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Brent's Law NEWS
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 »
What are the chances of an RN, convicted of a felony, who successfully completed probation and taken a refresher course, of being hired?
Question: Dear Nancy, My nursing license was revoked after I pleaded guilty to several felony charges because I was caught stealing from the hospital where I worked. I was incarcerated and have successfully completed my probation. During my probation, I was a full-time student and have taken RN refresher courses. I want to petition for reinstatement. If I get my license back, what are my chances of being hired in a...READ MORE »
When did physician's offices start using medical assistants instead of RNs and what can nurses do about it?
Question: Dear Nancy, I have noticed many physician's offices are using medical assistants instead of RNs or LPNs. It concerns me that these assistants are able to give injections and medications that in other settings would be done by a nurse. When did this change and what can licensed nurses do about this? Marvin Nancy Brent replies: Dear Marvin, The use of medical assistants in physicians' offices in the place of...READ MORE »
Is it a HIPAA or employee rights violation for a facility to ask why a nurse cannot come in for her shift when she calls in?
Question: Dear Nancy, One of the hospitals where I work asks why an employee is calling in for a shift. This is personal. Is it a HIPAA or rights violation? Margaret Nancy Brent replies: Dear Margaret, It is the employer's right to ask an employee the reason when he calls in because he is not reporting to work for an assigned shift. Initially, since you are an employee and have been assigned a shift at the facility,...READ MORE »
Do I have recourse against a supervisor who used my weight as an example of why I should be more empathetic about coworker disabilities?
Question: Dear Nancy, My nurse manager called me into the office to discuss another employee who had accused me of not being supportive and questioning his clinical abilities. My manager said I should be more empathetic about this employee's hearing loss. I stated I thought it was unsafe that he refused to wear his hearing aids despite his hearing loss. My boss proceeded to use me as an example of how this employee...READ MORE »
What is the next step for an RN who believes a former manager wrote something in her file that may prevent her from finding a new job?
Question: Dear Nancy, I was fired from a hospital RN job without cause. I disagreed with the unit manager and was seeking employment in another area of the hospital. My manager terminated me. Then, after working several years in another job that has subsequently been eliminated, I am having difficulty getting hired. I believe my old manager wrote something on my file. The hospital had a closed file policy, and I was...READ MORE »
Should an RN, who took a nurse biller position, but who has been asked to pinch hit on the clinical side, get RN staff nurse pay for clinical hours?
Question: Dear Nancy, I had been working as a clinical nurse in endoscopy for 15 years, and I've been in nursing for 40 years. About 18 months ago, I started a new job in endoscopy as a nurse biller, which I love. I still wear scrubs because I need to observe procedures to keep up with new supplies. I was asked to cover three renal biopsy cases in our unit because of staffing issues. I was happy to help them out,...READ MORE »