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An experienced nurse attorney has surely helped a lot of RNs and LVNs when it comes to cases that may lead to disciplinary action. Unfortunately, not all nurses were able to hire a nurse attorney as they underwent such cases. This incident that an RN committed on January 29, 2011, was one of those examples.

On or about January 12, 2015, the RN pre-documented that the initial, second, third, and final sponge counts were correct two minutes before the surgery start time for the patient, who was undergoing a penile prosthesis surgery. The patient was subsequently hospitalized March 30, 2015, for inflammation at the surgery site and had an exploratory re-incision, where a retained sponge was retrieved.

The RN’s conduct resulted in an inaccurate medical record and was likely to injure the patient from adverse complications of a retained surgical item, including the necessity of additional surgical procedures, abscess, sepsis, and possible demise.

The Texas Board of Nursing has full jurisdiction over all cases regarding errors committed by an RN or LVN. Thus, she was called by the Board to defend against the case.

In response to the allegations filed against her, the RN states that it is not appropriate to mark a count as correct prior to a case. The RN states that generally, she does not check the box saying that counts are correct until the counts are correct. She states that during this surgery, the physician and scrub nurse were hostile towards each other, which contributed to the outcome. The RN states that the standard procedure is that when a sponge is placed in the patient, it is supposed to be called out loud for the circulator to record and keep track of.

The following incident and defense against the case caused the Texas Board of Nursing to place the RN and her license into disciplinary proceedings. She would have sought assistance from a good nurse attorney to provide clarifications towards the case.

If you’ve ever done any errors during your shift as an RN or LVN, and you wish to preserve your career and your license, an experienced nurse attorney is what you need. Nurse Attorney Yong J. An, an experienced nurse lawyer for various licensing cases for 14 years, can assist you by contacting him at (832) 428-5679.