Other Victims of Medical Errors

As a nurse and an attorney who represents nurses before the Texas Board of Nursing, this story really hits home.  It is the story of a nurse who made a critical error, although whether the death of the child she was treating was directly related to the error is open to question.  But the aftermath is the same as what I am seeing every day now in Texas.  Ultimately, the stress of losing her job and control of her career may have caused her to take her own life.

It can be a single error in an otherwise spotless career.  And the nurse is terminated without regard to any issues that may have been involved surrounding the event.  Or the actual harm that has been done.  And without recourse to peer review like physicians, even though in Texas, there is nursing peer review (often not done, even when required).  Then the Board of Nursing will impose a disciplinary action, the result being a nurse will have an extremely difficult time finding a new position, especially if there are stipulations on the license such as supervision requirements.

In the current healthcare environment, with an emphasis on controlling costs, nurses are being asked . . . no, told to do more with less.  And something is going to suffer.  My fear, which I believe is already being realized, is that the individual nurse are going to be sacrificed, along with patients safety, at the altar of the almighty dollar.

More commentary about the case of Kim Hiatt, RN, the nurse from Seattle Children’s who committed suicide:

  • http://advocatefornurses.typepad.com/my2cents/2011/06/caregivers-who-make-mistakes-you-are-your-license.html?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+typepad%2Flatoniadenisewright%2Fmy2cents+%28My+2+Cents%29
  • http://josephineensign.wordpress.com/2011/04/24/to-err-is-human-medical-errors-and-the-consequences-for-nurses/#comment-119
  • http://runningahospital.blogspot.com/2011/05/i-wish-we-were-less-patient.html
  • http://www.kevinmd.com/blog/2011/05/nurses-fired-fatal-medication-errors.html
2 Responses to Other Victims of Medical Errors
  1. women's health
    June 28, 2011 | 8:18 pm

    In the current healthcare environment, with an emphasis on controlling costs, nurses are being asked . . . no, told to do more with less. And something is going to suffer. My fear,

  2. [...] Other Victims of Medical Errors [...]