Posts Tagged ‘nurses’

No smart or decent nurse would think of doing such a thing.. yet these two RNs were arrested for it

Posted in Nursing News

Illustration: Stop signIf you were forced to choose one thing you should never, ever do, as a nurse, using your smartphone to snap pictures of patients’ private parts would probably be right up there in the list. If you would even come up with such a thought, that is. And yet it keeps happening! At least twice this last couple of months, a Registered Nurse made the news over exactly this.

Last March, the media reported on the case of a 27-year-old former nurse from Fulton, N.Y., who surrendered her nursing licence and declined to contest a charge of moral unfitness in the practice. She’d been arrested last year after using her iPhone to take a picture of an unconscious male patient’s penis.

The nurse, Kristen A. Johnson, also videotaped how another nurse cleaned an unconscious female patient’s gastrointestinal blood clot. The other nurse “told police that Johnson pointed her phone at her while she was cleaning the blood,” the Syracuse Post-Standard reported. The District Attorney’s Office started an investigation after the nurse’s co-workers at Upstate University Hospital in Syracuse, N.Y., complained that she’d texted them images of both patients. The investigators later found the video and the photo back on Johnson’s laptop.

Photo: Kristen Johnson

Kristen Johnson, arrested for having photographed intimate parts of unconscious patients (Onondaga County Sheriff’s Office)

At the time, Onondaga County District Attorney William Fitzpatrick released a statement saying that “despite what certain people seem to think, it is a crime in the state of New York to view, broadcast or record images of another person’s intimate body parts, surreptitiously”.

Johnson lost her job and was initially charged with two counts of felony second-degree unlawful surveillance and one count of misdemeanor second-degree disseminating of unlawful surveillance images. In a plea deal later last year, she pleaded guilty to one misdemeanor count that covers all of the charges, a follow-up story by the Syracuse Post-Standard reported, and in exchange the felony charges were reduced. She was required to give up her nursing license, and placed on probation for three years.

If none of that was creepy enough, police elsewhere in New York state, on Long Island, arrested a registered nurse at Good Samaritan Hospital in West Islip last month for photographing a teenage female patient’s “intimate parts”, News 12 Long Island reported. The nurse, 35-year-old Nick Petrella, stands accused of taking several photos of the patient while she was unconscious in the emergency room, receiving care for alcohol intoxication, according to ABC 7 New York.

Petrella had worked at the hospital for the last eight years, and his attorney said he was “highly honored and respected” as a nurse and had no past criminal record. He was arraigned on felony unlawful surveillance charges on May 27, but pleaded not guilty, and the judge “set cash bail at $7,500 and bond at $15,000.”

A common thread in both cases is that the police acted after a fellow nurse took action. In Petrella’s case, “another staff member of the hospital that observed Mr. Petrella, notified the charge nurse that was on duty, and the hospital ultimately advised us of it,” News 12 Long Island quoted Detective Sgt. John Diffley. If you see a colleague doing harm, do not hesitate to let someone know.

Americans Trust Nurses

Posted in Nursing, Nursing News

Who’s more trustworthy than a policeman, or a teacher, or even a member of the clergy?

That’s right, a nurse!

Nurses have topped a Gallup poll measuring the “honesty and ethical standards” of people in different fields yet again. This time they topped the next-best scorer — pharmacists — by 11% in the “very high” category. This is the 12th time in the 13 years they’ve been included in this poll that Nurses take the top spot. examines the poll:

The survey was conducted Nov. 28 to Dec. 1 among a random sample of 1,012 adults representing all 50 states and Washington, D.C. When asked to rate the honesty and ethical standards of nurses, 84% responded with “very high” or “high,” while 15% responded “average” and only 1% responded “low” or “very low.” (more…)

Should Mistakes by Nurses Be Crimes?

Posted in Nursing, Nursing Jobs

Healthcare systems typically aspire to a non-punitive atmosphere to manage any mistakes the nursing staff might make. Mistakes are documented and graded on the basis of harm or potential harm to the patient. Management usually feels that this approach encourages reporting of mistakes, which then spawns new methods of error prevention.

On the legal side, however, there is a movement to criminalize mistakes made by nurses. Healthcare systems feel this trend will result in an individual believing it’s more advantageous to protect self-interests, such as a nursing license and a job, than to report errors.

How Do You Decide To Move On?

Posted in Nursing, Nursing Jobs, Nursing Specialties

Sometimes we love our jobs — the environment, the co-workers, everything comes together beautifully and we can’t wait to get to work.

Then there are those jobs that aren’t perfect (this is probably the biggest category!) but they’re perfectly adequate and pay the bills.

