Thank you Kevin, and Coach Berg, for your insights about the Amanda Trujillo case. The surgeon had an obligation to inform the patient about the risks and alternatives to the proposed surgery. My experience as a legal nurse consultant for 23 years has shown that when nurses do NOT speak up about something that gives them concern, that the outcome is often bad and results in patient harm. What struck me in reading the materials about this case was the sentence that the physicians were not ready to consider hospice care. But it is not their decision to make. Amanda protected her patient’s rights. I am horrified that she has been subjected to this nightmare.I will share her story on http://www.avoidmedicalerrors.com and will encourage others to do so.
@Pat Iyer MSN RN LNCC You are right Pat. The surgeon did have an obligation to discuss alternatives, and it seemed as if Amanda was targeted because of a “radical” difference of opinion to make sure the patient was well informed about all options. I’ve seen this in practice where healthcare providers have sometimes just threw a fit when hospice was consulted, as if there is this black cloud over them when they come to the bedside to speak with the patient and family members. These providers seem to feel defeated in a way, as if not given the chance to “win this one,” or beat the disease.
Pat, thanks so much for sharing her story. Our cause is bigger than this case alone, and we hope to make a big impact on the industry here that collaboration is a must, that nurses are a critical part of the team, and we will continue to advocate for our patients.
@innovativenurse @Pat Iyer MSN RN LNCCYes, our cause is bigger than this and it is a vital one. I have scheduled blog posts for Monday on http://www.avoidmedicalerrors.com and http://www.patiyer.com. I have also written to the Arizona Board of Nursing.
Arizona State Board of Nursing
4747 North 7th Street, Suite 200
Phoenix, AZ 85014-3655
To whom it may concern,
In the case of Amanda Trujillo, RN, as I understand the details of her case, she was doing her job. She was upholding her obligation to be a patient advocate. I have been a legal nurse consultant for 23 years, a past president of the American Association of Legal Nurse Consultants, and editor of Nursing Malpractice, Fourth Edition, 2011, published by Lawyers and Judges Publishing Company. I have seen cases in which patients have been injured by incompetent physicians.
Amanda’s case needs to be looked at in the bigger issue of patient care. Yes, she educated her patient to help her decide on the best option for her. But what happens to other Arizona nurses who need to educate their patients if that education results in incurring the wrath of a physician? When the nurse is silenced, afraid to speak up, afraid to advocate for the patient, some very bad results can occur. Your disciplinary action against Amanda would send a message to nurses that they should not speak up. Your failure to support her would undermine the very necessary safety net that nurses provide.
Ten years ago, five years ago, the Arizona Board of Nursing could have taken action against Amanda with very little notice from the world outside your borders. Now, through social media, you have a spotlight on your actions. We watched the case of the nurses in Texas and rallied behind them. You can’t hide. Do the right thing and drop the complaint against Amanda. Allow her to resume her life.
Patricia Iyer MSN RN LNCC
Past president of AALNC