ago

    140 comments

    THIS IS SO CRAZY.....I AGREE W/DMAZMENT

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    Account Removed

    over 5 years ago

    Deb- I agree!

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    Account Removed

    over 5 years ago

    This is a vicious cycle. You're damned if you do and damned if you don't.

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