But what do you do when your job is just horrible? When you’d rather do anything other than go to work? How do you decide whether it’s time to move on? And what do you do if you make the decision to change jobs?

This article offers some helpful ways to approach that problem (may you never have it!)

Because fear of the unknown is a powerful force for resisting change, your major objective in considering a move should be to make the unknown “known.” Build perspective by doing the following:

• Update your resume. Make sure it focuses on your accomplishments and shows a diversity of experience. You never know when an opportunity will present itself, and you want to be ready.

Haiku Helps Nurse Cope with Working in the ER

Posted in Nursing, Nursing Jobs, Nursing Specialties

Is there a more stressful place to work than the ER?

People deal with the stress in a variety of ways — hobbies, friendships, and often a hefty dose of black humor.

Nurse Jason Hautala has found that haiku gives him a way to process the stress and drama of his job.

Given the nature of his job as an emergency department nurse, Hautala has learned that friends are not eager to hear about his work.

“They don’t want to talk about scrotal maggots over a rice dinner,” said the Longview native, who now lives and works in the Puget Sound region.

Male Nurse Claims He Was Fired For Treating Muslim Women

Posted in Nursing, Nursing Jobs

Here’s another story about nurses being told that they cannot work with patients for reasons unrelated to their skills per se — in this case it is about the nurse’s gender rather than race, though. A male registered nurse says that he was fired because some Muslim people in his community of Dearborn, MI were uncomfortable with him treating Muslim women.

John Benitez Jr. filed a sex discrimination suit Wednesday in Detroit U.S. District Court after getting the go-ahead from the federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission in a “right to sue” letter Oct. 19.


In a complaint filed on his behalf, his lawyer, Deborah L. Gordon, said Benitez joined Dearborn’s Health Department in September 2010. The 63-year-old Madison Heights resident has a three-decade nursing career. Dearborn has a large Muslim community and one of the largest Arab immigrant communities in the U.S.

Practice Makes Perfect

Posted in Nursing, Nursing Jobs

We recently excerpted an article about nursing mannequins, which allow nurses to practice their skills before they unleash the needles (and other indignities) on a real human. However, not everyone has access to that kind of high-tech help.

So what is that like for the nurses who have to practice drawing blood for the first time, for example? Theresa Brown, writing in the NYT’s Well blog, describes the day she learned how to draw blood, as an instructor looked on:

We don’t usually tell patients when we are practicing on them because it makes them hesitant and nervous, but they often figure it out anyway. If they ask, we don’t lie, but we try to answer in a way that puts them at ease. To the patient who asked why someone was watching everything I did, my instructor explained that I was a nurse, and that we were just “reviewing peripheral sticks.”

I wish I could say I remembered all of my patients from that day perfectly — those from whom I managed to draw blood effortlessly and those from whom I didn’t. (more…)

Night Shift Napping Makes Better Nurses

Posted in Nursing, Nursing Jobs

Napping on the job used to be cause for immediate dismissal in most professions, but nurses on the night shift can become better, healthier nurses if they take the occasional nap.

In a study conducted by the University of Manitobain Winnipeg, researchers identified several key points that support the importance of a nightly snooze by the nursing staff. Taking into account a number of variables — work schedules, environment, nap vs. non-napping experiences, perceptions of the subject matter, barriers to napping, and individual preferences — interviewers talked to 13 critical care nurses, some of whom preferred to nap, and others who found it simply didn’t fit with their nursing practice.

Wendy Fallis, Ph.D., RN, the co-lead investigator, reported that the nurses who preferred to take a nap felt “revived and alert” after a short rest. (more…)

Robot Dummies Help Nursing Students

Posted in Nursing, Nursing School

The robots don’t give the students answers, and it’s not because the robots are dumb, either.

They’re dummies that are robots, and they provide learning opportunities for nursing students while sparing actual humans the discomfort that results from being practiced upon.  (I remember my mom practicing her blood drawing technique on my dad when she was in nursing school and had graduated from oranges.  He didn’t appreciate it much.) (more…)

It’s Nurse Practitioner Week!

Posted in Nursing, Nursing Jobs, Nursing Specialties

Are you a Nurse Practitioner?  If so, this is your week!  National NP Week is November 13th through 19th.This article celebrates NPs and the important place they have in healthcare.

NPs are licensed, expert clinicians who have been providing primary, acute and specialty healthcare services for nearly half a century.  In addition to diagnosing and managing acute and chronic illness, NPs place a strong emphasis on health promotion and disease prevention, working as a partner with their patients to help them make educated healthcare decisions and healthy lifestyle choices.