As dedicated healthcare professionals, RNs are entrusted with the crucial task of ensuring accurate and comprehensive patient assessments, especially when administering pain medication. However, there are instances when an RN’s actions may inadvertently fall short of the expected standards, potentially jeopardizing patient care and raising concerns about professional conduct. During times of distress and potential legal consequences, RNs can greatly benefit from the expertise and guidance of a nurse attorney to protect the RN’s license.
At the time of the incidents, he was employed as an RN at a hospital in Houston, Texas, and had been in that position for two (2) years and one (1) month.
On or about April 15, 2021, through May 7, 2021, while employed as an RN at a hospital in Houston, Texas, RN failed to appropriately assess and/or document his assessment of pain both before and after he administered pain medication to two (2) different patients. RN’s conduct resulted in incomplete medical records.
On or about April 16, 2021, while employed as an RN at a hospital in Houston, Texas, RN removed two (2) milligrams hydromorphone from the medication dispensing unit for a patient but failed to document administration of the medication in the patient’s medication administration record. RN’s conduct resulted in an incomplete medical record and was likely to injure the patient in that subsequent caregivers would rely on his documentation to further medicate the patient.
In response, RN states that he charts the pre-medication pain assessment in the comment section of the medication administration record, describing location, intensity, pain rating, and character, among any additional comments stated by the patient. RN states that this has been his practice since his employment had begun and until now has not encountered any concerns for doing it this way. RN states he therefore believes that he did document details of pain levels before administration of pain medication. RN states that he sometimes documented pain medication administration on patients that were not assigned to him. RN states that if he gives medication, he documents his own administration ensuring proper documentation was completed. RN states that this is a long term care facility, and he is familiar with most of the patients during their extended stay at the facility. RN states that often he would help as able with other nurse’s patients, or if asked by a patient or family member, and he always communicated with the primary nurse the needs or the patient. RN states that he communicated with the primary nurse the patient’s need for pain medication and offered to assist by administering the medication for the primary nurse as she was taking report at the beginning of her shift. RN states that his way of administering medications does not allow him to walk away from the patient’s room without appropriately charting the medication after it is given to the patient. RN reports that once you pull the medication from the medication dispensing machine the only charting the nurse has to do is chart at bedside electronically using the computer in the room. RN states that he personally would pull the medications, open the patient chart, verify the medication falls within the times the patient can have it per orders, follow the five rights, give the medication, and then chart it once given. RN states that the only way it might have appeared that he pulled a medication and did not chart, would be if a fellow nurse was unable to leave a patient room, and asked him to pull a medication for him.
The above actions constitute grounds for disciplinary action in accordance with Section 301.452(b)(10)&(13) Texas Occupations Code, and is a violation of 22 TEX ADMIN. CODE §217.11(1)(A),(1)(B),(1)(D)&(3)(A) and 22 TEX. ADMIN. CODE §217.12 (1)(A),(1)(B),(1)(C)&(4).
The Texas Board of Nursing then subjected the RN’s license to disciplinary action. The accusation would have been defended by an experienced and skilled nurse attorney, had the RN hired one. Hiring a nurse attorney for defense is applicable for any kind of accusation laid against an RN or LVN.
Always remember that anyone can file a complaint against an RN/LVN with the state board for any reason. When this happens, all complaints need to be taken seriously no matter how trivial or unfounded they may appear. A nurse attorney is someone who can help you defend your license when the state board summons you. Equip yourself with the knowledge and expertise you need for a successful outcome by consulting a knowledgeable and experienced Texas RN license attorney. Texas Nurse Attorney Yong J. An is an experienced nurse attorney for various licensing cases for the past 16 years and represented over 300 nurses before the Texas BON. Contact the Law Office of Yong J. An 24/7 through text or call at (832) 428-5679.