A Big Mistake Made by Iowa Nurses Who Are Under InvestigationSteveL
We represent Iowa nurses who are under investigation for doing something someone considered illegal or unethical while working as a nurse in a nursing home, care center or a hospital setting. There are three government agencies that regularly investigate. The Iowa Board of Nursing (IBON), the Iowa Department of Inspections & Appeals (DIA) and last but not least, the local county sheriff’s office. There might be others, but these three are what we normally see.
The people who report what they consider to be something reportable, include your co-workers, then the Director of Nursing (DON) in the facility, followed by the Facility Administrator. That’s essentially the chain-of-command.
Okay, an RN, CNA, LPN or med-tech see or hear something that they consider to be a reportable event. They report it up the chain-of-command after which you hear about it. And this is the critical point where you need to start making decisions, asking questions and not trying to explain things.
Let us start with an intitial question: Is it you that is being investigated?
Not every situation requires you to stop trying to explain the situation, but some do.
Ask questions means just that.
Ask the DON what you are being accused. If you are being accused of drug diversion or a boundary issue, the frankly say you are done talking and call a lawyer.
Drug diversions accusations are just that; accusation. They require proof of a drug diversion and some evidence connecting the diversion to you. Connecting it up to you depends on more than just an accusation.
And that is why I am telling you to ask questions to know what you are being investigated for allegedly being involved in. It is easy to accuse someone of something because the accuser wants to divert attention from what they have done. Blaming co-workers is a common refrain. If you say something that appears to admit you were connected or actually did the act, then that is on you and that admission will be used against you.
So, ask questions about what the investigation is about, and then say you had nothing to do with it and stop talking and stop answering questions. Just because you choose to remain silent is not an admission you did anything wrong. Quite the opposite. You will get a chance to explain your side of it, but not until after the DON, the facility administrator, the co-workers, the IBON, the DIA and the local sheriff’s department provide you with the facts of their investigations.
That day will come, or maybe it won’t because the investigation never got off the ground, but that day is not today.
If you have questions, call the Lombardi Law Firm or send an email.
515-222-1110 or firstname.lastname@example.org