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mtnNurse.

mtnNurse. BSN

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  1. mtnNurse.

    Nurses Call the Governor of Tennessee

    I agree we don't know what kind of day she was having, and those that defend her from criminality are giving her the benefit of the doubt. Nobody has defended her actions. Most have expressed that she is accountable for her failings. We just disagree on whether she should be found guilty of criminal charges. Why shouldn't we give her the benefit of the doubt that she wasn't in a high alert, focused state of mind when this happened?
  2. mtnNurse.

    Nurses Call the Governor of Tennessee

    How can we separate it? The main tool nurses need to prevent errors is our brain, which we need sharp for critical-thinking and present awareness. Our brains are affected by our working conditions and the circumstances that could lead a nurse such as this to be so mindless. Our brains are subject to fail because we are humans.
  3. mtnNurse.

    Nurses Call the Governor of Tennessee

    Well then you'd know, despite your comment about intent, that intent is not the issue. We can agree there was no intent to kill and still disagree that she is guilty of reckless homicide. Based on the criteria for reckless homicide that people have posted, I disagree she should be found guilty of it in spite of all the 7 or 8 ways you pointed out that she erred. I agree with you the ways she erred. I just don't think it makes her a criminal from how the law could be interpreted. Yes, law is subjective. And I don't see her many failings as willfully zipping past 8 safety measures, though I understand why you do. I instead view it as one tragic, fallacious failing: hurry and grab-the-med-I-know-is-right-administer-it-and-leave-because-I-know-patient-is-ok (I use the word "know" because have you ever had the experience of "knowing" and found out later you were wrong?) I believe the nurse "knew" she grabbed the right medicine and erroneously "knew" she didn't need to monitor after. I believe it's possible she was being mindless for, what 30 min. to an hour?, based on circumstances we aren't imagining and will never know -- which does not excuse her from nursing accountability but could very well excuse her from criminality if the court interprets the law as it could be interpreted. I don't believe drunk driving compares to a nurse who skips the medication rights. To realize as a nurse that you are in over your head and to avoid situations where you are, and to realize as a nurse you aren't being conscious enough in the very moments you became mindless due to [insert whatever could make you mindless, e.g. fatigue, distraction, pressure from management, etc.] -- you must be experienced enough to have learned the critical lesson that by striving to be a good worker you very well might be failing to be a good nurse. We don't know what she actually cared about and what led her to fail in all the ways she did. By 'mistake' we mean she did not intend to kill that patient. No, intent is not a criteria for being guilty of the 'reckless homicide' charge but I think 'awareness' is, right? "Purposely bypassed"...I doubt it. To be done "purposely" means she did it deliberately, right? I don't believe she deliberately (which my dictionary defines as: 'consciously'; 'in a careful and unhurried way') bypassed seven check points. I believe she did the opposite. That is, I believe she very unconsciously, in a very careless and hurried way, skipped the safety checks. I hope you're right that no time is served, but I hope you're wrong that she will be convicted a felon. I hope there is a chance the law will be interpreted in the way I have described. Well, I'm glad no circumstances such as understaffing could cause you to skip the rights of medication administration. I hope we all become as flawless in that way as you are. She wasn't a new grad but still did not have a heck of a lot of experience IMHO. Then let the limit be this. If a nurse is working in a safe working environment, given a safe work load, and safe work expectations, and if being a "good worker" means the same thing as being a "good nurse" in the facility -- if all that is the reality, and yet the nurse errs in a way that she is solely to blame...Well, then perhaps. I'm of the mindset that we should find remedial solutions rather than criminalize non-violent people anyways, but that's another topic. No, I think overload of policies and too many alarms, signs, extra steps to jump through, etc. are often part of the problem. I'm advocating for this nurse to not be found guilty of criminal charges. Consider the possibility, however remote in your mind, that she did give a flip about all patients and it wasn't because she didn't give a flip that she so badly erred. And if you are going to rally around criminal charges for a nurse, pick a nurse who intentionally killed a patient.
  4. mtnNurse.

