In healthcare, the timely and comprehensive assessment of patients is fundamental to ensuring their well-being. However, there are unfortunate instances when healthcare professionals, such as LVNs, may fall short of these critical standards, potentially compromising patient safety. In situations like this, the guidance of a nurse attorney is invaluable for navigating the legal and ethical complexities surrounding inadequate patient assessments, ensuring accountability, and safeguarding the rights of the healthcare professional involved.
At the time of the incident, she was employed as an LVN at a health care facility in Harlingen, Texas, and had been in that position for three (3) months.
On or about July 28, 2021, while employed as an LVN at a health care facility in Harlingen, Texas, LVN failed to fully assess a resident when she had a sudden change in condition, including yelling, flailing her legs and arms, and incoherent and uncooperative behavior. Specifically, LVN failed to obtain the resident’s blood pressure, pulse, temperature, respirations, and blood glucose. The resident sustained multiple injuries during the above-referenced episode, and upon arrival of EMS, the resident was noted to have a critical blood glucose level of 28 mg/dL. Subsequently, the resident was admitted to a hospital. LVNs conduct was likely to injure the patient from potentially adverse complications of undetected and untreated fluctuations in blood glucose.
Without seeking advice from a nurse attorney, LVN responded and stated that she was new to the floor and unfamiliar with the patients. LVN states that the report she received at hand-off was very poor. LVN states that as a result she was unaware of the patient’s status as a diabetic. LVN states that when she called the physician assistant on call that morning, he said this was a psych problem and not to send the patient to the hospital, as they would just send her back. LVN states that the insulin reaction was atypical and unlike any she had seen before. LVN states that the oncoming nurse, who was familiar with this patient, did not seem to think it was an insulin reaction as she didn’t assist in her care or even mention it could be her blood sugar. LVN states that the patient’s violent behavior required constant hands-on work to prevent the patient from falling and LVN states she feared the patient would knock her head on the tile floor, causing increased trauma. LVN states that as a result, she was unable to leave her long enough to go get the medicine cart, unlock it, and get the equipment to check the patient’s vital signs. LVN states that on the second call to the physician’s assistant he stated to send the patient to the hospital, but still insisted it was a psych issue, not a medical issue.
The above action constitutes 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)(M)&(2)(A) and 22 TEX. ADMIN. CODE §217.12 (1)(A),(1)(B)&(4).
However, without seeking advice from an experienced nurse attorney and without enough evidence to prove she’s not guilty, the LVN lost the case. This is the reason why the Texas Board of Nursing placed her LVN license under disciplinary action.
If you ever undergo cases such as this, it’s best to seek the assistance of a good nurse attorney as it could make the case better in your favor. Be sure to find a nurse attorney who is experienced and knowledgeable in several nurse cases to ensure the best assistance possible. Texas Nurse Attorney Yong J. An is willing to assist every nurse in need of immediate help for nurse licensing cases. He is an experienced nurse attorney for various licensing cases for the past 17 years and represented over 500 nurses before the Texas BON. To contact him, please dial (832) 428-5679 for a confidential consultation or for more inquiries.