Sunday, July 19, 2009

Good bye to a friend

Sometimes we all make mistakes. Most often, in my profession, the errors are due to our systems. Yet, when push comes to shove and some error is made public...boom! People are fired. Never mind looking at the entire system, at the resources that have been taken away, and at the good work of the workers. The "leaders" must show that they are in charge so they get retribution. They think they will look better to the public. However, little do they know that the public isn't as stupid as they think.

It always seems to be the nurses, too, who are at fault. One situation in Colorado occurred years ago where a baby died of an injection. There were 50+ plus mistakes that led up to this, including pharmacy errors, medical errors, as well as nursing errors. This is usually the situation. What happened? The nurses, alone, not only lost their licenses, but were charged criminally! This was made very public by the media, so the prosecutor had to make his point. Why didn't he also charge the physicians and the pharmacists? Nurses always seems to be easy targets. I think it's gender bias since in the U.S. approximately 92% of nurses are female. In this case, one of the nurses courageously decided to go before her peers (the others made a "deal"), rather than to bow to the prosecutors. The facts of the system errors were made public, and the jury of our peers acquitted her. Society, dear politicians, isn't as stupid as you might think. She lost her license, of course, but, quite correctly, the jury didn't see this as criminal behavior.

I'd like to salute my dear friend in California who is suffering because of a similar situation. Once again, many, many others were linked to what happened, but it was nursing who was attacked by the media and then by the "leaders." I am so sorry. We nurses need to stand up, courageously, and support our peers. This just isn't right!

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