Jump to content

Nurse Charged With Homicide

Nurses   (63,318 Views | 873 Replies)
by Nurse Beth Nurse Beth, MSN (Columnist) Educator Writer Innovator Expert Nurse

Nurse Beth has 30 years experience as a MSN and specializes in Med Surg, Tele, ICU, Ortho.

18 Followers; 104 Articles; 235,972 Profile Views; 2,094 Posts

You are reading page 71 of Nurse Charged With Homicide. If you want to start from the beginning Go to First Page.

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?

    • 392
      She should not have been charged
    • 125
      She deserved to be charged

517 members have participated

TriciaJ has 39 years experience as a RN and specializes in Psych, Corrections, Med-Surg, Ambulatory.

14 Followers; 3,694 Posts; 38,296 Profile Views

3 hours ago, JKL33 said:

People who employ nurses in hospitals most certainly want and expect them to trust technology more than their own brains. They only ever say anything remotely different when their way has gone wrong.

I've said this many times here that I have been privy to safety-themed meetings where the entire goal has been to garner buy-in for the next half-assed change by telling nurses (point blank) how hard the safety community is working to decrease our need for critical thinking because nurses trying to use critical thinking is what leads to errors.

A dirty little secret with technology is the hope and belief that it will allow less need to hire a particular caliber of thinker. In part, it is one of the things that enables driving philosophies such as, They don't care how much you know until they know how much you care. Better to be kind than right. "I can teach anyone to take care of a patient care but I can't teach attitude!" Okay then...what else can be said? Not making the mistake of trying to think is exactly what has been asked for and in fact demanded over the last several years.

***

You guys know that I don't think this should not be disciplined. It is unacceptable.

I am sorry-not-sorry for my fence-riding; the proof of what I am saying is in the aftermath. The institution's handling of this and their issues that people believe are a "separate issue" are not separate from the rest of it, because it shows us what is valued there, which is not good patient care.

If you are truly an institution that is "all that," and it's just this one single employee who seemingly went off the rails - then you would have been seen, in the aftermath, naturally handling the situation according to core values anchored in basic principles, laws and ethics. You would have done it that way naturally because that's how you roll.

When the only things you naturally do in response to crisis are to blank out on ethics and bypass very clear legal protocols and systems which are in place, you prove that this bad thing that has happened is not truly different than that which you have said (through word and deed) that you value

I've long known that hospitals really didn't give a rip about patient care or safety, but I had no idea they actually want to shut down critical thinking.  This is the only post I've seen on these lengthy threads that provides any credible mitigation for providing substandard care.

If I was Radonda, I would want my attorney to see this post.  I don't mean this sarcastically.  This information needs to be made way more public.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Ruby Vee has 40 years experience as a BSN and specializes in CCU, SICU, CVSICU, Precepting & Teaching.

11 Followers; 66 Articles; 13,949 Posts; 172,649 Profile Views

 

4 hours ago, JKL33 said:

People who employ nurses in hospitals most certainly want and expect them to trust technology more than their own brains. They only ever say anything remotely different when their way has gone wrong.

I've said this many times here that I have been privy to safety-themed meetings where the entire goal has been to garner buy-in for the next half-assed change by telling nurses (point blank) how hard the safety community is working to decrease our need for critical thinking because nurses trying to use critical thinking is what leads to errors.

A dirty little secret with technology is the hope and belief that it will allow less need to hire a particular caliber of thinker. In part, it is one of the things that enables driving philosophies such as, They don't care how much you know until they know how much you care. Better to be kind than right. "I can teach anyone to take care of a patient care but I can't teach attitude!" Okay then...what else can be said? Not making the mistake of trying to think is exactly what has been asked for and in fact demanded over the last several years.

***

You guys know that I don't think this should not be disciplined. It is unacceptable.

I am sorry-not-sorry for my fence-riding; the proof of what I am saying is in the aftermath. The institution's handling of this and their issues that people believe are a "separate issue" are not separate from the rest of it, because it shows us what is valued there, which is not good patient care.

