- Two Stories; As A RN, working in CCU, I was approached by a fellow nurse, who was the director of the unit, to let her borrow a vicodin, as she was out and going to the dr that night. I believe she got a script of 30 pills and within 2 days, was begging me for more. THIS WAS AT WORK> IN CCU, I told her that I was only prescribed enough for me, and that if I gave them to her , I had to go without, and I only took them after work, to be able to get the level down to sleep. She was after any and every med she could get. I saw her take them and sign them out for patients, and then take them herself, when we would have to waste half a pill or injection, she would pretend to put it in the waste, and then use it, I saw her dig in the used needles. Then since I was charging I would be the one to order narcotics, and all of a sudden I realized that I was ordering so much more often and so many more.
So I started watching around, and I noticed on the charts of the patients, I had in the daytime, and another nurse had in the night, they would supposely require so many more doses than I gave in the daytime, which made no sense. One patient was almost comotose, and I could not imagine, unless he was tossing and turning in sleep Another was deaf and dumb, and his wife stayed by his side. I saw where even though he had a PCA pump, he supposedly needed another injection. When I went in the next day and asked his wife if we needed to increase his dose by IV(PCA) because if he needed more, than we should try to keep up and she said yes, it controls his pain, and I said I mean he needed the nurse to come in and give him two shots last night, and she said no he pushes the button, and it works. SO< NO SHOTS Then the third patient was actually dismissed at 10pm, and the chart noted that he got a shot of Demerol at 9:59pm and the narcotic had been discontinued by the dr at 6pm when he wrote the note to discharge him. SO three dose of meds charted but not given. I eventually saw a nurse come out of the bathroom with a wet patch on her thigh, and then somebody mentioned they say a syringe in her pocket when she went in. SO it came to drug testing, as I had to report it as a responsible charge nurse. The nurse in the first story came to me and said I am glad I have my script so if I test positive I have a script, ( you bet but she took all 30 pills in the first two days, so who know where she was getting the rest) The second nurse tested positve but had a script for darvon and ativan. She was fired though and the drugs and not being given, quit. I read several months later where she lost her license for drug abuse.
My personal story is that I have had my meds taken no matter what, from being shorted at the pharmacy 3 pills or so, to half, actually one time. to somebody thinks they can take a few and you won't notice. Well, I know exactly how many should be left, or could count up and when I know that I have 15 days of 3 pills a day and my bottle is almost empty, PILLS ARE MISSING> IT breaks my heart that somebody has so little respect for me and my pain, that they steal my drugs, and do not care if I end up in withdrawal, or what ever. Nobody in my immediate family takes the meds for themselves, so I have to assume , it is the friends or they want them for somebody to sale. My kids swear they will not take them. I keep them with me at all times or lock them up.
BUT people do and will continue to steal any time they can. So wehave to do the best we can to protect ourselves, and keep our meds safe.