6 weeks into school, I got stuck and i don't know what to do - page 5

Hi all...so, i'm in my 6th week of nursing school and i got stuck w/ a used diabetes lancet...my prof. rushed me to student health services where they took my blood to test for everything, gave me my... Read More

  1. by   tonicareer
    You definitely need an attorney. Don't agree to anything the school says, don't sign anything. If worse comes to worse you may need more than anitvirals. Get an attorney before speaking to anyone at the school. Be aware that they(the school) will tape record your conversations on the phone or in person. Get an attorney now!
  2. by   sharann
    Youda,
    Im with you. She should be reported to the BON.
    Sarah, I'm so sorry this happened to you, but you will be a great nurse at the enc, and thos will be a good teaching lesson to younger nurses. The school is responsible for this and it is OUTrageous how the director spoke to you. What morons.
  3. by   beaRNwhenIgroUP

    well...i attempted to contact several lawyers today: medical malpractice said it was personal injury, personal injury said it was workmans comp, workmans comp said it was personal injury...

    finally, i called the bar assn. and they gave me a guy that was quite helpful but still said i don't really have any case unless i am actually sick...so if in 6 mos. i test positive for hiv/hep c then we can really go after them...

    he did say it looks like the school is liable but the medical fees would be nominal and "anguish" has to be in conjunction with an "actual" injury (i guess, as opposed to the imaginary / fake injury that already occured )

    i reminded him that i am on antiviral meds w/ major side-effects, the uncertainty of not knowing for the next year+, the question of how i interact with my husband...

    apparently not enough to sue...

    so...i guess i'll be looking into the bon and/or osha route tomorrow


    btw - i am in central florida and, for the time being, i am at the same school (it's the only bsn in town...)

    thanks again to all of you!!!! y'all have been an amazing source of support and encouragement

    i'll never forget how great y'all have been - ever:kiss
    sarah
  4. by   Youda
    OK. Sarah, here's some information for you in Florida. Check out the OSHA laws (no distinction between an injury and an illness from a needlestick), and the attorney who wrote the article at the bottom of the page.

    http://www.hklaw.com/newsletters.asp...7&Article=1354

    Here's an article about a school district being sued for not PREVENTING a needlestick. Although the facts are much different from yours, the stuck person wasn't ill when the lawsuit was filed, and the article also gives the name of the attorney (that you might call, if for no other reason than to find out how this lawsuit turned out).

    http://www.sptimes.com/News/112801/T...ct_sued_.shtml

    Here's a website to locate an attorney specializing in needlestick injuries (I don't know if this referral service is any good or not, but worth a try):
    http://www.personal-injury-lawyer-re...ck_injury.html

    Here's an article about a specific law in Florida that mandates certain behaviors concerning universities and schools. It is very possible (I'm not an attorney) that the school has violated the law and criminal charges could be filed against them as well. Read this article:

    http://www.doh.state.fl.us/disease_c...gal/hartog.pdf

    More Florida laws your school has probably violated:
    http://www.prescribersletter.com/ple...nts/161200.pdf

    (Thanks to google.com)

    If I find anything else interesting or if it seems to fit your situation, I'll post it.
  5. by   Youda
    Spoke with a friend of mine who is a District Court Judge. It is not necessary to wait to find out if you are ill before filing a lawsuit. In fact, if you wait that long, the statues of limitations will be expired and you will not be able to file.

    He said that you have already experienced "loss and injury" as a result of the needlestick. At this point, the losses are not as great as someone who has contracted HIV or Hep from a stick, but loss and injury nonetheless.

    He said a good attorney should be able to get compensation for all your medical expenses with an open-ended judgment for future expenses, should you need them, including life-time loss of potential wages "if you should become ill."

    He suggested what I already said. Keep a meticulous journal, including anxiety, psychological distress, and any physical symptoms or side effects of the anti-viral meds.

    He thought you had a winner, based on the info you posted, and thought that a jury trial would be a blast for him, because he thought he could rip to shreads the things they said to you, and did and didn't do.

    He's checking to see if he might have any legal contacts in Florida that might help. If he can get me a name, I'll PM it to you.