If you are truly an institution that is "all that," and it's just this one single employee who seemingly went off the rails - then you would have been seen, in the aftermath, naturally handling the situation according to core values anchored in basic principles, laws and ethics. You would have done it that way naturally because that's how you roll.

When the only things you naturally do in response to crisis are to blank out on ethics and bypass very clear legal protocols and systems which are in place, you prove that this bad thing that has happened is not truly different than that which you have said (through word and deed) that you value

 

42 minutes ago, TriciaJ said:

I've long known that hospitals really didn't give a rip about patient care or safety, but I had no idea they actually want to shut down critical thinking.  This is the only post I've seen on these lengthy threads that provides any credible mitigation for providing substandard care.

If I was Radonda, I would want my attorney to see this post.  I don't mean this sarcastically.  This information needs to be made way more public.

I've tuned out this conversation about 40 pages ago because it is redundant.  People believe what they believe, and there is no one changing their mind or saying much of anything new.  I'm glad I happened to click on these two comments, though, because they make a world of sense.  

Hospitals stopped giving a damn about patient care a long time ago, and the focus is now on the bottom line, on recruiting patients to their facility based on fancy new buildings, shorter ER wait times and their lovely, compassionate nurses.  I have yet to see anyone advertise the critical thinking of their nursing staff, or their up-do-date Pyxis or Omnicell.  

The idea that administration truly wants to shut down critical thinking was shocking at first.  After reflecting on it for a time, I can see that it makes perfect sense.  Not sense as in it's the right thing to do, but sense as in the data point to this even though I couldn't believe it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

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

3 Followers; 6,611 Posts; 68,402 Profile Views

21 hours ago, Emergent said:

If that what it takes to protect the public, so be it. 

It's obvious to me that the Tennessee BON is in need of serious reform.  Also, Radonda is probably guilty of negligent homicide. 

I would advise her to take a plea bargain.  It's unfortunate that it had to come to this, I'm sorry about the whole thing. 

I would feel the same about a trucker who went 80 in a snowstorm, jackknifed, and killed an innocent person. 

As ISMP and other patient safety advocacy sources have pointed out, this will only make it more difficult to prevent harm to patients in the future.

What defines reckless homicide when it comes to driving is an apt one, which is why I used it earlier.  To be considered reckless endangerment (reckless homicide is reckless endangerment that results in death, but even if no harm occurs it's still reckless endangerment) the act has to be one that the person should know will most likely result in harm.  In the RV legal case, what's being argued is that simply using the override function is itself reckless endangerment, meaning every time a nurse utilizes the override function they will be committing a crime, if the case is able to establish this precedent.  

It's been argued that her other errors were just as bad, which would mean pulling the wrong med from an ADC, for instance, would also qualify as a crime going forward.  

In dealing with issues that contribute to patient harm or near misses I rely heavily on reports of these issues, the vast majority of which are self-reported by the person making the error or near miss.  There's a direct correlation between the willingness to self-report these issues and avoiding patient harm, less willingness to self-report equals more harm to patients.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

27 Posts; 425 Profile Views

If she is guilty of reckless homicide, the hospitals therefore are guilty of it every day that it operates especially outside of the State of California since they don't have patient ratio to begin with. This hospital operators know from the longest period of time that the moment that the nurse handles so many patients, it endangers the life of the patients. How come that they don't implement nurse patient ratio so to speak that homicide won't be issue during patient care.  Then you said that Radonda should be punished to protect the public then why and how come that patient ratio is not being implemented to protect the public?

Edited by magellan

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

27 Posts; 425 Profile Views

If she is guilty of reckless homicide, the hospitals therefore are guilty of it every day that it operates especially outside of the State of California since they don't have patient ratio to begin with. This hospital operators know from the longest period of time that the moment that the nurse handles so many patients, it endangers the life of the patients. How come that they don't implement nurse patient ratio so to speak that homicide won't be issue during patient care.  Then you said that Radonda should be punished to protect the public then why and how come that patient ratio is not being implemented to protect the public?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

1 Post; 17 Profile Views

The Nashville District Attorney said they were charging her specifically because she administered the fatal medication after overriding the safety mechanism in the dispensing machine.