    Nurses Call the Governor of Tennessee

    I probably shouldn't reply to the analogies unless they're in a thread not related to this case because, for one reason, analogies never match up perfectly, and for another reason I got jumped on in another thread for replying to analogies. Nevertheless, you said you'd be curious. So I'll let you know what I think about that. If a truck driver was expected by management to satisfy unreasonable work expectations in an understaffed business, and if that truck driver were well-meaning, aiming to please management, and ended up driving in an unsafe state of mind because of wanting to be a good worker --- and if that led to him hitting and killing someone in his tired state --- then I absolutely do not think he should be criminally charged. I think the business, be it delivery co. or hospital, should be held accountable when pressuring employees to work in an unsafe environment, or given unsafe work loads, or given unsafe work expectations. If penalization is warranted in those situations, take away their license then, but don't criminalize them.
  5. mtnNurse.

    Nurses Call the Governor of Tennessee

    If you've read every single post in every single related thread as I have, you'd know Wuzzie and many others do not think the hospital is at least as culpable. I do not claim to know what they think. I'm just saying I read in their other posts that they don't think the hospital is at least as culpable. This is what many people take issue with...many people who know how unsafe working conditions in hospitals can be and how those conditions can lead to prudent nurses making deadly mistakes.
  6. mtnNurse.

    Nurse Charged With Homicide

    .So you are assuming...got it. Jory, you are assuming she was not distracted, yes? What's the difference between assuming that and assuming she was distracted? I wrote in a previous post about why I'm giving her the benefit of the doubt and assume she was distracted.
  7. mtnNurse.

    Nurse Charged With Homicide

    Those questions are the very legal definition of reckless homicide. What I've said is based on the definition of reckless homicide that person posted. If you want to post a different definition, I'll see if that changes my opinion. I'm not sure why you aren't understanding my interpretation of that definition, and the use of the word "aware". I understand completely if you disagree with my interpretation, but I'm not sure yet how to make my interpretation any clearer. Yes, the law is subjective in how we interpret it when courts decide whether to find someone guilty of criminal charges. That's why lawyers debate both sides, right?
  8. mtnNurse.

    Nurse Charged With Homicide

    There is no "interpretation" here. Any first year law student could tell you what reckless homicide is...it is when your NEGLIGENCE causes the death of another human being. There is nothing difficult, hard, or confusing about those words. It's not even up for debate...those that actually have law degrees and practice law for a living have already made this decision and that is why she has been charged. Other nurses have been charged and convicted for similar actions. There is even case law to back it up. Pardon me -- What I was saying is that based on interpretation of the law, what she did does not make her guilty of criminal charges. Interpretation of the law is subjective.
  9. mtnNurse.

    Nurse Charged With Homicide

    Which means nurses should always be willing to quit or be fired. I have not seen a nursing job yet which does not have impossible demands to the extent that some shortcuts are necessary (unless you are VERY experienced and superhuman) in order to be a "good worker". It's true that being a good nurse is more important -- just harder for some to remember when they need to keep their job. I think we should be taught in nursing school that if we anticipate needing a nursing job desperately enough that we will remain working as a nurse in conditions that are unsafe for patients and that jeopardize our licenses, we ought not to become nurses.
  10. mtnNurse.

    Nurse Charged With Homicide

    I interpret this to mean that the perpetrator had to be aware, in the moment of harming, that there was a significant risk of death or grievous bodily harm in the victim. There is a difference between aware and should-have-been-aware, and it seems therein lies the difference in criminality. I think she was being mindless so not aware she was about to harm that patient, so I don't think she's a criminal. I hope the court interprets the law in this way and dismisses all charges. I'm not sure how answering those questions will answer whether she was aware...based on your definition of reckless homicide. Your questions would just answer whether she should have been aware.
  11. mtnNurse.

