****Though I have no history of patient harm/sentinel events/drug or substance abuse…..On March 28, 2014 The Arizona Board of Nursing revoked my nursing license in relation to a patient harm incident I spoke out about in order to get the right thing done. In the process they also violated my first amendment rights to free speech and used this blog during the case in order to bring more charges against me. I have filed with the Superior Court of Arizona to fight this practice because the judgement against me has ramifications for every nurse all over the US and in the same way my first amendment rights were violated, so will other states seek to do the same thing to nurses everywhere. My case was a benchmark case and will be used in the future to establish discipline for other nurses……****
Every nurse that goes down in this nation protecting their patients becomes this big, red, glowing ball of fire crashing into the depths of an ocean that is filled with every intention of keeping him or her silent— FOREVER. But you see, we all have a black box within us that is programmed to automatically send out signals of distress… One that says ” I’m here! I’m still here! I have the answers! I have the data to tell you my story!!!!” Sadly, As we all know, that little black box only has enough battery life in it to ping and ping and ping…..and ping…..for only so many days and hours… Before it goes silent in the abyss of a dark ocean or in the thick green depths of a rain forest…. The answers… And the victims… Never found. Their ending never understood, the opportunity to prevent another crash and save hundreds of lives forever lost.
Those of us who have gone down in the line of caring and protecting our patients carry within us that all too crucial black box..we are the stewards of them. Unlike a jet plane that has no ability to disable it’s black box —we humans have the ability to do so at any moment. Many nurses have gone down into that proverbial ocean and they are out there, alone, black boxes pinging— because their own inner will refuses to allow the sound to cease. Other nurses have simply taken off their headsets, disconnected with air traffic control, closed their eyes… Their voices and stories lost to us. We all make that choice for whatever reason. I use this analogy because of the four jumbo jets of people that die of unreported and unnecessary medical errors each week. In a weird way we are pilots and copilots helping massive amounts of people get from here to there…. We are entrusted with an enormous responsibility….. Along with that responsibility comes the mandate that we speak up and speak out when just one life has been placed in jeopardy or has directly been harmed…not only to preserve justice for that one passenger, but to preserve life and limb for the other 399 or so innocent passengers we are charged with safely delivering to their next place…….. This black box inside me—-it’s still pinging, IM STILL OUT HERE….and I hear some you out here with me too….even if I can’t see you— I HEAR YOU— pinging just as loud and persistently as me….don’t give up. Everyone’s story deserves to be heard.