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Call from Risk Management to speak with Attorney

Nurses   (2,666 Views | 32 Replies)

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Today I received a call from my Hospital’s Risk Management department. They said I’m not directly at fault but I was one of the nurses who took care of a patient who apparently developed a stage 4 pressure ulcer while on my floor. They asked if I remembered him and I said no, they asked if I could come in and talk to the patient’s attorney and even if I don’t remember anything they like it in writing. I find it strange I’m talking first to the patient’s attorney rather than the hospital’s. I told them I would get back to them. Do you guys have any advice for how I should proceed?

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yournurse has 2 years experience.

130 Posts; 2,783 Profile Views

My advice is to get a union representation, if you have a union. If you have a strong union, even better. I want to tell you to write everything,  record if they allow you. I believe the hospital settles when it comes to things like this, pressure ulcer with a lot of employees involved. I could be wrong though. 

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LibraSunCNM has 10 years experience as a MSN and specializes in OB.

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3 minutes ago, snickers17 said:

Today I received a call from my Hospital’s Risk Management department. They said I’m not directly at fault but I was one of the nurses who took care of a patient who apparently developed a stage 4 pressure ulcer while on my floor. They asked if I remembered him and I said no, they asked if I could come in and talk to the patient’s attorney and even if I don’t remember anything they like it in writing. I find it strange I’m talking first to the patient’s attorney rather than the hospital’s. I told them I would get back to them. Do you guys have any advice for how I should proceed?

I would call Risk Management back and ask them exactly that---why aren't you meeting with the hospital's attorney first?

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15 Posts; 981 Profile Views

15 minutes ago, yournurse said:

My advice is to get a union representation, if you have a union. If you have a strong union, even better. I want to tell you to write everything,  record if they allow you. I believe the hospital settles when it comes to things like this, pressure ulcer with a lot of employees involved. I could be wrong though. 

Unfortunately, I work in a state where unions don’t exist for nurses. 

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1 Follower; 770 Posts; 7,216 Profile Views

Nope. No way. Call your malpractice carrier for advice. 

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ruby_jane has 10 years experience as a BSN, RN and specializes in ICU/community health/school nursing.

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I could be paranoid but I read this and think....sounds like the risk manager is attempting to throw someone under a bus. I second the recommendation to call malpractice carrier; failing that, you need step by step instructions from RM. Or to know what happens if you decline their very generous offer to be grilled by a lawyer. Good luck!

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Daisy4RN has 20 years experience and specializes in Travel, Home Health, Med-Surg.

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25 minutes ago, ruby_jane said:

I could be paranoid but I read this and think....sounds like the risk manager is attempting to throw someone under a bus. I second the recommendation to call malpractice carrier; failing that, you need step by step instructions from RM. Or to know what happens if you decline their very generous offer to be grilled by a lawyer. Good luck!

You are most definitely not being paranoid RubyJane!

Snickers, do not speak to any lawyer, or for that matter your HR/RM dept, without first speaking to your lawyer. The hospital lawyer is not there for you, they are there for the hospital, CYA. 

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2 hours ago, LibraSunCNM said:

I would call Risk Management back and ask them exactly that---why aren't you meeting with the hospital's attorney first?

I just talked to RM again and got clarification- They want me to talk to the hospitals lawyer, not the patients  

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Daisy4RN has 20 years experience and specializes in Travel, Home Health, Med-Surg.

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14 minutes ago, snickers17 said:

I just talked to RM again and got clarification- They want me to talk to the hospitals lawyer, not the patients  

Reiteration of my above comment:

Please do not speak to the hospital attorney before speaking to your own attorney. The hospital attorney works for the hospital, not you and does not have your best interest.

Good luck!

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MunoRN has 10 years experience as a RN and specializes in Critical Care.

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44 minutes ago, Daisy4RN said:

Reiteration of my above comment:

Please do not speak to the hospital attorney before speaking to your own attorney. The hospital attorney works for the hospital, not you and does not have your best interest.

Good luck!

Since the hospital is liable for the care you provide, it's not in their best interests to do anything other than protect you in order to protect the best interest of the hospital.

The only rational reason for hiring an attorney at this point would be that you have too much money in your bank account.

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Orion81RN has 7 years experience.

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4 hours ago, LibraSunCNM said:

I would call Risk Management back and ask them exactly that---why aren't you meeting with the hospital's attorney first?

And even then, the attorney is for the hospital, not the employee. I'm curious if this is a deposition or an informal hatbering of incriminating evidence. I wouldn't speak to them without my own attorney. 

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LibraSunCNM has 10 years experience as a MSN and specializes in OB.

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11 minutes ago, MunoRN said:

Since the hospital is liable for the care you provide, it's not in their best interests to do anything other than protect you in order to protect the best interest of the hospital.

The only rational reason for hiring an attorney at this point would be that you have too much money in your bank account.

I agree, I personally would feel comfortable talking to the hospital lawyer first, but I've only ever worked at hospitals that were supportive and/or provided their own malpractice insurance, so by definition their attorney was also my malpractice attorney.

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