Wisconsin Nurse being charged with criminal neglect - page 4

what happened here is truly tragic -- but given the complex, understaffed and over worked conditions in most hospitals, well -- it, or something like it, could happen to many of us. the nurse's... Read More

  1. by   ktwlpn
    It's funny how the line seems to be drawn through the opinions on this matter.We've been talking about this case at work also and the trend there (and here ) seems to be that the less experienced nurses feel there are NO EXCUSES for this nurse-those of us with yrs of experience in the field are more apt to rationalize the situation.Is that because we have made our share of errors? Of course this nurse violated protocols-that's how errors are made.I truly believe that the majority of med errors are due to system breakdown and not carelessness on the nurse's part.After reading her bond affadavit it seems that she has been an exemplary nurse.Sure-measures have to be taken to insure this type of thing does not happen again and again-she should be disciplined but criminally? NO-I think that will set a dangerous precedent for our field..Our employers have systems in place to protect us and our patients from the nurses who should not be practicing-the ones who repeatedly violate the protocols and disregard the rights of med administration over and over.That type of nurse needs to loose her or his license.But if we criminally prosecute every nurse that makes an error that has a negative outcome it will lead to more nurses covering up their mistakes which will ultimatelt result in more harm to our patients.Errors DO serve a purpose-they point out problems in the system.They are a tool for education..Not a noose to hang the nurse involved.Who will want to go into the field of nursing under the threat of criminal prosecution ? Sheesh-have any of you ever looked at a label on a med and taken a second look seconds later to find it did not read what you thought it did? I have had my eyes and mind play tricks on me-it is freaking scary.......Use some common sense-there has to be more behind this story.I am betting that there is some kind of political motivation behind the criminal charges.And MONEY----Look at how they keep referring to the "child"in the complaint- that packs a bigger emotional punch then say the 38 yr old woman.....Let's keep following this story with open minds.We can all learn from it (let's not get the thread closed,citizens)
  2. by   ktwlpn
    Quote from ingelein
    In a nursing home I used to work in,an RN altered a MD order which resulted in a patients death, the DOJ was not involved in that case, could it be that it was because the patient was in her 80's not a teenager? .....................................We need to have protection under the law a strong Federal law for nurses or else we may all be facing criminal charges as the nursing homes and hospitals continue to have "gotton away with murder". The BQA (state ) does not enforce the laws that are already in palce to protect patients and hold the healthcare facilities responsible for understaffing which has probably caused many a injury or death. The Regulating and Liscensing Department only slapped the wrist of this RN who caused this 80 year old patient's death, she continued to work in the field and still does.
    You said it yourself-society does not place as much "value" on the life of an 80 yr old nursing home resident.I feel the nurses in both scenarios should be held to the same set of standards.It is routine in my facility to change g tubes and if the proper procedure is followed you won't place the tube improperly.It's another example of disregarding protocol. Should both of these nurses be prosecuted criminally for making what appears to be a very serious mistake once in their careers?Did either nurse intend to harm? (I'm so afraid that talking about this is going to bring bad voodoo on me-I am almost ready to call off for tomorrow-yikes)
  3. by   PANurseRN1
    I don't think experienced nurses have become inured to the seriousness of med errors. I think we have just come to realize over the years that even the best nurse makes a mistake from time to time, and that in many cases we could have been that nurse.

    Perhaps we are more realistic and compassionate.
  4. by   cddeselms
    This a sad thing that has happened to Julie but, what has happened to the 3 checks that we are suppose to do? We are all taught this in school. I graduated 9 years ago and still practice it. Plus when in dought have another nurse check it as well. Im sorry but, how could those 2 meds get mixed up? There was no emergancy.
    She may not deserve to go to jail, but she took someones life.
    We all need to remember what we are taught in school. Yes our hospitals are short handed thats no excuse. The public still depends on us to do our job and help them when in need.
    Think of it this way. What if that was your daughter? What would you be doing about it? The same as that family is. Wanting someone to pay for there mistake.

    :redlight: Come on yall lets keep our heads straight and do our jobs right lives depend on it.
  5. by   Gab07
    hi there

    actually, i agree with cddeselms vbmenu_register("postmenu_1935628", true); , why the hack she didn't use the 3 checks plus the 5 rights, this is not just a mistake that caused a rash or something, she took the poor child life, i dunno if she deserves jail, but definitely she doesn't deserve to practice again as an rn or anything withing the health field, here is the time when she should change careers.
    this kind of mistake is unacceptable, sorry julie but your were so negligent.

