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CA Hospital Patient's Death Betrays a Trust



A patient's death resulting from a medical error during a lockout of unionized nursing staff was tragic. Unfortunately, what followed was a travesty, as the California Nurses Association/National Nurses United, Sutter Health, and the California Hospital Association executives abandoned decorum and traded barbs and pointed fingers.



6 comments on "CA Hospital Patient's Death Betrays a Trust"
Maureen Dugan (10/5/2011 at 2:21 AM)

Yes Registered Nurses are trusted by patients and the community. We did not betray that trust. That was done by hospital administrators such as Sutter, who refuse to negotiate in good faith. Registered Nurses do not strike lightly. We are held to a 100% standard of providing safe, effective and therapeutic care[INVALID]and yet how do we as nurses hold the hospital to their 100% of responsibility? Thankfully , as a member of a all RN Union , we have a voice. We speak up every day and every way afforded to us. What we hear in response is: no staff is available, you have to make due, our budget is fixed, ignore the obscene raises and bonuses the CEO, etc are getting, there is no more nursing staff to assist you....Nurses are standing up , advocating for our patients and our profession. If I do not do that I can have my license revoked by the state. My patients trust me to fight for them , and that is what I do every day for the last 22 years.
april (10/4/2011 at 9:44 PM)

ARE YOU KIDDING ME????!!!!! You think doctors treat patients for no money (where the hell did you get that from by the way), you think doctors have to put up with the CRAP that nurses have to put up with from management trying to change the ways we KNOW patients should be treated? We have a solid education in patient care but the people who decide how to treat patients sit behind a desk. Ridiculous. If nurses made more decisions on patient care errors and death rates would plummet.
Sheri (10/4/2011 at 7:27 PM)

Really? at Chloes comment above- Doctors look at insurance cards far more often than nurses ever do.
Sheri (10/4/2011 at 7:24 PM)

Some people will never get it. It IS about patient advocacy. Ensuring that nurses are staffed adequately, in order to AVOID exactly these types of errors. I am flabbergasted at the mistake made by this nurse, and I am willing to bet that she is not oncology certified, let alone chemotherapy certified. She injected a nutritional supplement into a central venous catheter. This isn't just a mistake, it's a lack of clinical experience. Sorry, this burden is borne by Summit, not the nurses who work there, nor the ones who tried to go back, nor the union. In the history of nursing walk outs and strikes, it has always been understood, though unwritten, that a specialty nurse would be happy to cross that picket line, with the unions and fellow nurse peers support, in order to provide care no one was competent in providing. We have always made exceptions. Don't insult nurses by implying we are ever anything else first, but patient advocates. Yes, we want to be paid a fair wage, we want a life too with appropriate schedules, and educational opportunities to further our ability to provide the best care. In the end, we're there FOR the patient, because trust me, the money is nowhere near good enough if you don't LOVE this job.
Matt (10/4/2011 at 4:26 PM)

Perhaps this will begin raising questions if medical unions should exist at all...
Chloe (10/4/2011 at 1:38 PM)

Maybe all the hype about nurses as angels of mercy will finally be debunked. There is a difference between doctors and nurses. Doctors DON'T abandon their patients for a day over wages. Doctors treat hospital patients on a regular basis for no pay at all. They don't look at insurance cards. Nurses could take a lesson from the work ethic and compassion of those "disruptive doctors."