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Upholding ethical standards and ensuring the utmost accuracy in patient care are paramount in the nursing profession, with adherence to proper medication administration being of the highest importance. Nurses play a pivotal role in meticulously following prescribed protocols to safeguard patient well-being. However, instances of medication errors can give rise to concerns about patient safety, as well as a nurse’s commitment to professional excellence. Such incidents necessitate a comprehensive approach to address both patient safety concerns and the nurse’s professional conduct. Seeking the counsel of a nurse attorney is crucial in navigating the complex legal landscape surrounding medication errors.

At the time of the initial incident, she was employed as an RN at a hospital in Austin, Texas, and had been in that position for five (5) months.

On or about November 11, 2020, while employed as an RN at a hospital in Austin, Texas, RN failed to correctly administer epidural medication to Patient A. RN obtained antibiotic medication ordered for another patient and prepared it in the epidural infusion pump for Patient A, instead of the anesthetic medication that was ordered. After the medication was started, RN and the off-going nurse tried to scan the medication but received error messages, which were bypassed, and the nurses manually entered the medication they thought they were administering. Subsequently, the wrong medication continued to infuse through RN’s shift and was not discovered until the next shift went to reload the medication pump. RN’s conduct exposed the patient to a risk of harm from administration of antibiotic medication without physician orders and by the wrong route.

In response, RN states that the patient’s epidural medication bag was switched out at shift change, and she went to the Omnicell to pull out what she thought was the patient’s medication from the refrigerator. RN then placed the medication in the patient’s infusion pump and started the infusion. When the off-going nurse came and tried to scan the medication, it would not scan, and when she tried to document it manually, there was an error message. RN states that she then cosigned the medication and adds that both nurses wrongly assumed that the medication would not scan because the infusion rate had been recently changed, and when this happened there was a delay in the medication administration record updating. RN states that she readily admitted and accepted responsibility for her mistakes during the investigation at the hospital, and has taken additional training modules on epidural medications, medication administration, and documentation.

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)(M) and 22 TEX. ADMIN. CODE §217.12 (1)(A),(1)(B)&(4).

Unfortunately, the Texas Board of Nursing found her guilty of her deeds. Her RN license was subjected to disciplinary action. She did not hire a skilled Texas nurse attorney to fully defend her case which led to this decision by the Texas Board of Nursing.

Do you have questions about the Texas Board of Nursing disciplinary process? Contact The Law Office of Texas Nurse Attorney Yong J. An for a confidential consultation by calling or texting 24/7 at (832) 428-5679. Texas Nurse Attorney Yong J. An is an experienced nurse attorney who represented more than 300 nurse cases for RNs and LVNs for the past 16 years.