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Brent's Law NEWS
What can a nurse do if a co-worker changes the documentation time in her patient's medical records?
Question: Dear Nancy, I work 3-11 on a 21-bed locked mental health unit. About a month ago I noticed two of my nurses notes, time of documentation were changed from 1745 to 1445 and 1700 to 1400. I also noticed the same person had written under my note both times. I reported it to my nurse manager and the person was questioned by a human resources staff member. The person denied changing any times. This person has...READ MORE »
Can a nurse who has been at a job for six weeks be terminated if she has not been given the proper training?
Question: Dear Nancy, I am a new LPN. My first and current job is working as a LPN supervisor at an assisted living retirement facility. I was recently put on suspension pending termination after my DON wrote me up four times for things I had brought to her attention. I was never trained on the MAR system. I brought this to the attention of the executive director but was still suspended. Can I be terminated if I...READ MORE »
Can a nurse provide education over the phone to an insurance company member who does not live in the state where the nurse is licensed?
Question: Dear Nancy, I work for an insurance company as a disease case manager. This includes members not living in the state where I am licensed. While this member has his policy with a plan in my state, he lives outside of the state. Would doing education with this member over the telephone be outside my scope of practice, due to not having a license from the state where this member resides? Frank Nancy Brent...READ MORE »
Can I defend myself on charges brought by a former employer? What are the chances of keeping my license with penalities against me?
Question: Dear Nancy, In August 2013, I was terminated from employment for a positive drug test result. This was a voluntary test I took after concerns about a recent allergic reaction to an unknown cause. I disputed the results and continue to dispute the results, as a false positive. I was not notified of the results of the test, until 10 days post-test, at which time I was terminated. This prevented a...READ MORE »
Is there anything a CNA instructor can do to ensure a belligerent student does not become licensed despite good grades?
Question: Dear Nancy I was recently hired as a clinical instructor for a high school level CNA program. The students are seniors, graduating in June. Most are interested in nursing careers. In the three weeks we have been in the clinical area, one of the students has escalated from pouting about her assignments, to challenging my authority, to threatening to make her own assignment decisions. Last week she...READ MORE »
What can an LVN do if fired after a cardiologist did not refill a med for a home health patient? The LVN informed the agency of the med issue.
Question: Dear Nancy, I am an LVN. Another nurse and I were fired today due to a med error. We worked in a home health setting. Both the other nurse and I contacted our agency about a medication that the patient wasn't getting because it needed a refill. The patient didn't have a pediatrician, and we were told by our agency to contact the cardiologist to get the med because the cardiologist was the one doing the...READ MORE »
What is my responsibility if a home care patient refuses to go to the ED?
Question: Dear Nancy, I experienced a very disturbing incident following a recent home care visit. I went in to see a client for a visit and found him very short of breath with a low O2 sat and abnormal lung sounds. This client was not wearing his O2, so I helped him put it on and told him due to his respiratory status he needed to go to the hospital. I asked him if he wanted me to call 911 and he refused but wanted...READ MORE »
I work in a NICU and we have a parent who is hostile and aggressive toward the staff. What can be done about these type of parents who pose a potential risk?
Question: Dear Nancy, I work in a NICU and we have a parent who is hostile and aggressive toward the staff. Also, he is refusing certain interventions for his baby. I understand his right to refuse, but one day he threatened a nurse and today doctors charted both parents seemed high and the dad seemed intoxicated. He has been escorted out of previous units by security but has been allowed to return. The official...READ MORE »
What resource is available on the process of obtaining passcodes to EHR and legal issues that arise when passcodes are not readily available?
Question: Dear Nancy, As a manager I have been frustrated with the process of obtaining passcodes to the EHR for new employees and travelers. After working with HR for over a month to obtain a passcode, we finally got into a staffing crunch and I gave my passcode to a new nurse to use to chart and asked she document it was her under this sign on. Our risk manager was informed and now the risk manager feels we have a...READ MORE »
My agency took me off a case involving a client's dad who wanted me to falsify my nursing notes. What should I do?
Question: Dear Nancy, I work for a homecare nursing agency. A client's dad became upset with me because I would not put in my nursing notes that a pump was used for the child's feedings when it was not. He told me it was for insurance so she could get 16 hours of nursing care. The agency called and took me off case. Annalynn Nancy Brent replies: Dear Annalynn, You did not indicate why the agency took you off the...READ MORE »
Will a conviction for a DUI automatically cause a suspension and/or a revocation of license?
Question: Dear Nancy, In my state, will a conviction for a DUI automatically cause a suspension and/or a revocation of license? Would a certificate of rehabilitation be helpful in protecting one's license to practice? Paul Nancy Brent replies: Dear Paul, Your question is an important one for you to have answered, and the best way to secure a specific answer is to consult with a nurse attorney or attorney in your...READ MORE »
I suspect one or both of my previous employers, who I reported, are saying derogatory things about me. Do I have any recourse here?
Question: Dear Nancy, After I started a new job, my employer switched my hours to an excessive amount. I worked 16- and 24-hour shifts for 11 days in a row, without being paid for the extra hours. After trying by all means possible to rectify this with the company, I went to my state attorney general's office. They investigated and determined the employer was in violation of state labor laws. I was paid for the...READ MORE »
Can a hospital change a shift's hours and give us a 1-hour lunch, but pay us for only half an hour?
Question: Dear Nancy, I work 7 p.m. to 7 a.m. at a small hospital. We were all notified with a letter last week that our hours are being changed to 6:45 p.m. to 7:15 p.m. Only the night shift hours are changing. The letter says that we will get one-hour break but only 30 minutes of it will be paid. We also will get three 15-minute breaks. We rarely, if ever, get a break because unlike on the day shift, there is no...READ MORE »
Should I be worried that my patient, who was confused and at high-risk for falls, fell out of a chair during my shift?
Question: Dear Nancy, My patient fell when she got out of a chair. She was confused. She broke her hip. She was a high-risk for falls. Should I be worried? I have some assets. Should I move my assets over to my husband's and children's names? Should I get liability insurance or is it too late? Is liability insurance good for past issues? Melva Nancy Brent replies: Dear Melva, When a patient is injured under your...READ MORE »
Does an RN need to carry liability coverage for occasional volunteer activities or responding to inquiries for healthcare advice?
Question: Dear Nancy, In one of your previous responses, you answered an excellent question about nurses carrying liability coverage after retirement. I have an additional question on that note. Do I need to consider carrying liability coverage for occasional volunteer activities, such as working at blood drives where I observe donors and take blood pressures and the recurrent activity of responding to inquiries for...READ MORE »