Post-it Sunday 5/15/22- RaDonda Vaught sentencing

The note reads ‘Just Culture, another RaDonda Vaught post.’

This is a short note. And this post is an update on her sentencing.

They moved the sentencing date, I guess, from the 12th to the 13th. From Florence Nightingale’s birthday to Friday the 13th. It still looks bad either way.

She was sentenced to 3 years supervised probation. At the end of the 3 years, her record can be expunged. I imagine she cannot get her Tennessee nursing license back but I think she can go to a neighboring state and petition for a nursing license. Or she may be able to get her TN license back, the state BON work with nurses who have been convicted of diversion after all.

I believe that this case should never have been brought for trial. She should never have been convicted. Apparently nurses are not allowed to be human and make mistakes any more.

I know that this has had a cooling effect on reporting medical mistakes. Nurses are afraid they are not allowed to be human. After all, RaDonda did everything right after realizing her mistake. She self-reported. And Vanderbilt swept it under the rug until they were found out. And then they swept RaDonda under the bus in the process.

She had already been punished. Not only by herself, but the Tennessee state board of nursing rescinded her license to practice nursing. This used to be enough until a DA, who had a primary election in 2022. And is a teaching professor at Vanderbilt University.

There is no fault that I am assigning. But there were systemic problems in place. Such as a powerful paralytic being available in the radiology pyxis and no flag on the medication, that I know the Pyxis can do. This does not excuse her error. As I tell the nurses I talk to about this she was absolutely stupid. And the swiss cheese effect led to the patient’s death. And, hopefully, this entire ordeal will spark change at the hospital. Because that is what errors do; they spark change.

Nor does it absolve Vanderbilt and the DA from sharing the blame for her conviction. This case should never have gone to trial. The trial was not about keeping the public safe. In my view this was a runaway case that pissed off a lot of nurses. Some of these nurses left the profession, disgusted by what was happening to the Just Cause tenet they had been practicing under for years. Others marched in Nashville, or in Washington DC on the day of her sentencing.

And as a society we cannot afford to lose more nurses.

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