February 9, 2012, 1:34 pm

American Nurses Association: Supporting Nurses, Until You Need It

I have always considered the American Nurses Association my professional organization.

And I mean “my” organization.

I didn’t always agree with the political candidates they backed, the health care legislation they promoted, or the fact that my dues paid for political lobbying I might not agree with.

They didn’t support the National Nurse for Public Health, a very grass roots movement started by staff nurses and a cause very near and dear to my heart.

But, bottom line, they were for nursing, and I was a nurse, so they were there for me.

And while I most definitely took advantage of the online benefits, I never really needed the ANA for any personal, professional help or support.

Which was good.

Because it won’t be there if I do.

*****

When Amanda Trujillo was first fired and then reported to the Arizona Board of Nursing by Banner Del E. Webb Medical Center for patient advocacy, she reached out to both the Arizona Nurses Association and the American Nurses Association for help and support.

She heard nothing.

But lately, lo and behold, there have been statements.

Here is the statement from the American Nurses Association, taken from their Facebook page:

“The American Nurses Association (ANA) is closely monitoring the case of Amanda Trujillo, MSN, RN, and has been in contact with her attorney. ANA strongly supports nurses and their right and responsibility to engage in patient education and advocacy.

ANA appreciates how difficult it is for a nurse to undergo an investigation of his or her practice by the state board of nursing. To be clear, ANA expects the Arizona Board of Nursing to follow its standard procedure, to render an unbiased judgment in this case, and to be fully transparent in its findings.

ANA advises that any nurse who has been alerted by the board of a complaint and an impending investigation retain legal counsel. It is the role of legal counsel to represent the nurse during the process. In addition, ANA cautions nurses and the public not to rush to judgments about complex cases based on social media postings or other media coverage.”

So, let me get this straight.

The ANA is “closely monitoring” the case. And they strongly support nurses…etc. BUT, if you are an RN who is under investigation they aren’t going to back you as an individual for one second.

Then again, if you are exonerated, their support is no longer needed!

What a win/win for the ANA! They can give lip service to your right to practice, but if you are being dragged through the mud by your state board, their lips are sealed. If you aren’t guilty of anything, well, hey! Great! Now you don’t need their support anyway!

Oh, but they appreciate the difficulty!

Ah, but they don’t have all the facts, you say.

Please. Nobody died in the Banner case. Nobody was harmed in the Banner case. A box was checked on a computer that sent an order for a case management hospice consult. Didn’t sign a patient up for hospice, just arranged for a nurse to talk to a patient.

For that, a one sentence complaint accusing an RN of practicing outside her scope gets sent to the Arizona Board of Nursing.

And the ANA can’t find it within themselves to commit to supporting the individual nurse.

They sure had no problem ramping up the support for the RNs in Texas! And that was BEFORE all the facts were in!

*****

The next part should send chills up your spine.

“…and has been in contact with her attorney.”

The American Nurses Association has never contacted Amanda Trujillo about this at all. EVER.

She never gave them permission to contact her attorney. Never got a note or a call saying, “Hi Amanda, legally, we can’t speak with you about the case directly, but we would like to call your attorney, can we have his number?”

How did they get his contact information? Wasn’t from Amanda.

And the contact? Whatever it was had nothing to do with supporting her through this ordeal.

That’s a given.

*****

And finally:

“…ANA cautions nurses and the public not to rush to judgments about complex cases based on social media postings or other media coverage.”

Yeah, I just bet they do.

Well, folks, this is a social media posting.

You aren’t going to get the story from the Arizona Board of Nursing. All they do is threaten you if you speak out and ask for your entire medical history for the last five years so they can do a psychiatric evaluation because of retaliatory behavior. No story from them.

You aren’t going to get the story from Banner Health. Remember, they fired a nurse for patient advocacy. Not something you want to shout from the roof tops.

You aren’t going to get the story from the Arizona Nurses Association because their President happens to be the Director of Professional Practice at Banner Del E. Webb Medical Center, and they are connected to the ANA.

You aren’t going to get the story from the American Nurses Association because Amanda is under investigation, so they aren’t taking a stand.

So it looks like social media postings for now.

I apologize for my shortcomings.

Look for “other media coverage” to be hitting soon.

*******************

Jennifer Olin, at RN Central.com writes about this topic here, at ANA Finally Acknowledges Amanda Trujillo.

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12 Comments

  • sallie
    sallie

    February 9, 2012 at 2:17 pm

    People (including nurses) get their information from the media and now social media, that’s all there is, until a final report is issued, and even then, it is the POV of one entity (e.g., AZBoN).

    I am very disappointed the ANA and AZNA are not using this opportunity to solidify with the public, physicians and nurses the essential role RNs have in patient advocacy and patient education. Today I received a phone message from ANA PAC to support them again, at this point there is no chance I will do so.


