If you’ve been following Innovative Nurse, and the other nurse bloggers and innovators out there, then you’ve probably gotten a dose of how powerful social media can be. Just a few short days ago, I heard about Amanda Trujillo’s story and decided to plant my feet firmly on the ground, my fingers firmly on my keyboard, and I took a stance. Drafting an open letter to the Arizona Board of Nursing on Amanda’s behalf just seemed like the least I could do for her.
She didn’t reach out to me, I’ve never met her in person, and yet, it’s as if I actually know her. The connection is unbreakable. She’s a nurse. I know what that means. I take a lot of pride in who I am, and everything I’ve done as a nurse. I’m sure you know where I’m coming from if you too are a nurse. We are on the front lines, we are the armor, and together we’re impenetrable.
In such a short time, several of us in the blogosphere have taken the same stance and banned together to form a very powerful movement, a platform in which to elevate our voices, and unite. #NurseUp
We were already out “here” doing what it is that we do to impact change. You know, the things that most of us bloggers, vloggers, Tweeters, writers, speakers and Facebook fans do. We build online communities. Amanda however brought our communities closer together. Our blogs, our Facebook pages, our Twitter feeds, our YouTube channels, united. These are our digital podiums that carry our voices a great distance. And, we’re not backing down.
Amanda’s story united us, but it’s the cause in which our stance is cemented. A patient’s right to choose. A nurse, or any clinician for that matter, should never have to fear persecution for advocating and protecting a patient’s bill of rights by simply ensuring that they are able to make an informed decision about their care. These are the healthcare professionals that are working with great integrity.
It seems that regardless of our education, level of expertise, and scope of practice, our ability to truly practice collaboratively is being challenged. According to the International Council of Nurses, they represent more than 13 million professional nurses worldwide. Today, I further pledge my devotion to reach as many of you out there as I can, but I know I won’t be alone on this journey. The momentum that is already building around this movement is absolute. Together we will empower you to come from out of the shadows by raising awareness, elevating our voices, and uniting as one.
I stand with you now, transformed into armor, protecting the front lines of this cause, impenetrable.
Let your voices be heard. To have your blog posts submitted here, just reach out via the contact form over on the right, or reach out via Facebook and Twitter.
Tweet it, Google +1 it, Facebook it, get this message out there.
Arizona State Board of Nursing
4747 North 7th Street, Suite 200
Phoenix, AZ 85014-3655
To the Arizona State Board of Nursing:
I am a nurse, coach, nurse blogger and professional writer, and I have been following the case of Amanda Trujillo quite closely.
Having read the legal brief, Ms. Trujillo’s statements, as well as other facts about the case, it is clear to me that Ms. Trujillo was acting completely within her scope of practice as a nurse when she provided the patient in question with information regarding her choices vis-a-vis her pending surgical intervention.
The fact that Ms. Trujillo is now being forced to undergo a psychiatric evaluation further supports the contention that no stone is being left unturned in efforts to undermine her credibility and her history as an exemplary nurse. It is ironic that the surgeon who demanded the suspension of her license and her ability to practice in the state of Arizona is undergoing no such evaluation or rigorous vetting process. The Arizona Board of Nursing and Ms. Trujillo’s employers easily caved to demands by the surgeon that Ms.Trujillo be fired and lose her license, an action that once again demonstrates how the disparity of power between physicians and nurses continues to undermine nurses’ ability to perform their duties according to a clearly stated scope of practice.
Ms. Trujillo was taken to task for “messing up” the surgeon’s “hard work” of preparing for the scheduled surgery. Why was Ms. Trujillo not praised for providing necessary education to a patient who clearly demonstrated a startling knowledge deficit regarding what this surgery would entail for her? Nurses are trained to provide education and resources to patients, and that includes situations wherein physicians themselves fail to educate patients properly. Ms. Trujillo may have “messed up” this physician’s “hard work”, but she refused under these circumstances to “mess up” this patient’s life by failing to educate her and provide the information that would elicit true informed consent, something that the physician in question clearly failed to accomplish.
The nursing community is rallying around Ms. Trujillo due to the facts that clearly demonstrate how Ms.Trujillo acted within her scope of practice and documented her actions clearly and concisely following her interactions with the patient. If the physician was inconvenienced by her actions, this issue could have been addressed by the facility’s ethics committee. Instead, the Board of Nursing and Banner Health agreed to the physician’s outrageous demands, allowing his power to prevent a measured and intelligent response to the situation at hand.
It would indeed have a chilling effect on the entire nursing profession if the Arizona Board of Nursing sets a precedent that redefines our profession and the collaborative health care model that has been the touchstone of professional nursing for decades.
As you by now understand, the actions against Ms. Trujillo and the suspension of her nursing license have ignited a firestorm of criticism regarding how this case has been handled by both the Arizona Board of Nursing and Ms. Trujillo’s employer. The support is only growing, and those who are incensed by this situation will use the power of social media and the traditional media to bring the egregious nature of this case to the attention of the wider public.
I respectfully request that you consider dropping the complaint filed against Amanda Trujillo’s license and the case against her.
Keith Carlson, RN, BSN, CPC