As an RN, I have been able to share experiences that have enhanced my life in unbelievable ways. From the many times I held a hand and cried with the patient’s family as a life passed to the excitement of new birth, I have grown personally. I have had amazing opportunities as a nurse. Throughout my career, I have morphed from excitement and passion to being overwhelmed and feeling helpless back to excitement and passion. It has been a rollercoaster ride. I have been a registered nurse since 1987 and I still remember the nervousness of waiting for results of the two days of testing to get my license. What a thrill it was to walk into the kitchen to see my mom hold up an envelope from the day’s mail that stated “Congratulations RN” across the front below my address. I still feel warm and fuzzy from the proud smile on her face.
I was taught accountability from an early age. Taking responsibility for your actions is an important characteristic for a healthcare professional. We are human, we make mistakes.
Some mistakes have no consequences and others can be catastrophic. There are multifaceted factors that cause these mistakes, some make us liable while others pass unnoticed. In addition, there are some circumstances where “lack of action” can contribute to mistakes. This lack of action is not just about lack of treatment, but also entails lack of proper preparation, ignoring ongoing problems or known risks, and also multiple other deficiencies. Over the years I have witnessed circumstances where the clinician’s proverbial hands are tied and potential risky practices continue due to lack of ability to change it. Navigating the complex world of healthcare practices and documentation to identify the mistakes and reasons for those mistakes can offer a significant challenge.
Working to review the medical aspect of legal cases offers an opportunity to not only assist in the defense when standards of care have been met, but to also work with the plaintiff in holding responsible parties accountable. There is so much to be gained for learning why mistakes happen. Working with attorneys on these cases also offers an opportunity to identify trends and vulnerabilities. With this information, improvements can be developed. This brings me back around to excitement and passion.
In this world of fighting the COVID pandemic it is great to have another aspect of nursing that can stir such excitement and passion.
My mission remains: To improve patient outcomes, enhance nursing practice, and serve clients with respect. Perhaps inciting passion will lead to great things.
Experience is still a great teacher!
Thank you for taking the time to read my introductory notes. Many blogs about how to understand the complicated world of healthcare will follow!
Contact me for more information!