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Upholding the highest standards of patient safety and clinical expertise is a fundamental responsibility within the field of healthcare. The role of a Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist (CRNA) carries significant weight in ensuring accurate medication administration, thorough supervision, and vigilant monitoring of patient care. However, instances of lapses in supervision and medication verification can result in serious consequences for both patients and the healthcare professionals involved. Such incidents raise critical concerns about patient safety, proper medication protocols, and the responsibility of CRNAs to ensure accurate supervision and adherence to established procedures. When confronted with situations that potentially compromise patient care, seeking legal expertise of a nurse attorney becomes essential to navigate the intricacies of these matters.

At the time of the incident, RN was employed as a Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist at a hospital in Wichita Falls, Texas, and had been in that position for three (3) years and nine (9) months.

On or about November 19, 2020, while employed was employed as a Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist at a hospital in Wichita Falls, Texas, RN failed to appropriately supervise, monitor, and verify medication syringes with a student RN Anesthetist in the preoperative area prior to handing two (2) filled medication syringes to the student to administer to preoperative patient. Subsequently, the student inappropriately administered Rocuronium, a neuromuscular blocker, instead of 2mg of Versed, as ordered. The patient experienced respiratory distress, necessitating intubation for a brief period of time. Further, RN failed to immediately report the medication error; instead, RN threw the empty Rocuronium syringe in the trash. RN’s conduct was deceptive, and was likely to injure the patient from adverse reactions of the erroneous Rocuronium administration without respiratory support; including, possible demise.

In response, RN states she was familiar with the student nurse anesthetist and felt comfortable delegating certain aspects of care based on having supervised the student on previous rotations. Acknowledging that she had a responsibility to look at the syringes and verify the medications before handing them to the student, RN also states she handed two (2) syringes containing what she believed to be Versed and Pepcid to the student with the expectation the student would review the medications with the patient prior to administering them intravenously. RN states the student showed her the empty syringes after the patient was intubated and also states that she disposed of the syringe containing Rocuronium in a moment of panic. RN further states she reported the medication error to her supervising anesthesiologist on the same day as the event. RN further states that the patient’s distress was immediately recognized, timely and appropriate interventions were implemented, and that by the time RN was made aware of the medication error, the patient had already been stabilized and there was no delay in the provision of appropriate treatment. Finally, RN states that following only 22 minutes of intubation, the patient was extubated, recovered, and discharged in good condition within hours of the event. Finally, in order to prevent the same or similar error in the future, RN states that she immediately implemented changes in her procedures regarding the use of certain size syringes and the labeling of medications.

The above actions constitute grounds for disciplinary action in accordance with Section 301.452(b)(10)&(13) Texas Occupations Code, and is a violation of 22 TEX ADMIN. CODE §217.11(1)(A),(1)(B),(1)(C),(1)(D),(1)(M),(1)(P),(1)(U)&(4) and 22 TEX. ADMIN. CODE §217.12(1)(A),(1)(B),(4)&(6)(C).

However, without enough evidence to prove she’s not guilty, the RN lost the case. This is the reason why the Texas Board of Nursing placed her RN license under disciplinary action. 

Do not be stressed or anxious if you find yourself in a similar situation as that of the RN mentioned above. All you need to do is to find the right RN/LVN license attorney who can help you in the case. Equip yourself with the knowledge and expertise you need for a successful outcome by consulting a knowledgeable and experienced Texas RN/LVN license attorney. Texas Nurse Attorney Yong J. An is an experienced nurse attorney for various licensing cases for the past 16 years and represented over 300 nurses before the Texas BON. Contact the Law Office of Yong J. An 24/7 through text or call at (832) 428-5679.