I have a situation that I have been waffling over and I would really appreciate some opinions/advice on how to proceed.
Situation: tomorrow I have an employee review. I am fairly confident that everything will be fine from them towards me as my performance with the company has always rated me the highest marks and raises in pay. Nothing has changed in my performance, clients write beautiful cards and letters about my care. I like the people running the company on an interpersonal level. They are good people, from the owner of the company on down.
There is the moment in the review when I am asked if I have any questions or concerns. I do have some serious concerns. They are substantial in that I have direct knowledge of several instances where other caregivers have provided severely inadequate, potentially harmful, care. The real issue here is that the company is playing a little loose with who they hire, their qualifications, and matching caregiver abilities to the level of care needed to certain medically sensitive clients. In other words, they are legally smudging lines of care in order to obtain clients by promising competent, trained professionals but the caregivers they are sending to these clients are not even certified by the state. I usually end up relieving these caregivers and have, in several instances, had to do triage because medical issues weren't addressed and the patient needed treatment yesterday. In the most severe instance, the caregiver provided such inadequate care that the patient actually was at risk for dying because they weren't supposed to be receiving liquids or food and the caregiver had been trying to force slushy down them earlier in the day.
Dilemma: Do I, or do I not, state this concern? Why the waffle? Because I do not intend to stay with this company much longer but they are one of two work references I have at the moment. I've only lived here for two years and have been with this company since it opened a year and a half ago. This would be a stellar reference. The company, so far, is well thought of in the community.
If I state my concern I am afraid that red flags will be raised with them that I am a potential whistle blower and I will start to get into some trouble. There isn't anything they can legally point to that would be cause for firing me, but they can stop giving me clients. They might try to drum up *something that would make me look bad (what, I haven't any idea) and I'm afraid that they would try to make it hard for me to get a good reference. In the best case scenario, they would acknowledge that this is happening (which they might have done since, in November, I noticed that they let several caregivers go) and tighten things up.
At stake here are two issues: one, I do have direct knowledge that they are running loose legally with what they state is the level of care they provide and the reality of what they are actually providing. Do I have a responsibility to report them to someone?
Two, the biggest concern for me is for the clients. My heart just breaks when I see these things happen. I am very concerned that someone will get seriously injured, or worse, due to inadequate care. Something awful happening would bring the company to the attention of the authorities and then this would all be addressed...but at what cost? Someone's well-being, or someone's life? That is a very high stake.
WWTBD? WW all of y'all suggest?? Am I being a complete git in this case? Should I speak up and forget any concerns to myself?