Well if there is anyone out there who works in a nursing home they will know exactly how I felt tonight........my 8 hour shift in the home was over and it had been an uneventful evening. The nurse coming on was late getting to work(due to Halloween and trick or treating with her son). I was anxious to give her report, count the narcs, and head home. I gave report and she said:"You can go on home..she (meaning the CMA on duty with her) and I can count the narcs. So I said okay and left. I walked to the parking lot with my CNA and we talked a few minutes before I headed to my car. I work in a little town about 12 miles from where I live so I always call my husband on my cell phone before I head home so that he will know I am on my way. He said "I just got a call from the nursing home and they want you to call as soon as you get home" Instead I turned around and went back inside to see what was up. The LPN and the CMA had counted the narcs and in place of one of the residents Ambien card...was another residents Mucinex (not a narc) card which was empty and the name blacked out. Today was med change-over day and we black out all the names on the cards before we throw them out. Now how the hell did that card find its way into our locked narc box. I was really stunned and could not imagine how this could happen. The LPN asked me "did you let someone else use your keys tonight" No, I never do that....."did you leave them on the table at some time"...no I never do that. The keys were never out of my pocket. There is no way that someone could have gotten into that locked narc box in the cart without my keys. Then she asked..."did you count with the day-shift nurse when you came on?".....yes, I did and I handled the cards while she had the book!!!! Anyone who works in nursing knows what I am talking about. I was starting to sweat..WHAT IN THE HELL IS GOING ON?? I know that I need to call someone in management. But first I am going to call the day shift nurse to see what she remembers.....ring, ring, ring.....and no answer. Okay now I place a call to my unit manager...ring,ring,ring...no answer. I know that the next call needs to be to the ADON or the DON....this is very serious business to have a missing card of Ambien. I am thinking to myself and the LPN is agreeing with me "I have been set-up"...She says.."try the day-shift nurse again" This time she answers....Thank God...we talked a bit and then she said..."don't you remember when we were counting and you leaned over the med cart and dropped one of the cards in the trash..but you picked it right up and put it back......yeah yeah yeah...let me off this phone I have trash to deal with. So off the LPN and I go...to the back of the nursing home to do some dumpster diving...yuck..do you know what kind of things are thrown away in a nursing home...After going through several pretty nasty bags of stuff...in my hands I have it...........THAT BEAUTIFUL CARD OF AMBIEN. This was one relieved and slightly smelly nurse. I owe that LPN something really nice for all her uh digging with me...Thanks Michelle.