    Sorry, but I'm taking a personal interest in this because I feel that education is so important. It blows my mind that an instructor could do this, and that a school could put a student at such risk!
  6. by   beaRNwhenIgroUP
    originally posted by youda
    spoke with a friend of mine who is a district court judge. it is not necessary to wait to find out if you are ill before filing a lawsuit. in fact, if you wait that long, the statues of limitations will be expired and you will not be able to file.

    he said that you have already experienced "loss and injury" as a result of the needlestick. at this point, the losses are not as great as someone who has contracted hiv or hep from a stick, but loss and injury nonetheless.

    he said a good attorney should be able to get compensation for all your medical expenses with an open-ended judgment for future expenses, should you need them, including life-time loss of potential wages "if you should become ill."

    he suggested what i already said. keep a meticulous journal, including anxiety, psychological distress, and any physical symptoms or side effects of the anti-viral meds.

    he thought you had a winner, based on the info you posted, and thought that a jury trial would be a blast for him, because he thought he could rip to shreads the things they said to you, and did and didn't do.

    he's checking to see if he might have any legal contacts in florida that might help. if he can get me a name, i'll pm it to you.

    sorry, but i'm taking a personal interest in this because i feel that education is so important. it blows my mind that an instructor could do this, and that a school could put a student at such risk!

    i can't believe how wonderful you are being!!!! i am literally in tears!!!

    there should be way more of this in the world...:kiss

    thanks... so much...

  7. by   Youda
    Sarah, check your PMs (personal messages) if you haven't already.
  8. by   kids
    Originally posted by traumaRUs
    Sorry, but in the state of Illinois, as of January 2000, you CAN INDEED test the source patient WITHOUT his permission if a needlestick or body fluid exposure incident has occurred!!!! I have worked in other states, Indiana, Nevada, Alaska and overseas in Korea, Spain and Japan and Illinois is one of the few states that do allow it. THANK GOD!!!!

    Are you still at this school????
    Here in Washington State it gets a little convoluted...the "law" mandates that the source patient be tested...but the patient can refuse...and a Superior Court Judge is mandated to sign the order allowing the test without the patients consent.

    This was all current as of 4 years ago when I got stuck and the demented patient's family refused the testing because they didn't see that the MANY units of blood products she received during the repair of a disected AAA in 1985 place ME at risk (she was neg).
  9. by   deespoohbear
    Sarah,
    I would also be checking with whoever accrediated your school(NLN, I would think.) They would probably like to know about this act of stupidity on your instructor's behalf. Then I would be contacting OSHA and JCAHO. Plus, I would be on the phone with the Florida State Board of Health and the State Board of Nursing. Then I would fire off some letters to the editors of your local newspapers and be calling the local TV stations. Don't take this lying down. I would make so much noise they would PAY just to shut me up!! May try contacting the head of the university's board of directors. Also try your county's health officier. They maybe able to offer advice. Anyone else in the class who will back you up? Greater strength in numbers!! Hang in there!!!
  10. by   globalRN
    Sarah....you are doing the right thing...there is no way that this should ever have happened. The school is responsible for having an employee cause you to be injured. That director of nursing needs a good kick in the butt for all the sensitivity she showed.
    I am so glad Youda is giving you all those followup contacts and information.....YOUDA ....you are a real role model for all of us nurses about standing up for each other and refusing to take any injustice lying down!!
    Dear Sarah...you go girl!! Don't let them get away with what they are trying to do to you. But I agree with the others, you need legal counsel.
  11. by   globalRN
    oh...another thing....it could help your case to report the instructor and the school to the BON. If the BON finds the nurse negligent....you may have an easier legal case.
  12. by   globalRN
    oh...another thing....it could help your case to report the instructor and the school to the BON. If the BON finds the nurse negligent....you may have an easier legal case.

    Sides, about time that idiot either stops nursing or goes back for a LONG refresher course
  13. by   deespoohbear
    Sarah,

    I don't know if this link will be of any help, but maybe you could use it to report that excuse of an instructor!!

    http://www.doh.state.fl.us/mqa/enfor...orce_howto.htm

    Here is the link to the names of the Board of Nursing members for Florida:
    http://www.doh.state.fl.us/mqa/nursi...boardinfo.html

    They would probably be interested in this!!
    Last edit by deespoohbear on Oct 1, '02

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