Nurses are often considered by many patients to be of lesser value and skill than doctors. However, in hospitals across New Mexico, nurses are more likely to know what really goes on in the facility when no one else is looking.
Some nurses have said that some doctors convince their patients to have unnecessary tests and procedures due to a health care system that can reward physicians who do large numbers of high-cost procedures. In other cases, certain patients receive special treatment due to their status as an elected official or popular entertainer. The facilities and services provided to these individuals are significantly better than those provided to non-celebrity patients.
Nurses have reported particular concerns regarding end-of-life issues. In some cases, a Do Not Resuscitate order is ignored because a family member asks the medical team to attempt to save the patient’s life. In many cases, the family member is operating from emotion rather than thinking about what the patient really would want. More disturbing is the practice of “slow codes”, where chronically ill or elderly patients are not given the same intensity and scrutiny as a patient who is more likely to survive and enjoy a good quality of life. The same procedures and medications are used, but the medical team simply gives up sooner than they would have with another patient.
Generalized secrets reported by nurses do not substantiate negligence in a particular case. However, a patient who experiences a negative outcome while hospitalized may want to consult a medical malpractice attorney to determine the recourse that may be available. Through a review of the patient’s medical records and other evidence, it may be possible to determine whether a practitioner or the facility itself failed to exhibit the requisite standard of care, which could result in a claim for compensation for the damages that were incurred.