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RaDonda Vaught’s Arraignment - Guilty or Not of Reckless Homicide and Patient Abuse?

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tnbutterfly is a BSN, RN and works as a Content/Community Director @ allnurses.

335 Likes; 13 Followers; 110 Articles; 192,322 Visitors; 5,282 Posts

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By now, most nurses have heard about RaDonda Vaught, a former Vanderbilt University Medical Center nurse who was charged with reckless homicide and patient abuse as a result of administering the wrong drug that killed a patient in December 2017. You are reading page 2 of RaDonda Vaught’s Arraignment - Guilty or Not of Reckless Homicide and Patient Abuse?. If you want to start from the beginning Go to First Page.

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30 minutes ago, tnbutterfly said:

In the news today following the arraignment, it was stated that the TN BON, after a nine-month long investigation, found no reason to take disciplinary action against RaDonda’s license. I will be posting another video in this thread that gives more information about this.

Merging this discussion with another thread about the arraignment was started yesterday.

I'm stunned that the BON would come to that conclusion. What on earth  is their reasoning I wonder...

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Karen_tn_37211 works as a RN.

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I'm not surprised the BON didn't do anything. I know another nurse that was responsible for a patient's death and they didn't do anything to her either. She didn't even lose her job. She lost a week of PTO time and that's it.

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HomeBound has 20 years experience.

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My question is---if RV didn't do anything actionable, why did Vandy fire her? Why did the new hospital suspend her?

Seems to me that Miss Well Liked is a liar too---she didn't reveal why she was fired from Vandy to her new employer. Perhaps she knew she wouldn't be hired?

Qui bono. Who benefits most?  Who had the most to lose by publicizing this girl's actions? Think Vandy doesn't have board members, committee members and shareholders that had a serious stake in keeping a lid on this---covering it up and smoothing it over?  Think that the BONs are just an island unto themselves that they can't be as inept or corrupt as any other regulator?

Stroll on over to "recovery" and ask them about their experiences with the BONs and how torched their lives are over a momentary "brain fog" on their own time, in their own home/car--talk about a stupid mistake---and yet their licenses are suspended for five years or are revoked altogether--drug tests, ETOH tests--all on the nurses' dime...this is the BON.

I worked in the South. It's the Good 'Ol Boys' Club with a wink and a nudge for the rich corporate types (like Vandy). You can't swing a dead cat without running into the "six degrees of separation" phenomenon. My first warning when I moved there?

"Be careful what you say. You never know who is someone's cousin, and they're all related somehow." 

Healthcare is big business. BONs are part of the state legislatures. You think politics had nothing to do with this?

Edited by HomeBound

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5 hours ago, Emergent said:

I propose that it is their failure that led to this more concerning scenario,  that of criminal charges against a nurse. 

 

I see this as a positive development for patient safety and for patients.

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"Wuzzie, I don't consider that loss of license and livelihood, civil penalties (lawsuit), and public shame and ridicule are a "slap on the wrist." I agree completely that her mistakes were egregious beyond the pale."

 

Remember the post where I mentioned her getting a slap on the wrist from the board and some posters responded as above that losing her license and job, being sued and embarrassed was more than adequate? Seems none of that is happening. Given the egregious nature of her screw-up should we be good with that?

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tnbutterfly is a BSN, RN and works as a Content/Community Director @ allnurses.

335 Likes; 13 Followers; 110 Articles; 192,322 Visitors; 5,282 Posts

UPDATE

In this video, Janie Garner from ShowMe Your Stethoscope who attended the arraignment gives an account of the proceedings as well as a recap of the situation.  

A couple of things stand out:

  • The TN BON has not taken any disciplinary measures against RaDonda's license
  • The ANA posted a statement on their website which includes the following:
Quote

ANA supports a full and confidential peer review process in which medical errors can be examined and system improvements and corrective action plans can be established to ensure that errors such as this do not occur in the future. Swift and appropriate action should and must always be taken when medical errors occur.

Health care is highly complex and ever-changing resulting in a high risk and error-prone system.  However, the criminalization of medical errors could have a chilling effect on reporting and process improvement. The Code of Ethics for Nurses states that while ensuring that nurses are held accountable for individual practice, errors should be corrected or remediated, and disciplinary action taken only if warranted. When error occurs, whether it is one’s own or that of a coworker, nurses may neither participate in, nor condone through silence, any attempts to conceal the error.

ANA acknowledges that the full facts and circumstances of this incident are still developing. This tragic incident should serve as reminder to all nurses, other health care professionals, and administrators that we must be constantly vigilant at the patient and system level. ANA stands ready in support of patients, nurses, and other healthcare providers in achieving high reliability in organizations to prevent these types of incidents from reoccurring.

