Quote from shamrokks
Most employers carry malpractice on their nurses...you may want to check into it with them. If not you can get a policy for fairly cheap.
A long time ago, i was actually a defendant in a lawsuit. I never met the patient, never got report on the patient, wasn't my patient, but, i did answer the code, and i was working on the floor when the patient committed suicide in a hospital, so my name was included in the patient's family's lawsuit. Their complaint had nothing to do with the code itself, nor how it was run,
but, on the fact the patient was not protected from suicide while in a hospital. It was unknown the patient was suicidal, he was in for a gall bladder removal.
Horribly upsetting for all.
I remember that night clearly, all staff nurses were replaced by other nurses who'd been scraped out the float pool, or called in from home. The hospital top dogs and their LAWYERS all arrived to help us document the event.
Years later, I move to another state, and later, to yet another state. I move a lot. More years and years pass. I think it was about 10 or 15 years later, i am working in the ER in another state,
and some sherriff arrives, says he wants to talk to me, alone. He asks if there is some quiet room we can go to to talk.
He looks rather sick and worried.
Instantly, my heart is racing. My teenagers, are both driving cars now, where are they? My mind is racing, well, they rarely drive out of our own town, and they are not in THIS E.R., so they are dead? Are my kids dead? Is it my dad? Has he had an accident? Is it my sweetie, did he have some heart attack or something? Who is hurt, who is hurt? I have no words to describe to you, the state of absolute terror i had gotten myself into by the time this sherriff and i got to the "quiet room" of the ER, where families whose relatives are dead,
are told their family member is dead.
The sheriff stalls, and stutters around, trying to get his words out. Finally, he says, "You are a defendant in a negligent homicide case by some patient." and hands me the paper work. I was SO RELIEVED my kids are not dead somewhere, i cried out, "That's
it? I am being given some paperwork for a court case? OH WONDERFUL!!" and i wanted to hug that guy.
he was baffled at my joyous reaction to being sued, til i explained what *I* had been imagining he'd come to tell me. Made a bunch of legal papers seem not so bad! ha. this sheriff later told me, his wife was a nurse, and it seemed a horrible thing to him, so he was nervous how i'd react to such a paper.
My old hospital payed for my entire trip back, all my expenses, and paid for our lawyer, and it was rather fun to see everyone again, like a re-union,
and we were all amazed at the stories our lawyer, who specializes in DEFENDING nurses (hard to find that
kind of lawyer) told us of other cases against nurses that he'd defended. Amazing stories.
We had a jury trial which lasted several days. I had to testify, it was kinda scarey, but, our lawyer had given us tips on how to answer questions, and i had done nothing wrong.
Everyone involved was found to be innocent.
anyway, i was not only found innocent, i was found "not involved"/charges dropped completely, and the judge even admonished them for including me at all.
so most of the time, depending on the way it is worded
on employee applications, or BON applications, i can often say no to such questions.