Radonda Vaught Trial

Updated | Posted
by tnbutterfly - Mary tnbutterfly - Mary, BSN, RN (Admin) Educator Columnist Innovator Expert Nurse

Specializes in Peds, Med-Surg, Disaster Nsg, Parish Nsg.

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Susie2310

Susie2310

2,085 Posts

I think that Just Culture, while it facilitates and encourages self-reporting of errors, also may have the unintended effect for some practitioners of promoting complacency in one's practice.  Some practitioners appear to be genuinely surprised that licensed nurses and physicians can be held legally accountable as individuals for the care they provide.

JKL33

6,328 Posts

16 hours ago, brandy1017 said:

I know Radonda has been found guilty, but at the same time I believe she was deliberated prosecuted in retaliation at Vanderbilt's request when their coverup was exposed and they got negative national attention and the threat of losing medicare funding. 

I almost/pretty much agree except that I don't think it was retaliation per se, I think it was to get a bigger, very vigorous side show going which was focused on RV at the time that Vanderbilt was being investigated. And yes, I think the prosecutor willingly participated and should be removed from public service.

JKL33

6,328 Posts

14 hours ago, ForeverYoung018 said:

I still stand by my initial statement. The primary nurse should have advocated and said that medication wouldn't be given off the floor. There have been many instances where I haven't felt comfortable with my pts leaving the floor and I have spoke up. I don't care who I piss off or what I delay. 

The one pushing the med has the ultimate responsibility of assessing whether what they are about to do is safe or not. He or she is the one who shouldn't worry about upsetting people and should say, "so....the patient doesn't require any monitoring and the nurses downstairs don't feel comfortable giving the med and don't want to be responsible for it, and it's an IV sedative? Meh, how about "y'all" bring her back up and give something orally and take her back down later. Since she is pretty much well enough to walk out of here right now and this is no kind of emergency."

Or, "I can do that. Let me get my [actual] Versed and how about some romazicon too, and whatever else I will need down there by myself, and by the way I'll be gone for awhile. I'll bring her back up when the PET is done."

Lots of options....

mtmkjr, BSN

372 Posts

One thing that boggles my mind is that she blew past all of the safety checks with an orientee at her side, watching her completely disregard every single checkpoint that had been drilled into him in nursing school.

What exactly was she expecting to teach him that day that she did not think this task was important enough for him to learn from her?

It is a heavy responsibility assumed by any nurse who precepts a new nurse/new employee to model correct processes, and she had this opportunity to explain to him in careful detail how to override (as a LAST resort) how to properly check and prepare the medication according to manufacturer instructions, administer without a scanner by verifying 5 rights, patient assessment and monitoring while away from the unit, NOT just walking away without another glance.  ALL very important teaching points. When precepting you have to remember that you are modeling safe/correct nursing practice at every step throughout the shift.

What a horrible lesson this new nurse had to learn that day. It would have been a solemn warning in itself had she pulled the vecuronium and immediately realized her error. That alone would have great impact.

 

 

Edited by mtmkjr

Wuzzie

4,848 Posts

5 minutes ago, mtmkjr said:

It would have been a solemn warning in itself had she pulled the vecuronium and immediately realized her error. That alone would have great impact.

No kidding. I would have probably pooped myself. 😳

mtmkjr, BSN

372 Posts

And I must say, all the comments declaring this a dangerous precedent, that she would be criminally responsible is disheartening to me. Can my fellow nurses not see the line between the most serious medication “errors” and this series of negligent failures? 

This was not a medication error. Not a mistake. It was negligent disregard of multiple safety measures. 

I am all in favor of Just Culture, which encourages transparency and allows us to learn from errors, evaluate and adjust practice going forward to improve safety. But it can’t be taken to the extreme, where we expect carelessness and negligence to be normalized and accepted as if Radonda Vaught’s conviction could happen to any of us!

The Tennessee BON allowed Radonda to continue working as a nurse, and some nurses were fine with that. Would those nurses think that the drawbridge operator referenced earlier should be allowed to continue working in that line of work, or should he have to face legal consequences for his negligence? What does justice for a loved one look like when someone is negligent to such a high degree?

 

 

Tweety, BSN, RN

Specializes in Med-Surg, Trauma, Ortho, Neuro, Cardiac. Has 30 years experience. 31,911 Posts

She's been convicted.  Wonder what the sentence will be.

https://www.npr.org/sections/health-shots/2022/03/25/1088902487/former-nurse-found-guilty-in-accidental-injection-death-of-75-year-old-patient

Quote

I know the reason this patient is no longer here is because of me," Vaught told the nursing board, starting to cry. "There won't ever be a day that goes by that I don't think about what I did."

 

Wuzzie

4,848 Posts

I’m laying bets it will be a fine and probation. Without a nursing license and the ability to buy weapons she isn’t much of a danger to anyone but herself. Her lawyer needs to stop letting her talk to the press though. Some of the stuff she’s said really reflects poorly on her and may influence sentencing. 

Wolf at the Door, BSN

Specializes in ICU. Has 11 years experience. 1,045 Posts

The cause and affect of such a verdict will have a magnitude affect on the State of TN , Nashville, and Vanderbilt. 

If I was a travel nurse I would not step foot in that state. If I ever considered relocating I only see 49 states right now. TN is automatically out. I once worked in that state for a year and would NEVER EVER after this verdict. I am not alone in this thinking. I have talked to people from there the answer is now NO! Nurses from Texas have told me NO! I think a lot of travel nurses might boycott working in that state. That states residents will suffer from a nursing shortage. Magnitude affect. 

brandy1017

brandy1017, ASN, RN

Specializes in Critical Care. 2,709 Posts

7 hours ago, JKL33 said:

I almost/pretty much agree except that I don't think it was retaliation per se, I think it was to get a bigger, very vigorous side show going which was focused on RV at the time that Vanderbilt was being investigated. And yes, I think the prosecutor willingly participated and should be removed from public service.

Well I heard he's up for reelection this year.  I hope he gets voted out!

I also read that he works for Vanderbilt University School of Law as a professor as well and wonder if that is a conflict of interest.  Also I can't help but wonder if he had a buddy at Vandy that might have said "charge her and get the heat off of us, look at what she has put us through, almost costing us our medicare funding.  Get that nurse, make her pay!" Again I don't know that this actually happened as this is speculation and maybe I'm entirely wrong.  Maybe I'm just paranoid, but maybe I've been a nurse long enough to see the cynical reality of politics in nursing and political payback when the big wig's million dollar payday is threatened!  We'll probably never know the whole story behind why the DA charged her.

PS In a recent but unrelated hospital legal matter that made national news and shocked the nursing community, the rumor was the Thedacare CEO was golf buddies with the judge that issued the temporary restraining order that left nurses and techs unable to work at Ascension Health immediately.  After much public outrage and the facts came to light thankfully the restraining order was lifted and the healthcare workers were allowed to leave their former employer and start at their new job, but it shows how far they will go to control and intimidate and take revenge!  I know it's not the same situation but it does expose the politics and what goes on behind the scenes.

Edited by brandy1017