HOW LONG HAS OUR NEWSLETTER BEEN PUBLISHED?

     Our Print Edition has been published every month since October 1992. Digital publishing was added in 2002.

WHAT IS OUR MISSION?

     Our mission is to reduce nurses' fear of the law and to minimize nurses' exposure to litigation.  Nurse managers need to spot potential legal problems and prevent them before they happen.  Managers and clinical nurses need to be familiar with how the law is applied by the courts to specific patient-care situations, so that they can act with confidence.

   We work toward our goals every month by highlighting the very latest important Federal and state court decisions and new Federal regulations directly affecting nurses in hospitals, long term care facilities and home health agencies.  We focus on nursing negligence and nurses' employment and licensing issues.

    Our readers are professionals in nursing management, nursing education, clinical nursing, healthcare risk management, legal nurse consulting and law. 

WHAT PUBLICATION FORMATS ARE AVAILABLE?

    The Digital Email Edition is our most popular format.  You receive the newsletter as a PDF file attachment in an email sent to you every month.  On any computer or mobile device you simply click the file attachment to open, read, download, and/or print the newsletter. 

Read a sample past issue.

     The Digital Email Edition is ideally suited to individuals.  It can also be used by large institutions.  Within an institution, like a hospital or university nursing department, an individual subscriber can forward pertinent articles to colleagues within the institution.  The content cannot be forwarded outside the institution or posted online.   An example might be a nursing director or director of nursing education who shares articles with nurse managers in individual clinical departments

     The Online Edition is a format suited to educational and healthcare facility libraries with multiple users.  We send a link via email for the current monthly newsletter.  To open the link to the newsletter for that month the subscriber or other user must be using a computer or device whose IP address or range of IP addresses we have authenticated for online access.

     Print, Digital and Online formats contain exactly the same content, eight pages with no advertising.

CAN I CANCEL MY SUBSCRIPTION AND GET A REFUND?

    Yes.  Just ask and the unused portion of your subscription will be refunded.

DOES MY SUBSCRIPTION RENEW AUTOMATICALLY?

    No. Every year a few months before your annual subscription runs out you will receive a renewal notice by email and regular mail.  We hope you will renew, but you can opt not to renew if you choose.  Renewal can be done online or by mail.

    There is no grace period after your subscription runs out.  Your subscription will end if you do not renew, but you can renew later at any time.

HOW DO I START A SUBSCRIPTION?

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    If you prefer, you can DOWNLOAD AND PRINT AN ORDER FORM TO MAIL OR SCAN AND EMAIL BACK TO US.  Checks, credit and debit cards, purchase orders accepted, or we will bill you.

    For the Online Edition phone us at (206) 718-0861.  The setup process is somewhat complicated for this format.

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Legal Eagle Eye Newsletter for the Nursing Profession

PO Box 1342 Sedona AZ 86339-1342

(206) 718-0861  subscriptions@nursinglaw.com

 

Medication Error: Nurse's Negligence Does Not Justify Termination For Cause.
  Nurses are not held to a different standard than employees in other occupations. That is, a nurse cannot be terminated for cause unless there has been willful misconduct or intentional disregard of the employer's interests.
  Nurses sometimes commit medication errors. Medication errors always have a potential to harm patients and sometimes do harm the patient. When a nurse commits a truly inadvertent mistake in administering medications there are no grounds to find willful misconduct.
  The archaic terminology of the common law is still relevant today in defining when there is willful misconduct justifying an employee's termination. Inadvertence is willful misconduct only if it is of such a degree as to manifest culpability, wrongful intent, or evil design, or show and intentional and substantial disregard of the employer's interests or of the employee's duties and obligations toward the employer.
 
Scope Of Practice: Discipline For Nurse Who Refused To Follow Physician's Order.
  The scope of practice of a registered nurse does not include the authority unilaterally to decline to follow a physician's order.
  When a registered nurse has concerns about a physician's order, the nurse should try as soon as possible to contact the physician who gave the order to discuss the nurse'concerns.
  Failure to follow the treating physician's medication order and failure to attempt to contact the treating physician placed this nurse's patient at an unreasonable risk of harm.
  Although the patient in this case suffered no actual harm from missing her medication, the patient could have suffered significant harm including death as a result of the nurse's actions.
  A nurse has a legal duty to communicate significant changes in the patient's condition to the physician. In this case that meant that the nurse had to communicate to the physician who wrote the order for the enoxaparin that she was not giving it due to her concerns over complications.

IM Injections: Hospital Used Outdated Nursing Standard.
  The hospital's protocol was last updated two and one-half years before.
Based on the fifth edition of a standard nursing text which did not specify a maximum volume for injections into the deltoid muscle, the hospital's protocol specified a maximum volume of 5 ml for injections into the deltoid.
  However, the seventh edition of that same nursing text and other nursing texts current when the patient was treated limited injections into the deltoid to 0.5 to 1 ml.
Larger volume injections were to be given in a larger muscle in the ventrogluteal region.
  The Court of Appeals of Texas accepted the patient's nursing expert's opinion that the hospital's protocol for intramuscular injections violated the legal standard of care, in that the protocol was based on an outdated nursing text.
 
False Imprisonment: Nurse Tried To Hold Patient Against His Will - Patient Can Sue Hospital.
  The law on involuntary mental health holds must be followed to the letter at the risk of the patient filing a civil false imprisonment lawsuit.
  A suit for false imprisonment can be filed and won even if the victim has not sustained any actual monetary loss. Citizens in our society have rights and can sue for even a momentary restraint on their liberty which is not carried out under valid legal processes.
  However, if a person is restrained under a valid exercise of legal authority that is later overturned, the person has no right to sue.
  The Appellate Court of Illinois ruled that if a physician's certification is too old, the patient must be seen and a fresh certification must be prepared. State law must be followed to the letter when a citizen's liberty is at stake, and if not, the citizen can sue for false imprisonment. 

 

Gender Discrimination: Male Nurse's Lawsuit Dismissed.
  In a mostly female occupation a male nurse is considered a minority protected by the US Civil Rights laws.
  The essence of discrimination is differential treatment based on a personal characteristic that identifies the victim as a minority.
  To show differential treatment a male nurse like any other minority must point to one or more non-minority coworkers who were similar in all other relevant respects but were treated more favorably. Without a basis of comparison, differential treatment does not exist and discrimination cannot be proven.
  The bottom line for the court was that the male nurse acted out in a very unprofessional manner compared to his female coworkers when notified of on-call assignments he did not want.
  Two female nurses did request not to be placed on call, but they requested it right away rather than waiting until the day before, and they did not act out in a demanding and insubordinate manner.
 
Patient Fall: Nursing Notes Prove There Was No Negligence, Lawsuit Dismissed.
  It is nursing negligence for nurses to leave the bed rails down and allow a patient to roll out of bed as this patient claimed in her lawsuit.
  However, that is not what happened, the court concluded. The nursing notes pointed to only one conclusion. The patient attempted to get up and go to the bathroom by herself.
  There is no nursing negligence when a patient has the capacity to know better, has been taught to know better, understands her limitations, knows she must ask for help and that she will get help from the nurses if she asks but nevertheless tries to do something herself that results in injury.
  The court pointed to the nurses' notes for the six days right up to the fall. The nurses noted that the patient seemed to understand the safety teaching she was getting from the nurses. The nursing notes showed she was consistently using her call bell to summon assistance, was getting regular assistance to get out of bed and was not trying to go to the bathroom by herself.