What Happened to Vanderbilt Nurse Radonda Foot A former Tennessee nurse was sentenced Friday to three months probation after being found guilty in March of a potentially fatal medication error in 2017. The error led to the deaths of several patients under her care. Although she was not sentenced to prison, the sentence and conviction, which she received in the course of the error that occurs regularly in health facilities across the United States, truly represents a misrepresentation of justice.
It is very different from the events in the case of William Hussle, a former Ohio physician who was acquitted of murder charges in April, for accelerating the death rate of 14 critically ill patients in his care. He asked for prescriptions for the pain reliever fentanyl, which was 10 times higher than the dose normally prescribed for critically ill patients. Housell knew and intended to prescribe excessive doses of the drug to patients in their thirties, forties, and eighties, suffering from various ailments ranging from cancer to pneumonia.
The first clue we have in both cases is for the families who have experienced the trauma caused by these events. There is no way that compensation, prison or settlement money will help them reunite with their loved ones or mitigate the harm they have suffered.
However, these two cases show the unfair and harmful distinction between the standards to which doctors are held as well as the standards to which nurses are held.
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There is no doubt that Fatout made a grave mistake in giving her patient an injection of the drug vecuronium, an anti-muscle relaxant, which left the then 75-year-old in respiratory failure and out of breath, rather than Versed, a sedative. The Vanderbilt University Medical Center, where Faust worked in the intensive care inpatient unit, facilitated the safety guarantees she used to fault her medications — just like many other health care systems.
Whatever the verdict was on her actions or her health regimen, the outcome was clearly due to a fault. No one can argue that Vaught was intentionally trying to harm her patient.
This contrasts with Hussle, who was aware of the consequences of prescribing large doses of fentanyl. This was not a medical error, but rather a series of deliberate actions that he knew would result in the deaths of patients under his care. Whatever motivated him to make the decision, it’s a fact: it is not within his responsibility as a physician who has signed an oath to “do no harm,” to decide to cause the death of another person.
A nurse who made a fatal mistake is guilty of a crime, and can have a prison sentence, and a doctor who made a mistake that led to the death of a number of patients was acquitted? What is it It is happeningwith this story? It didn’t matter if Housell’s claim was that he was alleviating their suffering. But we don’t know since Hussle didn’t testify. It is important to note that it was not his decision to try to hasten the deaths of his victims.
As Franklin County Assistant District Attorney David Zinn said in closing arguments, “Even if their deaths were certain because the sun would rise early in the morning, when it hastened to the point of death, you might have caused them to die according to the law.”
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We were left wondering. Was the nurse seen as “more guilty” in light of how people view nurses? For a long time in a row, nursing has been among the trusted professions. Do people think that in some way, Vaught’s mistake was more detrimental to trust than the actions of an individual doctor who intentionally caused harm?
The unfortunate truth is that persecuting nurses for mistakes made in the course of their duties will deter those who wish to pursue nursing as a profession even though nurses in the United States face an acute shortage of nurses. Most importantly for us nurses who are always making mistakes – we’re pretty sure if you’re practicing medicine and saying you didn’t do anything wrong, you’re not exercising long enough. The fee will discourage nurses, doctors, or any other health worker in general from making and reporting errors.
These double standards can hamper the progress made over the past 20 years in patient safety and quality health care, as outlined by the Institute of Medicine in its landmark 1999 publication, “Wrong is Human: Building a Safer Health System.” Getting nurses to make a serious mistake in exchange for a medical doctor who willfully caused harm is against the purpose of creating a patient safety environment.