Wednesday, January 21, 2009

The Horror of a Nursing Error

I see daily the intense anguish nurses go through when they have made an error or are accused of making an error. The error may be a medication error, a documentation error, an assessment error etc.; it does not matter which type, the emotional trial is the same. Nurses, even those that have done nothing wrong, begin to question their skills and knowledge. Insight is a good thing, but too frequently, the nurse experiences deep emotional impact from someone questioning their nursing practice.

RN magazine has an article in the December 2008 issue, "Sharing the load of a nurse "second victim 'Rescuing the healer after trauma'", that discusses this problem. It is helpful for nurses to be familiar with the issue because if you have been lucky enough to never have had scrutiny of your practice, you need to know what your colleague may be going through in order to be supportive.

How nurses treat each other is crucial to a good work environment and to the progression forward of the nursing career. All nurses must treat each other with respect, even if you do not always agree. This is being a professional and to elevate the profession, nurses must be seen by all as professionals.

Friday, January 9, 2009

I am serious - get malpractice insurance now

You may have read my other posts regarding malpractice insurance but as I sit here reading the news, I have to say it again - Get Insurance Now!

The economy is in tough times, which means it is not a good time to have concerns about keeping your job. The Nursing Board is asking for additional funds this Legislative session in order to hire more staff to process complaints. Complaints against nurses have increased and most of these involve minor errors or incidents (in other words, these are not "bad" nurses). It is peace of mind to have insurance that will pay for your legal representation before the Board and your expenses and the yearly premiums for insurance are very cheap.

To make it easier for you and because so many are still not getting insurance, I did a quick search for nursing malpractice insurance and the following are companies that you can contact to inquire about insurance (I do not work for these companies and this list is by no means exhaustive since I did not look much past the first page, it is just a way to get you moving on getting insurance and you should definitely check out many policies to be sure you get the best fit):

Be sure to ask questions about the insurance policy:
Do you cover nurses in Texas? In ______ specialty area?
Can you pick your own attorney (important) or is one assigned?
What are the coverage limits (there needs to be at least $10,000 for licensure cases, but more is better in case there is a drawn out hearing)?
Does the policy cover administrative/licensure actions (VERY important)?
What expenses are covered under the policy?

Friday, January 2, 2009

Can You Help?

Please Help Victoria Berry: She has always helped in the past and now she needs help

Many of you know Victoria Berry, MSN, RN from her work at the Texas Medical Board in the 1990s and in her subsequent role as a private sector health care consultant. She has been a part of the health care community for many years including service as a DON and as a registered nurse in long-term care facilities where she practiced as a wound care specialist. Victoria has been a long-time advocate for nurses and has freely given her time to help nurses in need. Victoria has also been a force in animal rescue donating both time and money to help dogs, cats, donkeys and horses.

In November of 2007, Victoria was diagnosed with Inflammatory Breast Cancer (IBC). This form of cancer is particularly resistant to treatment and often carries a bleak prognosis. IBC is a very rare cancer representing 1% of breast cancer diagnoses.
Little is known about IBC and clinical studies are desperately needed to offer hope to those who are currently suffering from it and to save those who will be afflicted in the future. MD Anderson opened the first IBC clinic to focus on the research and treatment of IBC, and is embarking on an experimental study specifically targeting Victoria¹s type of cancer. Victoria continues to fight the disease and has been accepted into the program.

A fund has been set up to assist Victoria and her family. If you are willing and able to help, contributions can be made through the Classic Bank of Giddings. No amount is too small to make a difference.

Contributions can be made in person, by mail, or electronically. Please use the information below to help Victoria as well as others who may be diagnosed with this insidious form of cancer and who may ultimately benefit from the results of the clinical study.
> Bank Info:
> Donation Account for Victoria Berry
> c/o Classic Bank of Giddings
> Attn: Kathy (New Accts.)
> P.O. Box 820
> Giddings, Texas 78942
For questions regarding electronic contributions, call the Classic Bank at (979) 542-6666.