Patient rights at VA

Specialties Government


Specializes in Family Nurse Practitioner.

My question is for VA nurses. I am having elective foot surgery early next year at a VA hospital. I haven't been very happy with the level of professionalism with the Podiatry residents at the podiatry clinic I've been going to. I would like to know if I have the right to not have residents do my case. I don't care if they are in the room, or holding retractors, etc. I was humiliated at my last appointment, and now feel I need to be my own advocate. There was not a nurse in sight, just a Medical Assisting student working alone.

So what are my options?

A little background, I injured my foot over 3 years ago, got the run around from the Army and the VA, now they realize it was serious and I need surgery. I have been in pain and treated like I was lying about my injury most of the time since it happened. I recently started having appointments at the podiatry surgery clinic. Not one resident or staff member has introduced themselves, and only one has worn a badge. My very last appointment was just to coordinate my H&P with my PCP, decide which procedure option I wanted to do, and schedule the sugery. No exam or anything was expected. When I entered the room 3 people were there, and the attending arrived later, I had no idea who anyone was, and when I asked they blew me off, I knew they were residents. One forcefully took my shoes and socks and, then asked why I was there? Well, not for an exam, and my pain level that day was an 8. I felt violated, but wanted to let it go. Then when I didn't chose the option they wanted to do for my procedure, they argueed with me, and that is when they got the attending. I chose their option. At the end of the case I asked where one resident got his Dermagraft scrub top. He said "I'm a sales rep" OMG I do not have diabetes or an ulcer on my foot. Why was he in my room? Seriously, I left there crying, humiliated and feeling like I was violated. I'm having surgery with these people soon, and I do not feel comfortable with them doing anything major in my case. What are my rights? Your thoughts? TIA

BTW the surgeon doing my case, was not in the room that day, and has a very good reputation.

Specializes in EMT, ER, Homehealth, OR.

You need to contact the Patient Advocate at the VA today if what you say happened. As a patient you have the right no matter where you are to not allow someone to touch you. Just remember the attending will not be happy, but that is his problem. Depending on who is scheduled to do the surgery it could be postponed. If a sales rep is in the room without your permission that could be a HIPPA voliation. If you feel that it was, make that claim and you should see some action. The VA I worked at some complaints were not taken real serious but if a HIPPA was made it was looked at seriously.

Good luck with your surgery.

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