Geez, how many overrides are done in a week? A day? 

My primary question is: why did they have Vecuronium on a regular med cart anyway?! Sounds like a serious process error to me.

And all things like this are going to accomplish are less reporting of errors. They've gone way past non-punitive, straight to criminal. Disgraceful.

Edited by NurseCastle

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

10 Followers; 3,570 Posts; 25,946 Profile Views

1 hour ago, NurseCastle said:

Geez, how many overrides are done in a week? A day? 

Well, in her case she overrode multiple safety mechanisms in just one med pull so not really the same thing. 

1 hour ago, NurseCastle said:

My primary question is: why did they have Vecuronium on a regular med cart anyway?! Sounds like a serious process error to me.

Not a slam but you must not work in an ICU setting. These kinds of medications are necessary to have immediately on hand for emergent situations. And if you think about it, any medication has the potential to harm or even kill a patient. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

KJoRN81 has 6 years experience as a ADN, RN.

151 Posts; 7,153 Profile Views

1 hour ago, NurseCastle said:

The Nashville District Attorney said they were charging her specifically because she administered the fatal medication after overriding the safety mechanism in the dispensing machine.

Geez, how many overrides are done in a week? A day? 

My primary question is: why did they have Vecuronium on a regular med cart anyway?! Sounds like a serious process error to me.

And all things like this are going to accomplish are less reporting of errors. They've gone way past non-punitive, straight to criminal. Disgraceful.

Yeah, she overrode/skipped/ignored several procedures. I mean, when that happens one should expect disciplinary action at the very least!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

1 Follower; 1,858 Posts; 32,698 Profile Views

I don't believe that a nurse arguing in Court that one was unable to meet the Standard of Care and provide safe patient care because the facility culture is not to provide actual safe patient care, just the appearance of safe care, would garner very much sympathy. I would expect the response to be along the lines of: "If you know that the facility you work at does not support or facilitate nurses in practicing nursing safely, why are you choosing to practice there?"

Edited by Susie2310

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

495 Posts; 12,498 Profile Views

On 2/15/2019 at 1:01 PM, juan de la cruz said:

The variability in quality of care I do agree on. Maybe what was meant was that there are strong union protections in many hospitals. For instance, nurses can fill out an "Assignment Despite Objection" form as a way to tell the manager that "yes, I'm not going to abandon my patients but you're putting me in an unsafe situation and you can be held liable if something were to happen".

Assignment despite objection form shouldn't even exist.  I'bet those forms are in paper. Management can throw that document in the trash as soon as you turn it in. If one must follow that protocol, you should be able to submit those forms directly to the state board of nursing via email and the board should actually audit how often and for what reason are these forms being submitted and determine fines/require improvement plans/& public notice if it's truly invested in the safety of the population. 

Give nurses some power. We run the hospitals and we are grossly underpaid and disrespected. Texas is a non-union state and it has somewhat the same allowance for the nurse to report unsafe situations when being forced to take a crazy unsafe assignment. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

495 Posts; 12,498 Profile Views

On 4/9/2019 at 4:47 PM, magellan said:

If she is guilty of reckless homicide, the hospitals therefore are guilty of it every day that it operates especially outside of the State of California since they don't have patient ratio to begin with. This hospital operators know from the longest period of time that the moment that the nurse handles so many patients, it endangers the life of the patients. How come that they don't implement nurse patient ratio so to speak that homicide won't be issue during patient care.  Then you said that Radonda should be punished to protect the public then why and how come that patient ratio is not being implemented to protect the public?

EXACTLY!!!!! X 10,000%

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

10 Followers; 3,570 Posts; 25,946 Profile Views

10 minutes ago, gcupid said:

EXACTLY!!!!! X 10,000%

Completely different topic worthy if it's own thread.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
×

This site uses cookies. By using this site, you consent to the placement of these cookies. Read our Privacy, Cookies, and Terms of Service Policies to learn more.