    take care guys and don't forget 5'rights and 3 checks ,
    c ya
  6. by   MultipurposeRN
    I keep reading on the report 'child' this and 'child' that. But a 16 year old who's having a baby is no longer a child. My daughter had my granddaughter at 15 and signed all her own consents. I couldn't have even looked at her chart without permission had I wanted to do so.
    That doesn't make this any less a tragedy, of course.
  7. by   bradleau
    Guess what!? The rapist, and drunk driver who DO KNOWING commit the crime do not get sent up on MURDER charges. They get a slap on the wrist and continue to drink , drive and KILL and RAPE. I strongly believe that drinking and driving is premedated. Better not have me on that jury,.
  8. by   RottieMom
    I can't believe there are any nurses still working in that hospital/system. I can't imagine working in that environment.
  9. by   LuvsdolphinsRN
    I have made many medication errors in my 20+ yrs as an RN luckily none with fatal consequences. I can sympathize and empathize with her and the loss of her job, loss of identity, and possible loss of her freedom and severe financial loss. Whoever said we are all human was right!!! Can the nursing associations do anything to help in this situation??
  10. by   NRSKarenRN
    great piece at center for nursing advocacy:

    error and punishment

    november 20, 2006 -- recent items in the capital times (madison, wi) deal with the criminal charge filed against veteran ob nurse julie thao. thao allegedly made a medication error that caused the tragic death of a young mother, jasmine gant. steven elbow's november 2 piece "st. mary's nurse is charged; medication error led to teen's death" describes the criminal complaint, which alleges that thao did not follow proper procedures. the piece gives no context, and no indication that the reporter sought comment from thao, her attorney, or any expert in health care errors. the result is essentially a narrow presentation of the state's case against thao. a story in the november 9 capital times by anita weier and mike miller does a better job. "nurses rally in support of colleague; many outside courthouse say charges too severe" describes a rally held during thao's first court appearance. the piece includes extensive comment from thao's supporters. but even it says nothing about the clinical context of the incident, such as the staffing level.

    like a recent case in which a coroner's jury found a patient's death in an ed waiting room to be homicide, this wisconsin case has attracted national attention. pennsylvania's institute for safe medication practices (ismp) has released a supportive piece, " since when is it a crime to be human?" the ismp says it joins the wisconsin nurses association and wisconsin hospital association in opposing criminal prosecution of health workers for "unintentional errors." today the american nurses association released a statement that questions application of the criminal law here, and lists some of the systemic problems that can contribute to such errors. no piece we have seen makes clear how the error alleged here differs from negligent care-related acts that, however tragic for those harmed, do not result in criminal charges. it seems to us that--as suzanne gordon argues in a powerful november 15 capital times op-ed opposing the prosecution of thao--the potential negative effects of such charges on nursing practice are considerable. more...

    learn more about the defense fund for wisconsin nurse julie thao.
  11. by   grace90
    So when will doctors start being prosecuted for *their* errors?
    If this becomes the norm, I'll learn how to hang drywall and join my husband's business where the worst mistake I could make is to spill paint or put in a screw wrong. I already have enough anxiety about work that I get nausea and heart palpitations before I go in each day.
  12. by   grace90
    Quote from gab07
    hi there

    actually, i agree with cddeselms vbmenu_register("postmenu_1935628", true); , why the hack she didn't use the 3 checks plus the 5 rights, this is not just a mistake that caused a rash or something, she took the poor child life, i dunno if she deserves jail, but definitely she doesn't deserve to practice again as an rn or anything withing the health field, here is the time when she should change careers.
    this kind of mistake is unacceptable, sorry julie but your were so negligent.

    take care guys and don't forget 5'rights and 3 checks ,
    c ya
    oh, quit bein' a troll, we all make mistakes including you, and yes i will remember my 5 rights
  13. by   CarVsTree
    Quote from ruby vee
    [font="comic sans ms"]i don't think any one has lost sight of the fact that a death resulted from the error. however it was an error, not an intentional injury. sometimes when you have too many patients and too little time, steps get missed. as vigilent as you try to be, mistakes get made. it's horrible, but it happens, and it could happen to any one of us.

    as far as your assertion that "all hell would break loose" if it was a physician who made the error, i very much doubt that. historically, physicians have covered up for one another.

    i'm sure this nurse is doing some major soul searching. but i don't think the soul searching should include why she became a nurse in the first place or what it means to give patient care. i'm sure she probably knows far more about giving patient care than anyone who is still a nursing student could possibly know. i think this nurse needs a little compassion and understanding.

    i wholeheartedly agree. i think that only a practicing nurse can put herself in this nurse's shoes. a nursing or pre-nursing student just does not understand. yes, the 5 rights, the 3 checks all good practice. but sometimes, with fatique, stress, overwhelming pt. load, we've all forgotten. i once gave a dulcolax supp instead of a tylenol supp that was not yet ordered for my patient, therefore i didn't barcode. pt. was in for diarrhea x3days. i have never given a drug that was not ordered since that incident. now, even if my trauma resident is busy with a trauma, i either wait or if it can't wait, use my other resources. tylenol definitely could have waited. :uhoh21:

    so very sad that the patient lost her life. but, definitely not criminal. civally punishable, yes. but not criminal.
    Last edit by CarVsTree on Nov 24, '06