Will I get in trouble ? ? ? - page 2

by Congababe13

16,048 Visits | 97 Comments

Hello, I am a 2nd yr nursing student, I graduate in May. I had an OR observation yesterday and was able to watch an endo lap chole. I may add that I was very excited as my goal is to become an OR nurse. When the gallbladder... Read More


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    In NO way is this a HIPPA violation. (I am not a lawyer.)

    It is quite possible that you have violated facility and/or school policy. At the very least, you violated common sense rules of asking first and you have created an issue between the school and facility.

    I recommend you accept responsibility, apologize sincerely and profusely, and show up to the director's office with an apology letter already written that your school can forward to the facility. These actions will demonstrate maturity and will make them consider leniency.

    On a related note, while a student, an bedside endoscopy was performed on a patient I was following. The physician found an abnormality he was curious about and wanted to present it to another expert who was not present. The equipment had no ability to record and the printer was nonfunctional. I was asked to use my phone to video the screen and then copy the file to the physician's hospital computer. My video contained no identifying information. The team was thankful. I just thought it was cool to watch.
    mariebailey and Congababe13 like this.
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    I agree with the others who have advised to own your mistake, and do NOT say anything that sounds like an excuse ("I am a student, I'm here to learn" and the like). In my program I am sure that this would be grounds for exiting the program, as people have been exited for much less. It will also most likely damage the relationship your school has with this hospital. Doubt they will let students watch surgeries from now on. Best of luck- be honest and professional and your meeting. Let us know what happens.
    Last edit by lalopop86 on Nov 15, '12
    Congababe13 likes this.
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    I'm not sure if this is a HIPAA violation or not, but I wouldn't be surprised if it is. I know you stated that there were no patient identifiers in the picture. However, lets just say hypothetically speaking, that this patient's spouse over heard you discussing the "neat" photo that you took of a patient's gallbladder, and prior to the procedure the surgeon had told the patient and the patient's spouse that no other patient was having that procedure on that given day...(not sure if they actually tell patients that) So, now the spouse knows that this is his/her loved ones gallbladder in the photo...and it upsets them. My point is that you can never know for certain that the photo is unidentafiable. If I was in the patient's shoes, I wouldn't mind if a photo was needed in order to determine my treatment or for other medical reasons...but I would not feel comfortable knowing that a nurse took a picture just because she felt excited and wanted to capture the moment. I know you meant no harm, and that you have learned a lesson. I hope that your school is willing to give you another chance
    Congababe13 and willowita like this.
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    Ay yay yay....was the picture really necessary? There is no need for you to be taking pictures in the clinical setting. If not a HIPPA violation than it is still EXTREMELY unprofessional. You'll probably just get reprimanded but PLEASE don't do it again!
    carakristin1 and Congababe13 like this.
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    I am not an OR nurse, so maybe someone could answer this....When patients are in surgery and there is a monitor being used, isn't the name, case number, medical record on the screen in case a screen shot is taken for the chart? If there were any identifying numbers or name, that would absolutely be a HIPAA violation.

    A word of advice...When you are in school, always and I mean always ask for permission to do anything. Even turn a knob can get you kicked out. Have a nurse/ instructor at your side or ask permission to do something. You will never get in trouble if you follow that.
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    Quote from hodgieRN
    I am not an OR nurse, so maybe someone could answer this....When patients are in surgery and there is a monitor being used, isn't the name, case number, medical record on the screen in case a screen shot is taken for the chart? If there were any identifying numbers or name, that would absolutely be a HIPAA violation.
    Information displayed on the screen can vary from facility to facility. Mine has no information showing on the screens the surgeon and assistant look at. The system that records and prints photos must have patient information entered manually, which does not display anywhere but the computer screen or, if the pictures are printed, it can be printed on the top of the paper.

    OP, I can understand and appreciate your enthusiasm, but it is not an excuse. While the patient signed a consent that included allowing pictures to be taken, the picture you took doesn't really fit into that as it was not meant to be part of the medical record nor approved by the facility.

    Even in times of patient approval, I will run taking pictures by someone higher up than me if I have questions, such as the time a patient wanted us to take pictures of injuries from a car accident for insurance purposes- management did give the okay, since the patient had given consent. I was questioning because I'd never experienced such a request before and wasn't sure if the hospital would allow it because it involved litigation (against the other driver, not the hospital).
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    Why in the WORLD are students taking cell phones into clinical settings?! This was immediate dismissal at my school, and when I hear stories like this, I'm inclined to agree!! If they DO kick you out, I suggest you pack your things quietly and go and be thankful they aren't holding you accountable for a HIPAA violation!
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    Well my school requires us to have a smart phone/ipod for use during clinical. However we are to have them in airplane mode and was told on the first day that under no circumstance were we to take pictures, not even of yourself. The warned us with the story of the nursing student who took a picture of a womans placenta...

    I hope everything works out for you, but you made a very poor choice.
    Congababe13 likes this.
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    Everything that I have found in regards to HIPAA states that a violation includes individual identifiable information, which there was not & the one picture was deleted before leaving the OR.

    Im in no way trying to imply that I did no wrong but I do believe that being removed from the program seems pretty harsh for a student that has never had a unsat anything, no write ups, no probations. I have a lot going on right now, Ive been on prednisone for almost 2 months, Im sleep deprived & I have a son who is getting ready to graduate + some other things that may contribute to my severe lack in judgement, which by the way says nothing about my character or the kind of nurse I will be, I am an excellent nurse !

    When I left the OR the OR manager wrote down her name for me to use as a reference when applying to the OR. I just wish everything would be taken into consideration & not just this incident . . . Such a hopeless feeling !
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    Quote from Jenn77x1
    Everything that I have found in regards to HIPAA states that a violation includes individual identifiable information, which there was not & the one picture was deleted before leaving the OR.

    Im in no way trying to imply that I did no wrong but I do believe that being removed from the program seems pretty harsh for a student that has never had a unsat anything, no write ups, no probations. I have a lot going on right now, Ive been on prednisone for almost 2 months, Im sleep deprived & I have a son who is getting ready to graduate + some other things that may contribute to my severe lack in judgement, which by the way says nothing about my character or the kind of nurse I will be, I am an excellent nurse !

    When I left the OR the OR manager wrote down her name for me to use as a reference when applying to the OR. I just wish everything would be taken into consideration & not just this incident . . . Such a hopeless feeling !
    Depending on facility policy (which your school and its students are required to follow) and the school policy, they may be well within their rights to dismiss you from the program. Outside factors that may contribute to your lack in judgement really don't matter; all students have outside factors of some kind affecting them.

    And please, do not refer to yourself as an excellent nurse. You are a student who does not have a nursing license; therefore you are not a nurse of any kind yet. That may seem harsh, but there are states that protect the title nurse and there can be legal penalties for calling yourself a nurse without holding the license.
    nursel56, jtboog2003, BuckyBadgerRN, and 2 others like this.


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