ANA Responds to Vanderbilt Nurse Incident

4

RaDonda Vaught Pleads Not Guilty

 

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I'm getting really sick of these posts.  By what is alleged in the public record, she bypassed multiple safety checks, was not aware of the medication she was giving, and exercised terrible judgement.   Not only does this make our profession look bad, but the way this forum admins and others are tripping over themselves to defend her doesn't make any damned sense. .  

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Medical errors (however caused) have been shown to result in large numbers of patient deaths annually.  Many patients are harmed by medical errors annually.  It has also been shown that patients frequently experience errors in care.  Many errors in care go unreported, even in spite of a non-punitive "just culture."  Medical errors that result in patient deaths are not currently reported on patients death certificates.

I conclude that the current voluntary system of reporting errors in care is insufficient to protect patients and that much greater regulatory oversight of health care facilities and of health care practitioners is necessary.  

The argument has been made that if licensed health care practitioners face criminal charges for their actions this will result in reduced voluntary reporting of errors.  I consider this more an excuse than a valid reason.  It appears that new methods need to be devised to ensure that licensed health care professionals report their errors in care.  In my opinion much greater oversight of licensed health care professionals' practice is needed by independent overseers, not by the health care industry.  

Licensed health care professionals' have a professional and ethical duty to their patients, patients' family members, the public, and to the profession to report errors in care timely especially so that timely action can be taken by health care professionals to reduce the harm/injury to the patients affected; for example by close monitoring of the patient, administration of a reversal agent or other medication or other agent or transfer of the patient to the ICU, etc.  When licensed health care professionals choose dishonestly not to report errors in care, there is no possibility to remediate the harm/injury that a patient may experience from the error/s.

Some errors in care are due to recklessness on the part of individual licensed health care professionals, and sometimes this can amount to criminal behavior.  While we practice as part of a health care system we are always individually responsible for our own safe practice.  Also, not all errors in care are due to "systems" errors; some are due to individual practitioner errors.  Our number one priority should be to protect patients, not to protect licensed health care professionals who practice unsafely or to protect the health care industry.  We have Standards of Care and we are taught medication administration safety procedures (Five/Six or more Rights) in nursing school; this is drilled into us in nursing school.  Health care is a complex industry but Standards of Care exist for a good reason, for the protection of our patients.

Other professional occupations that have safety responsibilities to the general public are held to industry Standards of Practice and the licensed professionals in these occupations can be charged with criminal negligence when their actions demonstrate that they have violated safety standards and members of the public are harmed or killed as a result.  Licensed health care professionals whose licensed professional practice is below the Standard of Care and results in harm/death to patients should not be treated differently or be exempt from criminal charges when after an appropriate investigation it is determined that criminal charges are appropriate. 

Edited by Susie2310

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My boyfriend is an electrician. If he were to exercise poor judgement and rewire something incorrectly, or fail to notice a hazard, he could kill himself or the people whose property he is working on. He has worked on several hospitals in the area; if he were to do something incorrectly, that could effect everyone in the hospital or cause an electrical hazard. He is held responsible by his own scope of practice as a master electrician. People trust him to do his job well.

 

I'm surprised the BON has not acted yet. I don't believe the blame is solely Ms. Vaughts, and the hospital should be held partially responsible.

 

We are drilled about the medication rights from the beginning, everyday and every time we give a medication. She is responsible for not verifying what she was giving. Being on "auto pilot" is zero excuse when lives are on the line.

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LilPeanut has 8 years experience as a MSN, RN, NP and works as a NNP.

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19 hours ago, mtmkjr said:

I'm stunned that the BON would come to that conclusion. What on earth  is their reasoning I wonder...

I'm stunned as well.  I've also read at the recovery forum and seeing how draconian they can be with people who have been sober for years prior to even becoming a nurse, which just boggles the mind.

But I feel the DA at this point was cornered into pressing charges - there was no way to get her to stop practicing as a nurse (and obviously, she wasn't so guilt wracked that she couldn't continue to work in an ICU) when she was clearly negligent. 

She is young, white and pretty.  It makes it easy for people to line up in support.  But she should not be a nurse anymore.  She should not be in a clinical setting where her decisions or laziness can kill patients easily.

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56 minutes ago, MrMidazolam said:

This article is presented in a way that really doesn't begin to address what happened to cause the death of Ms Murphy. Those who are defending her against the "system" are really creating a false dichotomy. They are basically saying a choice must be made, either to blame the system or hold her accountable.

They believe that holding her accountable interferes with the just culture.

I see no reason that we can't operate in a Just Culture - address system failures, and at the same time hold her accountable for her egregious actions?

It is not an either/or situation, but instead, an opportunity for Vanderbilt to investigate the processes that were in place and whether there was anything that could have protected the patient from RVs SERIES of failures. 

I see then, 2 responses...a hospital level response and  individual accountability. 

If the just culture means no individual consequences no matter how egregious, I think it will do a huge disservice to the profession, and the public will not stand for it.

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