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Brent's Law NEWS
Does an RN who was fired for placing a PICC line in the same arm where a patient had a shoulder joint infection have any recourse for being fired?
Question: Dear Nancy, I am a PICC nurse with a CRNI. A colleague was fired because she placed a PICC line in a patient who had a right shoulder joint infection. She placed it in the right arm per patient request. I see no issue with placing this in a vessel on the same side as an infection. She was told it was inappropriate to place it on the same side. Does she have any recourse? Marilyn Nancy Brent replies: Dear...READ MORE »
What is the legal responsibility for medical mission nurses working as volunteers in developing countries?
Question: Dear Nancy, What is the legal responsibility for medical mission nurses working as volunteers in developing countries? What if there is no physician present with the nurses as in a clinic setting? Ellen Nancy Brent replies: Dear Ellen, A response to your question is beyond the scope of this column and is further complicated by the fact that medical missionary projects go to many different countries outside...READ MORE »
When charting an electronic medical record, do you chart as I, RN, writer or some other designation?
Question: Dear Nancy, When charting an electronic medical record, where your name is clearly visible as the charter, do you chart as I, RN, writer or what? I was told to chart as RN, but if it became a court case, wouldn't that be subject to interpretation? Which RN? Isn't it more clear to write "I called Dr. B regarding pts x-ray results" than to chart "RN called Dr. B"? May Nancy Brent replies: Dear May, When...READ MORE »
Is it worth fighting a termination I believe was unwarranted even though it occured six months ago?
Question: Dear Nancy, I had a medical problem that caused me to exhaust my light duty prior to having surgery. It was known I would be off work for at least four months and when I returned I would not ever be able to return to the floor, but would require a desk job with limited standing and walking. When I was released by my physician, the human resources representative and I were looking for a new position. I used...READ MORE »
What can a manager, HR or others in a hospital say to potential employers about a nurse who was fired from that facility?
Question: Dear Nancy, I am unemployed after being fired from my job at a community hospital where I worked for 18 years. My first concern is what the employer, including my manager and HR, can say about me to potential employers. My second concern is about what those outside my department in the institution can say. I am worried I may not receive any positive references and because I have not looked for a job for so...READ MORE »
Should practical nursing students secure their own malpractice insurance while they are in school?
Question: Dear Nancy, Should practical nursing students secure their own malpractice insurance during the 12 months they are in school? Lee Nancy Brent replies: Dear Lee, All nursing students should secure their own professional liability insurance during the time they are students in their nursing education program. Students can be sued for an alleged injury to a patient during their clinical experiences so it is...READ MORE »
Does an RN on a psych unit have any recourse if management ignores her concerns about being the only staff member on the unit?
Question: Dear Nancy, I work in a psychiatric hospital on a small unit where the patients are, for the most part, emotionally stable. Often am the only staff on this unit. When I voice concern about potentially aggressive patients, I am told I should be able to handle it even if I am the only staff person on the far end of the hospital. If something happens to me, is there anything I can do or am I out of luck? When...READ MORE »
How can I get a state board to remove a disciplinary action on my name from NURSYS?
Question: Dear Nancy, I was a nurse manager in 2004 at a facility where there was a drug addicted physician who had been under investigation for quite some time. The physician was eventually arrested and charged with numerous things. Unfortunately, I worked for her. I believe to get the heat off of herself, she claimed I forged a refill on a script she had given me for Ativan. I was arrested for fraud. I retained an...READ MORE »
Is it legal for a nurse to take a hospitalized patient off of Diprivan for a few seconds to get their consent for treatment?
Question: Dear Nancy, My father was on Diprivan in the hospital. While I was speaking with the doctor in the doorway, the attending nurse went to my dad, took him off the Diprivan for a few seconds and had him sign a consent for treatment. She then turned on the Diprivan and walked out of the room with the clipboard. After I spoke with the doctor, I asked what was on the clipboard, and was told it was a consent for...READ MORE »
Can a school nurse check a child's blood glucose if the child has not been diagnosed with diabetes?
Question: Dear Nancy, As a school nurse, can I check a child's blood glucose if the child has not been diagnosed with diabetes? In other words, if a child presents with hypoglycemia, can I check their blood sugar without a physician's order? Ruth Nancy Brent replies: Dear Ruth, As a school nurse, if a child you are responsible for as the school nurse appears to be in a hypoglycemic state - and you can observe signs...READ MORE »
I have to go before the board of nursing after resigning from my job when accused of stealing a patient's call bell. What's my next step?
Question: Dear Nancy, I have been a nurse for 20 years and have never had any problems. I resigned from my last job after being accused of taking a patient's call bell when it was in his bed. I now have to go before the board of nursing and am not sure what to do. Eddy Nancy Brent replies: Dear Eddy, It is assumed what you mean by you were accused of "taking the patient's call bell" from his bed is you removed it so...READ MORE »
Am I responsible if something goes wrong with an ICU patient, who is being cared for by an LPN?
Question: Dear Nancy, I work in a busy ICU with a very high acuity of patient care. We have an LPN working there as a staff member, and because of her job functions, she cannot admit patients or do IV pushes, she can't accompany her patient to CT scan or to any special procedures, among other functions. We have to change or switch our patient assignment just to accommodate her LPN functions in the ICU. We brought...READ MORE »
In legal terms who is ultimately accountable if patient harm or death occurs if respiratory therapy regularly overrides RN judgment?
Question: Dear Nancy, I am a charge nurse/shift supervisor of a rural hospital. We have respiratory therapy in-house 24/7. The RT department feels it can override nursing judgment in ordering meds and oxygen delivery. In legal terms who is ultimately accountable if patient harm occurs due to their error in judgment? Helga Nancy Brent replies: Dear Helga, Although the respiratory therapist is the expert in relation...READ MORE »
Is it patient abandonment if a surgeon, also the owner of a facility, forces an RN to leave the OR before transferring a patient to the PACU?
Question: Dear Nancy, Is it considered patient abandonment if a surgeon, who is also the owner of the facility I work in, forced me leave the OR before we transferred the patient to the PACU? He made me follow him to my director's office so he could ream me out about something I said regarding the computer in the OR Room. Despite my insistence about not leaving my patient, he did not care. What recourse do I have...READ MORE »
Does a 61-year-old RN, with an unblemished record, have a case for age discrimination after being terminated based on false accusations?
Question: Dear Nancy I am 61 years old. I have worked 26 years for a hospital and have had excellent evaluations. I've had no write-up or verbal warning in that time. I am certified in my specialty and involved in many professional organizations. A new manager terminated me with 13 allegations, all false, ranging from bullying to insubordination. A young inexperience RN replaced me. Do I have a case for...READ MORE »