I finally took the time to read some other blogs today. One of the issues that I found disturbing was the case of Amanda Trujillo.
There are a lot of bits and pieces out there about what actually happened in this case. This blog post was reportedly an e-mail from Amanda describing the events. A summary of the post follows.
Amanda was a registered nurse of six years , specializing in cardiology, geriatrics, and end of life/palliative care.
In April 2011, she was caring for a dying patient at Banner Del E. Webb Medical Center who had agreed to a major invasive surgery recommended by a staff surgeon.
Amanda used materials from her hospital to educate the patient about the details of the surgery and the aftercare.
The patient became upset, stating that the surgeon never explained details of the surgery or what had to be done after the surgery (complex lifetime daily self care).
Amanda also discovered that the patient “had no idea” that surgery could be refused or that the patient could enroll in hospice care. She educated the patient on those options as well.
Afterwards, the patient requested a case management consult to visit with hospice.
Amanda documented her discussions with the patient and informed the nurse at shift change that the surgeon needed to clear up a “gross misunderstanding” the patient had about the surgery.
“The surgeon became enraged, threw a well witnessed tantrum in the nursing station, refused to let the patient visit with hospice, and insisted I be fired and my license taken.”
She was fired and she is not able to find employment due to the actions taken against her license.
As a result of this incident, Amanda’s career has been destroyed. She is a single mom with three nursing degrees and now, unemployed and unemployable, she has no other option than public aid to feed her family.
Back in 1913, Supreme Court Justice Louis Brandeis once wrote:
“Publicity is justly commended as a remedy for social and industrial diseases. Sunlight is said to be the best of disinfectants; electric light the most efficient policeman.”
I’ve tweeted to Amanda to contact me so that I can get more information from her. If the above events can be substantiated, what happened to Amanda was deplorable. And if the events can be substantiated, I’m going to shine some sunlight on the actions of other parties involved.
I’ll request the patient’s permission for release of the patient’s medical records from the hospital. With the patient’s permission, I’ll publish them here, including the surgeon’s notes and Amanda’s notes.
I’ll get the names of the nursing supervisor and everyone involved in Amanda’s firing, including the hospital CEO. We’ll take a look at their careers on this blog.
I’ll get the names of the people from the Arizona State Board of Nursing who reviewed this case and who recommended that Amanda lose her license and undergo psychiatric testing. I’ll publish any correspondence that they sent Amanda. We’ll take a look at just how they arrived at their conclusions.
And I’ll get the name of the surgeon who allegedly does not take the legal doctrine of informed consent too seriously and who allegedly uses temper tantrums as a means to bully people into submission. Maybe we can look into his background a little. If he did have a “tantrum” in a patient care area, has the hospital investigated him for his conduct?
Everything will be published here.
And if ends up that Amanda was wrong for what she did I’ll publish that as well.
That reminds me …
When two nurses complained to the Texas Medical Board that a physician was trying to hock herbal medications to hospital clinic patients, they were fired and prosecuted for criminal acts. The Texas Nurse’s Association became outraged, established a legal defense fund for the nurses, and fought for them. In the end, the doctor was the subject of a complaint by the Texas Medical Board, and the hospital at which the nurses worked was fined for firing the nurses.
Why isn’t the Arizona Nurses Association taking any action on Amanda’s behalf? I might have an idea.
It so happens that the President of the Arizona Nurse’s Association, Teri Wicker, is also the Director of Professional Practice at Banner Del E Webb Medical Center – the same hospital where Amanda Trujillo used to work. Has anyone asked her for comment?
More to come …