    Nurse Charged With Homicide

    1. It is criminal behavior because it meets the legal criteria. You seem to be on this bandwagon that intent had something to do with it. It doesn't. She didn't intend to kill the patient, but she intentionally bypassed MORE THAN ONE checkpoint that caused that patient's death. Whether it meets the criteria is a matter of interpretation. No, as I've said before, if intent had something to do with it then that's called murder which she was not charged with. But we are interpreting the lesser charge of reckless homicide differently. I'll re-post my previous explanations of my interpretation if you're interested. I don't agree she meets the legal criteria for "reckless homicide" or even for "criminal negligence". Yes, we all agree on what she "should have known". Again, based on interpretation of the law, this does not make her a criminal. Interpretation of the law is subjective. Agreed, we don't know how rushed she was or what was going on in those moments that led her to be so mindless. Also, she might have (wrongly) put all faith in the nurse who delegated by assuming that nurse ensured it was the right med for the right person for the right reason, etc. I don't know whether she'll spend years in prison -- but it seems logical to me that people who believe she should be criminally charged also believe it is acceptable for her to spend however much time in prison might accompany a guilty sentence with those charges. I hope you are right that she won't spend one day behind bars; I also hope she won't have 'felony' on her record. I did answer that in a previous post answering Wuzzie's question "where do we draw the line". I'll add more to what I said before. I think if a facility fails to give us the safe environment, safe work load, and safe work expectations that would allow us (and especially allow new or inexperienced nurses) to practice up to standards and not cut corners EVER...if a facility makes being a "good worker" incompatible with being a "good nurse"...then if a nurse in those conditions accidentally kills a patient, the nurse should not be criminally charged. Lose license or other consequences maybe, but not criminally charged.
  12. mtnNurse.

    Nurse Charged With Homicide

    You sound to me like a very experienced nurse and a very good one. But what it sounds like to me when you say "this is what bothers me" is that what bothers you is how inexperienced this nurse was. What if it takes more than two very overwhelming years in an understaffed hospital to learn how to prioritize patient safety over unreasonable demands of your boss?
  13. mtnNurse.

    Nurse Charged With Homicide

    I agree, and I also think that licensed health professionals have a right to be protected from criminal charges when a facility fails to provide safe working environments, safe workloads, and safe work expectations. If the facility had provided all these things that would promote good nursing care, would this nurse have been in helper-nurse role or was she too inexperienced for that? Would there have been a med scanner in radiology (yes, we will never know if she would have chosen to use that scanner had there been one...but just maybe)? Would the dead patient never have been subject to the careless nurse because the patient's primary nurse would not have been overloaded to the extent that she couldn't attend to the patient while in radiology? We could think of lots more of such questions.
  14. mtnNurse.

    How to be a Perfect Nurse

    What I've gathered from comments so far is that nurses cannot be perfect (in fact no one can be), but that we should strive to at all times to follow policies and standards of practice and be willing to quit or be fired when we refuse to put ourselves in situations that compromise patients' safety. People have pointed out we should also admit and report when we do make a mistake and learn from it. That is all very good advice. There's also plenty nurses should do to ensure their most important tool at their job (brain) is ready for the work day, e.g. plenty of sleep the night before. Any ideas about the role of facilities in keeping nurses' most important tool sharp enough to get the job done safely? How much is the employer's responsibility? For example, brains are more likely to fail when a nurse works 12 straight hours without adequate breaks. Doubling up on patients is not a good idea when safety is the highest priority. What are some methods of ensuring every nurse gets an uninterrupted lunch break?
  15. mtnNurse.

    Nursing school has pushed me to the edge. Anyone else?

    I hope this doesn't indicate that you would give up on trying to be a good nurse when you find how unrealistic expectations can be at many (or most?) nursing jobs. People who can't handle not being perfect all the time will likely get burnt out quickly when working at the hospital. But as people here have pointed out, patients deserve that their nurses at least still care to try their best to be a good one. I'm sure you have it in you to be a good one; just work on your perspective and coping skills. Take care of yourself.
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