Empowering Nurses at the Bedside and in Business

Crisis Care

It is hard to believe that we live in a first world nation that is one of the wealthiest on the planet yet needs to ration healthcare.

It is really scary how patients can go to a hospital and potentially be denied care because of a shortage of resources.

Not only that, and even scarier, is that hospitals are being shielded from liability for activating these crisis standards.

On September 1, 2021, Hawaii’s governor signed an order shielding healthcare facilities and workers from liability if they feel they must ration healthcare.

It is too bad that hospitals didn’t wake up long ago to treat nurses with respect, dignity and to cherish and appreciate them during this pandemic.  As a result, many nurses have become burned out, frustrated, and have left the profession or are considering leaving.

It is sad to release facilities from liability when the main reason we have lawsuits in this country is to prevent governmental overreach and over-regulation.

Patients deserve the same standard of care regardless of whatever situation there may be in a hospital.  Hospitals should be responsible for supplying adequate staffing of nurses and equipment.

This is not an excuse.  Hospitals cannot be the arbiter of who gets treatment and who does not.  According to the Emergency Medical Treatment and Labor Act, anybody in an emergency medical condition who shows up at a hospital expects and deserves to be treated.

If a member of your family goes into a hospital and subsequently, because of a lack of proper staff, develops pressure ulcers, they will find that there is no remedy allowed because they cannot bring a claim or suit against the healthcare facility.  THAT is against everything that his nation stands for.

The standard of care should not be changed solely because the hospital is not prepared and does not have enough healthcare staff, particularly nurses.  The American Nurses Association is asking that the nursing shortage be declared a national crisis.

Interestingly, we have known about this nursing shortage for years!  We knew that the baby boomers would be aging and looking forward to retirement.  COVID just threw a wrench in the gears.

All hospitals should have been planning starting long before the pandemic to always have adequate staff.  During the COVID invasion (and before), hospitals should have made sure that nurses were being respected and treated appropriately so that they would want to stay in the profession, if not with the healthcare facility itself.

Aside from decreased liability for rationing care, Indiana’s governor signed into law an act which shields nursing homes from liability during the pandemic.

It’s very troublesome that nursing homes, which are and have been for some time already understaffed in taking care of our country’s most vulnerable citizens, their families will be unable to file claims for injuries and/or death.

I have spent my legal career in both defense and prosecution of malpractice claims.  That is part of our justice system: to make people whole. To prevent claims for negligence violates our rights.

If a member of your family in a nursing home were to develop bedsores during the pandemic, I am sure that you too would want them to be compensated for their medical care, pain and suffering.

 

1 Comment

  1. Jill

    One of our major hospitals had the nurses strike this morning . Between the mandatory vaccine in NY , poor staffing and supplies they have had enough! Our governor is sending in national guard thinking they can take the place of nurses. They are medics! They handle first aid and IV’s.
    So we strip the health care system and remove the guard from being available for their responsibilities.
    It’s beyond a sad state we are in. It is scary.

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