We see, read, and hear so much about horizontal violence and nurses not being supportive of each other, and also about other healthcare professionals being unsupportive of nurses. Another such case is occurring, but what is striking to me, is that while this one nurse is going through this tough time, nurses on the web are rallying together to support her and encouraging others to do the same.
The case is of Amanda Trujillo, a registered nurse in Arizona. According to a letter she wrote and the posts of many nurse bloggers, Amanda has been fired from her job, her nursing license is in question, and she is undergoing psychiatric evaluation after educating a patient about his illness and options. The patient decided to forgo surgical intervention and explore hospice care. The details of her case can be read on a number of nursing blogs, including vdutton’s posterous (with the transcript of details recorded by her attorney), Those Emergency Blues, and Emergiblog. The Nerdy Nurse also has several posts and an extensive list of resources about the case and ways to show support.
I can think of several instances where patients I’ve cared for had questions that either were not answered by the healthcare team or were answered, but the patient did not fully understand his condition or options. On many occasions in my nursing career, I provided patient education that helped a family make an informed decision. I’ve called together family meetings with the healthcare team and requested ethics committee consultations. Advocating and educating patients, within the scope of nursing practice and institution policies, of course, is our responsibility.
I will be following the case to see what evolves and the response of nursing organizations. Thank you to the nurses who have been sharing Amanda’s story.