Any accusations of professional misconduct should never be taken lightly. Even if you are certain that you have done nothing to such allegations, do not face the charges alone. A nurse attorney can help you. Without doing so, you might end up leaving unprepared to answer questions which could, in turn, lead to you being deemed culpable. L100718N7747
On or about September 30, 2007, while employed as a Charge Nurse in a medical facility in Gainesville, the LVN failed to appropriately and timely assess, evaluate, and intervene in the care of a patient, who had sustained a fall while attempting to transfer from a chair to her walker.
Instead of transporting the resident to her room and performing an appropriate focused assessment, the LVN felt the resident’s legs, pulled up the resident’s upper garments, looking quickly at the resident’s torso while in the day room, then instructed the nurse aides to transfer the resident to a wheelchair and wheel the resident to the dining room. The resident was then returned to her room via a wheelchair and assisted in bed.
The LVN also failed to perform a follow-up assessment, which may have revealed injuries not apparent immediately after the fall. The resident was observed by staff to have skin tears on both elbows during the LVN’s shift, and the following day X-rays were obtained which revealed a fractured left femur.
Additionally, the LVN violated the privacy of the resident when she inappropriately pulled up her clothing in the day room. Her conduct deprived the resident of her privacy and dignity and unnecessarily delayed medical intervention.
Subsequently, the LVN failed to accurately and completely document in the medical record of the aforementioned patient regarding her assessments, documenting only that “zero” injuries were apparent. Additionally, she falsely documented in the Accident/Incident Report that the resident had ambulated to the dining room and to her room. Her conduct resulted in an incomplete medical record and was deceptive.
Because of this, the LVN was summoned by the Texas Board of Nursing to defend her side.
During the hearing, the LVN states that she was at the Nurse’s Station, not far from the day room area when the resident fell, and she immediately assessed the resident in the day room with the Certified Nurse Aide (CNA) at the resident’s side.
According to the LVN, the CNA told her that the Resident had not struck her head. She “ran her fingers” over the resident’s scalp and found no blood, no tenderness, and no swelling, that the resident was sitting “straight on her buttocks NOT on one side or the other,” that the resident had not struck the chair or any other furniture, and that she checked the resident’s vital signs, which were normal. The LVN states that the resident’s arms were completely free of injury, and when she pulled the resident’s shirt up and checked her back, chest, and abdomen, those areas were also free of injury. She further asserts that she checked the resident’s legs and no injury, no abnormal rotation, and no length discrepancies.
The LVN adds that she knew she could assess the resident further by watching her gait and observed that the resident walked to the dining room unassisted with her walker, not only walking without pain, but with a gait that was “completely normal for her;” further, the resident returned to her room using the walker, without complaint, and was put to bed by the CNA.
The LVN emphatically denies that the resident suffered injuries and asserts that she fully documented in her notes and on the Incident Report. She contends that had the resident cried or complained of pain or other injuries during incontinent care on the night shift, it would surely have been noted, but nothing was documented until the day shift nurse found skin tears to both forearms, multiple contusions and marked edema of the left thigh.
The LVN states, “It is my assertion that the only explanation is that the resident suffered a second fall during the night where she most likely struck her head on furniture in the room and also fractured the left femur and traumatized her skin.” She concludes that she believes that the nursing administration “offered her” as a “sacrificial lamb” to appease the family of the resident, who was very upset about the resident’s injuries and had suggested legal action.
The LVN further states that she further believes that she was the victim of “payback” for questioning the nursing administration about various practices that she believed to be suspect.
Once a charge from the Board is filed, that case becomes public record and available for the world to see. When this happens, this makes it very difficult to get a job that takes insurance. An experienced nurse attorney knows how to avoid these pitfalls.
Your LVN license can be disciplined over simple misunderstandings, small mistakes or trivial issues. When this happens, hiring a nurse attorney is your best option. Attorney Yong J. An is a Texas nurse attorney and license defense lawyer that has a proven track record. He has over 12 years of experience handling Texas BON disciplinary action cases and has helped protect the license of numerous nurses in Texas. For a confidential consultation, call or text him at (832) 428-5679.