Nurses Giving Depositons: Falls

  1. I am giving my first deposition this Friday, December 1 after 35 years of Nursing. My mental health patient fell while I was with another patient. I do not remember the patient. She was sent to Xray with her chart and they are insinuating that I was not aware that she was a fall risk and did not do proper assessment. This was a mental health patient and I was advised that she was sitting in front of the nurses station and got up and fell. Does anyone have any positive informations or possible web sites I may use for information. All will be appreciated. dew
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  2. 14 Comments

  3. by   Simplepleasures
    You are being set up to be the scapegoat, RUN do not walk, get yourself and EMPLOYMENT lawyer, not just any lawyer,repeat, EMPLOYMENT lawyer that works only for employees, not the employer. I speak here from experience, PM me if you want.
  4. by   BSNtobe2009
    I agree completely. The most innocent comments can be twisted around.
  5. by   Tweety
    I've been to depositions before.

    Hospitals have gotten burned by falls which is why many hospitals now have "fall precautions" which unfortunately probably doesn't do much because the patient still would have fallen.

    Anyway, all you can do is be honest with what you remember. Saying "I don't remember" is always an option.

    You can't rewrite the past. If the patient wasn't identified as a fall risk patient, then there's nothing you can do about that now. The hospital wants to protect themselves so I'm not sure they are setting you up.

    Have you talked to your Risk Manager and gotten some advice. Unfortunately we are on our own during these things.

    Do a search of some of the nursing zines like Nursing2006, they always have articles on what to do during these times. Good luck.
  6. by   Jolie
    If you carry professional liability insurance, call them immediately and they will provide you with representation.

    If not, I would strongly urge you to consult with an attorney to represent you. I would not assume that the hospital's attorney or risk manager has your best interests at heart.

    Good luck!
  7. by   dewebob
    Thanks so much Tweety. I have a lawyer through my hospital. Their are many other people involve in this. It was my patient, but I was not present when she fell in front of the other nurse.
  8. by   dewebob
    Dear Jolie,
    We have a lawyer through the hospital. Malpractice insurance is a nurse to target for $$$$. My best friend is a legal nurse consultant and she says it is a big flashing light. Of course, unless you are working contract or per diem through a small agency. Thanks again dewebob
  9. by   dewebob
    Ingelein,
    The hospital is the lawyer for all the employees involved. I do not have malpractice and most likely I will NEVER get it. I wasn't even there when she fell. Thanks dewebob
  10. by   augigi
    The hospital lawyer is not adequate. They have the hospital's interest at heart, and not yours - as they should. Malpractice insurance does not equate to being sued. You have to have done something wrong, and harm have been caused, to get a judgment awarded against you. If you followed hospital policy, you're good. If you didn't, the hospital lawyer will be the first to tell the court that you did not follow their procedure, and then you are on your own.

    Get your own legal advisor. ASAP.
  11. by   BrnEyedGirl
    [FONT=System]"I don't recall",.."I don't recall",..."I don't recall",.."that is out of my scope of practice",..."I don't recall"........any deposition I've been to was at least three years after the fact,....like I'm gonna remember what I said to that pt on 08-14-1999 at 2am when she told me her throat hurt!
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  12. by   SOREFEETEMPTYSTOMACH
    From Reading This Story I'm Not Sure Where The Patient Fell. Was She Still On Your Unit Or In X-ray? I Could Publish A Book On The Many Things I Saw Go Wrong In X-ray And The Techs Usually Tried To Twist It Around To Sound As If Nursing Was Negligent But Whoa!!!those Little Cupcake Techs Are Liable For The Patient's Safety. If She Was Unattended In X-ray That Is Not Your Fault. Just Tell The Truth.
  13. by   Tweety
    Quote from dewebob
    Thanks so much Tweety. I have a lawyer through my hospital. Their are many other people involve in this. It was my patient, but I was not present when she fell in front of the other nurse.
    Good luck. Remember it's a deposition, not a judge and jury trial where you are brought up on any charges. They just want a statement of the facts. Your hospital's lawyer should be good enough at this point. Although, as was mentioned above you should take heed she/he has the hospital's interests at heart. However, in protecting the hospital, defending you and the others is in their best interest.

    Most depositions lead no where in the long run. They may "settle out of court" if there is no documentation that the patient should have been on fall precautions or was a fall risk, because they don't have a leg to stand on. It might help to bone up on what your hospitals fall precautions are.

    Lawsuits around falls are a dime a dozen. If we all went down for every patient fall, we'd all be out of a job.

    Again, if you don't remember, saying "I don't remember" is the truth. Just stick to the truth and the facts, no matter how it makes you or the hospital look.
    Last edit by Tweety on Nov 28, '06
  14. by   firefly49RN
    get your own lawyer!!!!! no lawyer can serve 2 masters.don't utter one word until you talk to your own attorney.any hospital management will sell out a nurse to save themselves.it 's cheaper to do this,.if they make a case that you did not follow hospital policy,they don't have to protect you with their lawyer.

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