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Ensuring patients have received proper and correct care after a surgical procedure is a nurse’s responsibility. Such care is known as Postoperative Care which is given immediately after surgery. The type of care depends on the type of surgery that a patient has. Any improper care can put a patient at risk and complaints from the family will be filed against you. This unavoidable occurrence in the field of nursing really does happen. So when this happens, it is best to ask a nurse attorney for help.

At the time of the incident, the RN was employed as a Registered Nurse at a hospital in Tyler, Texas, and had been in that position for five (5) years and five (5) months.

An incident happened on or about July 1, 2019, while employed as a Registered Nurse and working as the Operating Room Circulator with Medical City Dallas, Dallas, Texas, the RN failed to ensure the correct surgical site was marked for the patient prior to the patient leaving the operating room holding area. Additionally, the RN failed to ensure the patient was correctly positioned, draped, and that the correct surgical site was verified before the procedure began. The patient was to receive a left hip replacement but received a right hip replacement instead. The RN’s conduct may have contributed to the patient receiving an incorrect surgical procedure.

In response to the incident, the RN states that she was assigned to the operating room where the patient was scheduled for left total hip arthroplasty. The RN reports that during her interview the patient explained that she and the physician had discussed surgery to replace her left hip. She states that she verified that the consent also read left hip arthroplasty and that the anesthesia and surgical consent were both signed. She states that at that point, she left the holding area to prepare the surgical suite. She states that as she began preparing the suite for the procedure, she assembled and orientated the hip positioners to accommodate for a left total hip. She added that the physician’s assistant hung the x-rays, the image was of the left and right hip, as the patient was ultimately going to have both hips replaced, with the left one being replaced first. And also she states that the staff gathered around the bed in the operating room to position the patient laterally. She added that as she stepped away to grab the axillary roll, the patient was positioned laterally and when she placed the roll, she did not notice that the patient was positioned with right side up. And that the physician’s assistant explained that the hip positioner was orientated incorrectly and changed it from a left total hip to now accommodate for a right total hip. She states that the surgical team, herself included, continued to position the patient for surgery.

In addition, the RN states that the time out was read for left hip arthroplasty. The RN states that once the hip was replaced, an x-ray was called to the room. And she reports that the x-ray technician commented as she positioned the x-ray machine that she thought this was a left hip. The RN states that it was then that the team realized a right hip arthroplasty had been done. Lastly, she states that the site had not been marked by the surgeon nor had the site been verified by the nurse.

As a result of the RN’s misconduct, the evidence received was sufficient enough to prove that the RN had violated the Texas Occupations Code, Sections 301.451-301.555 and to Section 301.452 (b)(10)& (13), as to that, the Board has jurisdiction over this matter as same goes to taking disciplinary action against the RN. But nothing is impossible if you would only hire a nurse attorney for help regarding such problem.

This unfortunate event of the RN could have resulted in a different outcome if she had hired a nurse attorney to help her face the Board and help her deal with the case. Do you have questions about the Texas Board of Nursing disciplinary process? Contact The Law Office of RN License Attorney Yong J. An for a confidential consultation by calling or texting 24/7 at (832) 428-5679 and ask for attorney Yong.