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Nurse Beth Nurse Beth, MSN (Advice Column) Writer Innovator Expert Nurse Verified

Nurses Call the Governor of Tennessee

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You are reading page 2 of Nurses Call the Governor of Tennessee. If you want to start from the beginning Go to First Page.

I personally think she should lose her license, honestly. 

Someone else stated that in Tennessee she actually could be in the process of being investigated by the BON, but it would  not be obvious when you looked her up. Can't remember where I read it, and don't know if that is actually true.

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I’d also like to clear something up. I am not an uber beeyatch on a mission to destroy any nurse who makes a mistake. My family was significantly impacted by a med error. My grandfather was massively over-dosed on pain medication in the ED of a highly respected hospital at which he was a board member. He was found unresponsive and not breathing in his room.  He was successfully resuscitated but suffered brain damage that reduced my sharp as a tack, surgeon of a grandfather to a blithering idiot. The mistake happened at shift change and was NOT the fault of the two nurses involved. They were fired and my family aggressively advocated for them to be re-hired with no penalties because what happened likely could not have been helped. The nurses got their jobs back with pay because it was the right thing to do. We were never angry at the nurses, never blamed them and sincerely hope they went on to have long, successful careers. 

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2 minutes ago, Wuzzie said:

I’d also like to clear something up. I am not an uber beeyatch on a mission to destroy any nurse who makes a mistake. My family was significantly impacted by a med error. My grandfather was massively over-dosed on pain medication in the ED of a highly respected hospital at which he was a board member. He was found unresponsive and not breathing in his room.  He was successfully resuscitated but suffered brain damage that reduced my sharp as a tack, surgeon of a grandfather to a blithering idiot. The mistake happened at shift change and was NOT the fault of the two nurses involved. They were fired and my family aggressively advocated for them to be re-hired with no penalties because what happened likely could not have been helped. The nurses got their jobs back with pay because it was the right thing to do. We were never angry at the nurses, never blamed them and sincerely hope they went on to have long, successful careers. 

I'm so sorry that happened to your grandfather. Medication errors are often the result of multiple system errors.

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7 minutes ago, Nurse Beth said:

I'm so sorry that happened to your grandfather. Medication errors are often the result of multiple system errors.

Yes in our case it was. In the Vandie case...no,  I’m sorry it was just really unsafe nursing practice. 

But that wasn’t the point of my posting it. I want people to realize that there IS a difference between system errors and poor nursing judgment. My issue with the Vandie nurse isn’t the med error. It is with the lack of standard observation after giving an IV push med. That is the worst thing she did in a long list of really stupid actions. It was reckless and she knew better. 

Edited by Wuzzie

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4 minutes ago, Wuzzie said:

Yes in our case it was. In the Vandie case...no,  I’m sorry it was just really unsafe nursing practice. 

It was, we agree on that point.

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FYI...allnurses published a short Press Release this past Thursday about this story and the resulting discussion occurring on allnurses.  Feel free to share this press release.

Breaking Coverage of Nurse Indicted on Charges of Reckless Homicide

While we may not all agree on the exact punishment that the nurse should receive, I am so glad that all who have posted on allnurses about this topic have been very respectful in engaging in a conversation that should be shared with the public.  There are many possible underlying mitigating circumstances that definitely need to be discussed. And there is much to learn from this devastating case.  

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2 hours ago, Nurse Beth said:

I sent the poll link to the DA. I hope nurses who do not think a criminal precedent should be established will speak up. `It's hard to disregard hundreds of voices.

Please correct me if I am misunderstanding, but it sounds as though you have sent the DA a separate link to the poll but not the thread link that you started  "Nurse Charged With Homicide" that has 400+ comments, or am I misunderstanding you?  If you have sent a link to the poll but didn't send the link to the thread I believe it is only fair to those that took their time to post on the thread that you do this.  I do not believe it is fair to send only a poll that supports the outcome you desire without the comments nurses provided, which present both sides.  The context is in the comments, and many people, including myself, took a lot of time and effort to reply.

Edited by Susie2310

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4 minutes ago, Susie2310 said:

Please correct me if I am misunderstanding, but it sounds as though you have sent the DA a separate link to the poll but not the thread link that you started  "Nurse Charged With Homicide" that has 400+ comments, or am I misunderstanding you?  If you have sent a link to the poll but didn't send the link to the thread I believe it is only fair to those that took their time to post on the thread that you do this.  I do not believe it is fair to send only a poll that supports the outcome you desire without the comments nurses provided, which present both sides.  The context is in the comments, and many people took a lot of time and effort to reply.

You can't just send a link to the poll.  The only link available for sharing is the link to the thread.  That is what Beth shared.  But I agree, the Governor, the DA, and the public need to read the discussion that is occurring on allnurses.

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1 minute ago, tnbutterfly said:

You can't just send a link to the poll.  The only link available for sharing is the link to the thread.  That is what Beth shared.  But I agree, the Governor, the DA, and the public need to read the discussion that is occurring on allnurses.

Thank you for clarifying this.

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The allnurses press release mentioned above contains the link to the original discussion as well as the follow-up thread containing the poll and the discussion.

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2 hours ago, Nurse Beth said:

I'm so sorry that happened to your grandfather. Medication errors are often the result of multiple system errors.

Medication errors can also be the result of nurses choosing to bypass basic medication administration safety procedures (Five Rights) and other checks; in which case a nurse's "errors" are due to a choice (selection) the nurse made which would be below the Standard of Care a licensed professional nurse is held to, and not due a mistake (poor judgement).  Also, not all medication "errors" are due to "systems errors."  Licensed nurses have individual legal and professional responsibility for safe medication administration and are held individually accountable for meeting legal and professional standards of care by their State Boards of Nursing.

Edited by Susie2310

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2 hours ago, Nurse Beth said:

Wuzzie, we can agree to disagree. It is a polarizing situation, and highly emotional.

I may be wrong, but I do not support  criminal charges for nurses and healthcare workers for a mistake because I look ahead and see where that may lead. Professional discipline, yes. Criminal action, no.

I believe she is already suffering tremendously and putting her in a cell with criminals is not the answer.

The purpose of nurses' licensure is to protect the PUBLIC, not nurses. As nurses we are by virtue of our ANA Code of Ethics the Patient's Advocate.  In some situations criminal charges can be appropriate, and I do not believe it is responsible to try to circumvent a legal proceeding from taking place because we feel sorry for a person who is facing these charges.  Ultimately the issue is safe patient care, and there is a lot at stake for the general public.

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