Case study

  • Date:
  • Category:
    Concern involving a student
    Moving from business as usual into the Standards


A student nurse notices that some of the medicines in the ward fridge are out of date.

They raise this concern with the charge nurse as part of business as usual.  The charge nurse says there is no time for a full audit of the fridge medication at this time, and no more action is taken.

The student nurse is concerned and speaks to their university supervisor who suggests that the concern should be raised again, in writing. The student nurse writes to the charge nurse, copying their university supervisor into the email.

The charge nurse sets up a meeting to discuss the student nurse's concern and proposes that they use the whistleblowing procedure; noting the benefits of this in terms of protection and support for the student nurse.

The student nurse agrees and a stage 1 concern is opened. The charge nurse looks into what has broken down with the normal procedures.  They find that that new staff have not been fully trained in the ward procedure for checking fridge medication and, due to the absence of some longer serving staff in recent weeks, this oversight had not been remedied.  The charge nurse identifies the staff in need of training and decides an audit of the fridge is also appropriate. They suggest that the student nurse is involved in this audit for development purposes.

The charge nurse provides a full explanation of their findings to the student nurse, and details what has been done to ensure it doesn’t happen again.  The student nurse is also referred to the next stage 2 of the procedure if they do not think that this concern has been resolved.

Updated: January 8, 2020