Nurse Charged With Homicide

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by Nurse Beth Nurse Beth, MSN (Columnist) Educator Columnist Innovator Expert Nurse

Specializes in Med Surg, Tele, ICU, Ortho. Has 30 years experience.

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Nurse Charged With Homicide

  1. 1. Should Radonda Vaught, the nurse who gave a lethal dose of Vecuronium to patient at Vanderbilt University Medical Center, be charged with reckless homicide?

    • 395
      She should not have been charged
    • 128
      She deserved to be charged

523 members have participated

PhyllisMSN, MSN, RN

Specializes in Critical Care, Emergency Department, Informatics. Has 30 years experience. 1 Article; 54 Posts

2 hours ago, Wuzzie said:

There is a CMS report that documents every single thing that happened. No need to rely on the media.

Where is the report, please? I can't find it online?

TriciaJ, RN

Specializes in Psych, Corrections, Med-Surg, Ambulatory. Has 41 years experience. 4,295 Posts

18 minutes ago, Horseshoe said:

If I were a betting person, I'd lay very great odds that you are correct. Sounds like a very inexperienced nurse-so even more mind boggling that she was given the additional responsibility of TEACHING an orientee. Just crazy.

This is why I think the hospital is as culpable as the nurse.

17 minutes ago, JKL33 said:

I don't know what happened but originally it read to me as completely rote behavior. [not defending that]. Rote as in, 'The [cabinet I usually use] has a default setting that is brand names.'

Hell that's why she wanted VE to begin with.

If she wasn't used to getting things out by brand name then I guess she would've typed MI

For those who think it's an honest error that any one of us could make, and her guilty conscience should be punishment enough: would this nurse's standard of practice be adequate if your family member was the patient? If it was your loved one, would you be accepting of a nurse who couldn't be bothered with the 5 rights?

Wuzzie

4,860 Posts

Why do we continue to try to justify bad decisions as "mistakes"? When I made my med error I didn't make a mistake. I made a bad choice to not check an ID band and a med error resulted from that bad choice. I used poor judgement and that was on me. It wasn't anybody else's fault even though the patients cots were switched by accident (incidentally THAT was the real mistake). It would not have happened had I followed the 5 rights and done my due diligence.

PhyllisMSN, MSN, RN

Specializes in Critical Care, Emergency Department, Informatics. Has 30 years experience. 1 Article; 54 Posts

14 minutes ago, Nightowl805 said:

Dear Beth,

This is very much a system’s problem. These electronic medication dispenser’s (Phyxsis, Omnicell) have a huge problem. Why don’t the databases display both brand and generic names and searchable by both. It’s fairly obvious that she did not remember midazolam by it’s generic name. Many times a medication can be entered under either name depending on the dose. This is such an easy fix that would enhance all of us....always list both names and searchable by both names. Also, why is it that not every single hospital is using a scanning system at the bedside....could it be cost? Patients are not worth more then inventory systems at almost every single store?

Make no mistake, we all know she made a horrendous mistake at many levels. As much as we want to perfect we have all been imperfect in our careers. She will loose her license and now potentially face prison time along with a felony? Why do I want to continue to be a nurse? You want us to step forward and admit when we make mistakes? This is a political hit job, nothing more. I hope a jury can see through this. It’s tragic beyond belief.

I am sure the hospital will fix it after throwing this nurse under the bus.

LarryCarter

LarryCarter

Specializes in Primary Care. Has 6 years experience. 27 Posts

Negligent yes as are others involved but criminal No

Wuzzie

4,860 Posts

6 minutes ago, TriciaJ said:

This is why I think the hospital is as culpable as the nurse.

While I am in no way a fan of "the man" this nurse had two years of experience in the ICU. She was hardly green. You would have thought she was at least somewhat familiar with Versed.

JKL33

6,377 Posts

1 minute ago, TriciaJ said:

This is why I think the hospital is as culpable as the nurse.

For those who think it's an honest error that any one of us could make, and her guilty conscience should be punishment enough: would this nurse's standard of practice be adequate if your family member was the patient? If it was your loved one, would you be accepting of a nurse who couldn't be bothered with the 5 rights?

@Tricia -

My comment above is strictly in opposition to the "she bypassed hospital safety measures purposely in order to gain access to a lethal injection drug" tone of the press and a few of the comments; it is not mean to be an excuse but I do think there are things that could be learned by (someone) studying her thought process. And I think it deserves mention that there is the possibility that, for whatever reason, whether right or wrong, she may have been used to being able to get the med she needed by searching for brand names.

Too bad V was able to evade scrutiny for a year.

With regard to your question specifically. My beliefs about stuff like that go waaaaay back: I think the criteria for being handed one of these roles should be WAY different. Alas, hospitals have cried about 'shortages of people who won't try to think' enough to have an abundant supply of people to put in roles where THIS is what can happen.

JKL33

6,377 Posts

6 minutes ago, Wuzzie said:

While I am in no way a fan of "the man" this nurse had two years of experience in the ICU. She was hardly green. You would have thought she was at least somewhat familiar with Versed.

Totally agree about being anywhere near this setting and being somewhat familiar with this medication.

Honestly when I read the report I was shocked at what they didn't try to find out, and her knowledge/experience with the two meds are one of those things.

At the very least (totally aside from this nurse's culpability) V needs to answer for the preparation/education/adequacy-for-role aspect of this.

ALL hospitals need to answer for that aspect.

Edited by JKL33

juan de la cruz, MSN, RN, NP

Specializes in APRN, Adult Critical Care, General Cardiology. Has 30 years experience. 9 Articles; 4,338 Posts

27 minutes ago, ruby_jane said:

Yes, it seems that the hospital has thrown her under the bus to salvage their ability to bill CMS. Because she was the last to check. Which is what we do. Which is why I hate hospital nursing.

Well, you know it's not "just" a case of hospital nursing...we're talking the esteemed halls of Vanderbilt University Medical Center, ?. That sais, the hospital was put through the humiliation of a CMS audit and I believe fines as well as a threat to withdraw their Medicare license. That's huge for any hospital in the US much less an academic medical center like that.

Wuzzie

4,860 Posts

5 minutes ago, JKL33 said:

Totally agree about being anywhere near this setting and being somewhat familiar with this medication.

Honestly when I read the report I was shocked at what they didn't try to find out, and her knowledge/experience with the two meds are one of those things.

At the very least (totally aside from this nurse's culpability) V needs to answer for the preparation/education/adequacy-for-role aspect of this.

ALL hospitals need to answer for that aspect.

I agree. I've seen some pretty scary things in my years. I also agree that Vanderbilt, being the caliber of a facility that it seems to be, needs to do some serious introspection. Their response to this fiasco is appalling.

yournurse

yournurse

Has 2 years experience. 140 Posts

I have a solution. If I were a nurse at Vanderbilt, I would quit my job. If every nurse quits their job at Vanderbilt, that wouldn't be good for V. But one can only dream.