December 13, 2011
Written by: Stephen M. Garcia
During the recent California nursing strike, a resident died due, allegedly, to inadequate care by a “traveling nurse.”
Known as a traveling nurses or replacement nurses, hospitals, nursing homes, long-term care facilities, and other medical facilities often contract with nursing agencies bring in short or long-term temporary nursing staff. Due to the nursing shortage, nurses are always in short supply.
Many of these traveling nurses come from countries outside the United States. The traveling nurses are supposed to be registered in the state they will be working. They also are supposed to be trained by regular nursing staff in the facility they are assigned to before taking over the care of any patients or residents.
For some time these has been concern about the quality of care provided by this group of nurses. Critics say traveling nurses often lack location-based training and are not supervised as closely as they should be to ensure that proper care and medical treatment are provided to residents.
The family of Oakland, California nursing home resident Judith Ming learned first-hand how at least some of these nurses do not have adequate training nor are they properly supervised.
The 66-year-old cancer treatment patient Ming is believed to have been killed by a temporary nurse after a nutrient solution was given intravenously rather than through a feeding tube. The use of a feeding tube is considered a basic nursing skill.
Considered a major medical mistake, the case has received little national attention as the long-term care industry denies frequent usage of temporary nurses.
In the case of Ming, which occurred during a pre-scheduled one-day strike by the California Nurses Association, it appears not enough training or supervision was provided to the temporary nurses.
Unfortunately, competency demonstrations are not prioritized when California long-term care facilities need temporary nursing staff to fill-in for their regular nurses.
If your loved one has been hurt or killed by a nurse while in a California nursing home, contact the elder abuse attorneys at Garcia, Artigliere & Medby for a free, no-obligation consultation.