  • kmom
    kmom

    February 9, 2012 at 4:50 pm

    Well that was bland, and so comforting, huh!
    So how far back does this set nursing…..and
    patient care?
    Actually, I wouldn’t want to be a patient if nurses wouldn’t speak up for me when I needed them!


  • RehabRN
    RehabRN

    February 9, 2012 at 7:10 pm

    Just another reason to have malpractice insurance, just another reason to have an emergency fund,
    and yes, just another reason we have to blog and use social media to discuss nursing period.

    If we don’t talk about it, what will happen?

    The surgeons will solve all the world’s problems.
    Doctors will actually clean up patients.
    More falsehoods will be perpetrated.

    And boy, AMA sure blogs about plenty!

    When the sH&( hits, the nurses get to clean it up. Surprise, surprise.


  • Susan
    Susan

    February 9, 2012 at 7:12 pm

    Amen and Hallelujah! I agree with you completely. Why are so many high level nurses still afraid to take a stand when a nurse pisses off a doctor? Because isn’t what this is about? She didn’t go outside her practice-she stepped on some surgeon’s toes and he didn’t like it. Boo Hoo.

    And something they DON’T tell you in nursing school, so at least the ANA gets one point-if you are ever investigated by your board of nursing, lawyer up immediately. They are NOT looking after your best interest.


  • Wander
    Wander

    February 9, 2012 at 7:33 pm

    Amanda has to get her own lawyer and rely on fundraising campaigns in social media because she has no union representation and there is no level playing field on which nurses can perform their duties. My guess is that for every Amanda that you’ve heard about on the Internet there are 20 or so you never heard about. Teachers, police officers and firefighters can not be fired the way this nurse was because they have procedures in place and attorneys on staff to represent their rights, interests and grievances. This summary firing of Trujillo is about an abuse of power. Guess why institutions abuse power: because they can.


  • Orfyn RN
    Orfyn RN

    February 12, 2012 at 4:14 am

    The ANA is ultimately a self serving organization. I cannot recall them ever doing anything of value to support nurses in the trenches. The ANA has always buttered their bread at the expense of the nurses actually doing patient care. And stte boards? When did you ever hear of them doing anything to support a nurse? Where were they when a surgeon at my hospital kicked a nurse? Probably having cocktails with the members of the state medical board who did nothing either.


  • [...] American Nurses Association: Supporting Nurses, Until You Need It [...]


  • Beenthere!
    Beenthere!

    February 23, 2012 at 8:13 am

    Why would a nurse join the ANA or even AzNA? They are all words and no action. What happens to people when they get in these positions? They totally lose all concept of why they are in Healthcare in the first place. Words are meaningless unless you actually can back them up with actions. Rhetoric regurgitated. Why join the ANA? Someone please give me a reason.


  • Karen
    Karen

    February 27, 2012 at 8:56 am

    Thank goodness I found your blog. It gives me a heads up about what to expect when I become a nurse. What I read here (and other social media postings) and what I hear from school are very different.


  • [...] American Nurses Association: Supporting Nurses, Until You Need It // Emergiblog [...]


  • Andrew Lopez, RN
    Andrew Lopez, RN

    April 27, 2012 at 2:05 pm

    Thank you Kim for following Amanda’s case, here is the latest:

    The War Against Amanda Trujillo, April 25, 2012, Mother Jones, RN, Nurse Ratched’s Place:”I still support Amanda Trujillo and some people who have read the allegations against Amanda have questioned my judgment. Frankly, I don’t believe these allegations because I personally know two other nurses who have been reported to their nursing boards by their former employers. One of my friends was reported to the BON after she spoke up about unsafe nursing practices at a shady nursing home, and the other was reported after he chastised hospital administration for placing psychiatric patients and staff in an unsafe environment. Their former employers cooked up all kinds of false allegations against my friends who are both stellar nurses. Their former employers crucified their character, but in the end they were both cleared of any wrongdoing by their respective state nursing boards. There is an escalating pattern of abuse as more unscrupulous employers are using nursing boards as the ultimate scare tactic to keep nurses “in their place. ” Amanda is just another victim of this ploy.”
    http://www.nurseratchedsplace.com/2012/04/the-war-against-amanda-trujillo/

    Kindly leave comments, encourage the bloggers supporting Amanda to keep on blogging!


  • Dr. Wiggins, Health Educator and Writer
    Dr. Wiggins, Health Educator and Writer

    September 5, 2012 at 5:46 pm

    Nurses are the true heroes in the world of medicine. It is a shame that they are not given the recognition or salary that they deserve. Here is a great article about nurses “What Nurses Know” :

    http://www.examiner.com/article/what-nurses-know


About Me

My name is Kim, and I'm a nurse in the San Francisco Bay area. I've been a nurse for 33 years; I graduated in 1978 with my ADN. My experience is predominately Emergency and Critical Care, and I have also worked in Psychiatry and Pediatrics. I made the decision to be a nurse back in 1966 at the age of nine...

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