Select Page

The RN got fired from the Texas Children’s Hospital who posted about a boy with measles was reported by Samantha Ketterer of Houston Chronicle on Tuesday, August 28, 2018. An RN at Texas Children’s Hospital has been discharged after she posted information on social media about a boy who tested positive for measles, hospital officials said Tuesday afternoon. The hospital took the action four days after learning Friday of the nurse’s posts on Facebook. The boy, who is between 1 and 3 years old, was treated at the hospital’s west campus in the Energy Corridor.

“We were made aware that one of our nurses posted protected health information regarding a patient on social media,” Texas Children’s said in a statement. “We take these matters very seriously as the privacy and well-being of our patients is always a top priority. After an internal investigation, this individual is no longer with the organization.

The RN has not been involved in patient care since Friday, according to the hospital. The RN posted about the child on an anti-vaccination group’s Facebook page called Proud Parents of Unvaccinated Children-Texas, according to screenshots of posts obtained by The Houston Chronicle. It’s not clear whether the child was vaccinated for the measles virus. The boy had recently traveled overseas, Houston Health Department officials said in a Facebook post-Monday night.

The RN, who listed Texas Children’s as her workplace on Facebook, described her experience seeing a child with measles for the first time.

“I think it’s easy for us nonvaxxers to make assumptions but most of us have never and will never see one of these diseases,” she said. “By no means have I changed my vax stance, and I never will. But I just wanted to share my experience and how much worse it was than I expected.”

Health officials say that the vaccine is the best way to prevent the illness. The last confirmed case of measles in Houston was in 2013. And over the past 10 years, Houston has averaged fewer than one reported case of measles per year, according to the Houston Health Department.

“This is a highly-contagious, vaccine-preventable infection,” Texas Children’s Hospital said in a statement. “We know vaccination is the best protection against measles.”

The health department is investigating the case, which is still being treated as a “suspected” case of measles, pending verification from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Texas Children’s Hospital has also contacted families of any other children who may have come in contact with the boy, according to the statement.

The boy’s condition is unknown. Texas Children’s Hospital officials couldn’t confirm where the boy traveled, his specific age or whether he was vaccinated, citing hospital privacy laws.

Measles is a viral respiratory illness, with symptoms including fever, runny nose, a hacking cough, red eyes with severe sensitivity to light and a distinctive rash, according to  Texas Children’s.

It’s spread through direct contact with discharge through the nose and mouth, as well as through coughing and sneezing.

The first dose of the Measles, Mumps and Rubella vaccine is usually given between 12 and 15 months of age, according to Texas Children’s. The second dose is administered typically between 4 and 6 years of age. The first dose prevents measles in 93 percent of people, and the second dose prevents measles in 97 percent of people, according to the hospital.

The RN may have violated this provision from the Texas Administrative Code:

Sec. 301.452 provides for the grounds for disciplinary action:

(a)In this section, intemperate use includes practicing nursing or being on duty or on call while under the influence of alcohol or drugs.

(b) A person is subject to denial of a license or to disciplinary action under this subchapter for:

(1) a violation of this chapter, a rule or regulation not inconsistent with this chapter, or an order issued under this chapter;

(2) fraud or deceit in procuring or attempting to procure a license to practice professional nursing or vocational nursing;

(3) a conviction for, or placement on deferred adjudication community supervision or deferred disposition for, a felony or for a misdemeanor involving moral turpitude;

(4) conduct that results in the revocation of probation imposed because of conviction for a felony or for a misdemeanor involving moral turpitude;

(5) use of a nursing license, diploma, or permit, or the transcript of such a document, that has been fraudulently purchased, issued, counterfeited, or materially altered;

(6) impersonating or acting as a proxy for another person in the licensing examination required under Section 301.253 or 301.255;

(7) directly or indirectly aiding or abetting an unlicensed person in connection with the unauthorized practice of nursing;

(8) revocation, suspension, or denial of, or any other action relating to, the person’s license or privilege to practice nursing in another jurisdiction or under federal law;

(9) intemperate use of alcohol or drugs that the board determines endangers or could endanger a patient;

(10) unprofessional conduct in the practice of nursing that is likely to deceive, defraud, or injure a patient or the public;

(11) adjudication of mental incompetency;

(12) lack of fitness to practice because of a mental or physical health condition that could result in injury to a patient or the public; or

(13) failure to care adequately for a patient or to conform to the minimum standards of acceptable nursing practice in a manner that, in the board’s opinion, exposes a patient or other person unnecessarily to risk of harm.

Because of this nurse’s conduct, the Texas Board of Nursing (BON) will probably conduct an investigation to her nurse license. Avoid the same thing from happening in your case. Make sure to take the necessary steps in dealing with a complaint filed before the Board against you.

If you have received a letter from the Texas BON for such conduct or any other offense, it is best to consult an experienced Texas Nurse Defense Attorney, Yong J. An @ 832 428 5679 who can guide you on the steps you need to take to protect your nursing license.