Arizona Nurses, Has This Happened To you? It Could Happen Tomorrow. #nurseup
Have you been following the Amanda Trujillo, RN vs Del E. Webb Medical Center, Sun City, Arizona case? It is an important one because it could happen to you.
Please take the time to learn more by reading the articles that follow, and visiting http://www.nurseup.com
The following article is from Pat Iyer, RN the former President of the American Association of Legal Nurse Consulting. She has reviewed Amanda’s case and weighed in on it.
Amanda Trujillo – Nurse fired for being a patient advocate, @PatIyer:”The story of Amanda Trujillo is a horrifying one. Briefly, she is a single mom who fought to get off welfare and fulfilled her dream of becoming a nurse. Not only did she become a nurse, she earned a masters and doctorate degree in nursing. One night while working a Banner Health in Arizona, she took care of a patient who was being asked to undergo a liver transplant. In talking to the patient, Amanda learned that the patient did not fully understand what was going to occur. Amanda educated the patient. She explained the option of hospice instead. The patient decided against the transplant. Then the physician came in, had a well-witnessed tantrum at the hospital when he found out his patient had decided against surgery, and Amanda was fired by the hospital. Her case came up for review by the Arizona Board of Nursing. The summary of her case written by the attorney representing her is below. Amanda has been devastated in terms of her career and her finances. She is back on welfare, her dream of being a nurse shattered.”
It could happen to any nurse at the bedside who has the integrity to advocate for their patients, or that recognized an educational deficit and took action to address it. Donna Cardillo, RN of “Dear Donna” & Nursing Spectrum fame has weighed in as well.
Could What Happened to Amanda Trujillo, RN Happen To You? Donna Cardillo, RN @donnacardillorn:”In case you don’t frequent twitter, the nursing blogosphere, Facebook or other online nursing communities, Amanda Trujillo is a nurse in Arizona who is under investigation by the State Board of Nursing there. In short (you can read her account here) Amanda relates that when she became aware that a patient awaiting a liver transplant had considerable misunderstanding about the procedure and the lifelong aftercare that would be required, she spent time with the patient discussing related issues and ordered a hospice/case management consult at the patients request so the patient could explore his/her options, something that was within her scope of practice and not against her employer’s policies.”
You could be doing patient care, encounter a patient or family with questions. After answering those questions, the patient might decide not to go with the plan of care dictated by their doctor. Being a patient advocate has almost cost Amanda her career and livelihood. How far would you go to advocate for one of your patients?
This question was asked by Theresa Brown, RN, a New York Times Bestselling Author of “Critical Care: A New Nurse Faces Death, Life, and Everything In Between” discussed this in the following article on the New York Times Blog.
When the Nurse Disagrees With the Doctor, By @TheresaBrown, October 13, 2010:”A recent conversation with a physician at my hospital was laced with tension about the different roles of doctors and nurses. “When you get down to it,” he told me, “Patients come to me for care, Theresa, not you.” Both of us were called away before we could talk more, but his words have been ringing in my head ever since. I couldn’t believe that this doctor, who had always worked well with the nurses on my floor, had just suggested, at least in my mind, that a nurse’s opinion on patient care matters less because patients don’t directly make appointments with us.
Amanda’s case should concern you as a nurse, should concern your patients, should concern every member of the healthcare team and patient advocates.
The American public has the right to know about the Amanda Trujillo case:”Looks like the nurse is assessing her patient. I’m sure that she will talk to him about his temperature and ask him for his input as she writes up his treatment plan. Bedside nurses monitor your health and meet your daily needs. We talk to the public, our patients, and advocate for you everyday. Now imagine a time when nurses are told that they can no longer talk to you because you don’t have a right to know. You don’t have the right to know about your temperature or your health care options, and you don’t have the right to know what hospitals and nursing organizations are doing to your nurses behind closed doors. Sounds a little Orwellian doesn’t it? Well it’s happening. Just in case you haven’t heard, Amanda Trujillo was fired for teaching her patient about their healthcare options.”
Why physicians should care about Amanda Trujillo by J. Doe, RN, KevinMD.com:”For the past month, the case of Amanda Trujillo has resonated deeply among nurses, triggering an avalanche of postings on Facebook, Twitter and in the nursing blogosphere. Trujillo is the Arizona nurse who was fired in April 2011 after providing education and making a hospice care consult request for an end-stage liver disease patient. This patient was slotted for pre-transplant evaluation and had poor understanding of the disease process and treatment options. Trujillo filled in the gaps for this patient. Trujillo then requested, at the patient’s own wish, a hospice team consult, documented her actions appropriately, and left a note (it was night shift) for the primary physician.”
For more information, kindly visit http://www.nurseup.com
If you have been the victim of a situation like Amanda’s we’d like to hear your story. It is a story that is being repeated with the “Kennedy Nurses” in New York, with the “Sunrise Nurses” in Nevada, previously with the “Winkler Nurses” in Texas.
In each of these cases, it is interesting to note where the nurses turned for support. These situations happen every day. We would like Nurseup.com to become a clearinghouse for nurses in these types of situations. We want to compile lists of organizations that can help nurses in these types of situations.
Thank you for your attention in this matter.
Andrew Lopez, RN
Nursefriendly, Inc. A New Jersey Corporation.
38 Tattersall Drive, Mantua New Jersey 08051
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