Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Nursing Jurisprudence Educational Seminar

I am speaking at a seminar, "Avoiding Litigation", on April 4, 2009 at the Thompson Conference Center, Austin Texas. The one day event is sponsored by the Texas Nurses Association District 5 and is incredibly CHEAP to attend ($15 for TNA members and $30 for non-members)!!!!

Monday, March 23, 2009

Time is Almost UP!!!

Have you contacted your Texas State Senator and Representative to encourage them to support HB 998? This bill helps nurses when they have an issue before the Texas Board of Nursing by making the administrative process much more fair. So please take the time to call/fax/write/email your Legislator and urge him/her to support HB 998.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Prevention of Medical Errors

On last Thursday's ER, Dr.Carter was about to receive a kidney transplant and the whole surgery suite was rush-rush. Dr. Benton stopped the surgical team in order to go over a safe surgery checklist. He was berated by the surgeon for slowing things down and was told that it was not needed. Dr. Benton insisted and during the checklist, it was brought out that a fluid was missing. The surgeon said that they would not need the fluid, but nursing said that they would get it anyway. As the surgery progressed, there was a complication and the fluid was necessary to preserve the kidney and thus, make the surgery a success. Dr. Benton drove home the point that safety checklists are there for a reason and the reasons are good and valid.

I immediately thought of the five rights of medication administration. Too frequently, nurses bypass this crucial checks and balance safety checklist and the result is a medication error. Thank goodness, most of the time the error has no long term effect on the patient, but occasionally the result is death or serious harm. Nurses care for their patients and to cause harm is horrible and not something any nurse wants to go through.

So, even if it seems like a waste of time, you must take the time to do the safety checklists. Bypassing even one step could result in something tragic that you will have to live with for the rest of your life.

Monday, March 9, 2009

TPAPN - When Not to Go

I have written many times on all of my blogs regarding the Texas Peer Assistance Program for Nurses. However, I have been receiving questions from nurses regarding whether they should go to TPAPN because they have been accused of diverting medication or because they have had a positive drug screen or because they are a recovering addict. Each case is different and there is no set answer, so a nurse should contact an attorney with experience before the Board and find out what option is the best for their situation. But, please do not agree to TPAPN if you do not have chemical dependency problems or if you are not an addict. And, do not agree to TPAPN if you do not understand what you will be required to do and not do while in TPAPN.

Do not believe a blanket statement such as "If you do not enter TPAPN, the Board will take away your license." Do not enter TPAPN just to avoid the Board - once again, TPAPN is for nurses with addiction issues or substance abuse/dependency problems and for nurses that are new to recovery or that have relapsed. TPAPN is not for nurses with a past history of addiction, but that have years of recovery.

In summary, do your research, understand your options and then take action, but make sure it is action based on knowledge, not fear.