RSSAll Entries Tagged With: "Cheely"

Nursing research: Understanding whistleblowing

Last week I promised a downloadable version of the whistle imagewhistleblower flowchart. For those who are interested, you can access the file here.

When I read about the fallout on Kim Cheely, the nurse whistle-
blower I wrote about last week, I had to ask myself:
Why do nurses risk their jobs to blow the whistle? Why speak out, when there is danger of ostracism, marginalization, and damage to one’s career? I did a bit more research on the subject, and ran across a thought-provoking study published “down under” a few years ago in the Journal of Advanced Nursing. You may find it interesting also.

Using a qualitative narrative inquiry design, the Understanding whistleblowing: Qualitative insights from nurse whistleblowers study looked into the reasons nurses decided to become whistleblowers, and gathered insights into nurses’ experiences of being whistleblowers. I doubt any nurses reading this will be surprised to learn the primary reason behind the decision to blow the whistle.

It’s simple, nurses are patient advocates. Of course there’s much more to the study, and it makes interesting reading for many reasons, not the least of which is that it used face-to-face data collection methods, and based queries on real experiences and not hypothetical scenarios.

In other words, the questions didn’t ask “what would you do” if you faced with wrongdoing. The subjects of this study had worked through the tough decisions and lived through actual whistleblowing events. You can access the report on this study here.

 

The unofficial whistleblower flowchart for nurses

Last week, a whistleblower lawsuit was filed by Kim Cheely, a nurse manager at Georgia Regents Medical Center prior to being fired last October for “insubordination.” In this case, “insubordination” appears to mean that the trusted, 37-year veteran of GRMC dogged management to address quality-of-care concerns related to repeated staff reductions in the oncology and bone marrow transplant units.

The story in The Augusta Chronicle documents a situation where anything that could go wrong, did. Cheely took every logical step she could to affect change, and thought she would be protected from retaliation by invoking the hospital’s conflict resolution policy. This did not turn out well for Cheely, unfortunately. In fact, to be protected as a whistleblower, you must report to the state or national agency responsible for regulation of your employer.

For anyone considering blowing whistleblower flowchartthe whistle, take a look at the flowchart I created from advice offered on the ANA website. The chart, which illustrates just the bare bones, will be available for download later in the week, in case you want to share it with your colleagues.

On a related note: I’m currently reading draft chapters for an upcoming HCPro book, The Nurse Manager’s Legal Companion, by a wonderful nurse and attorney, Dinah Brothers. We’ll also have a handbook for staff nurses. Neither is available for preorder quite yet, but I’ll be sure to let you know when they are.