Three Days in the ICU

Last week I was not in my office. I flew to the west coast to be with a relative who had been taken to the hospital.  When I arrived, I found the relative had been taken to the ICU at their local small community hospital. For the next three days and nights, I stayed with the relative in the hospital.  What I found was really quite amazing.

I was raised in a family of medical professionals and I have spent the better part of twenty years representing medical professionals before their professional licensure boards. I have been to the hospital before, for simple trips to the ER for stitches or a simple fracture. I also spent two nights in the hospital after the births of my children. Nothing in my past prepared me for the time I spent with my relative in the ICU.

I was thoroughly amazed at the level of care that was provided to my relative. I had always known that nurses provided the bulk of the care to patients, but to see it first hand was awe-inspiring. While it was a small hospital, all records were maintained electronically and all medications dispensed were logged into the record. However, since my relative did not have a local physician, they were cared for by the in-house “hospitalists”. Specialists were called in throughout our time at the hospital to evaluate various aspects of the patient’s care, however, it was the nursing staff who provided the constant care to the patient, advocated for the patient, and updated the physicians of the patient’s current medical condition.

Given the fact that the patient did not have an internist who coordinated care, they saw a different hospitalist at each shift. Over the three days that the patient was in the ICU and the other days that they were on a med/surgical floor, they never once saw the same hospitalist. However, the nursing staff provided the continuous care and continuity of treatment to the patient by updating each hospitalist who examined the patient and each specialist as to the patient’s medical history, demeanor and current medical condition. It was a great relief that I did not have to continue to update each physician as to the patient’s condition since they had been prepped daily by the nursing staff.

As a nurse, never under-estimate the superior service and value that you provide to patients and to their families.  To the nursing community at large, this blog post is a huge “thank you” to your service to the community.

As always, if you have any questions about this post or the Ohio Board of Nursing in general, please call me at (614) 486-3909, email me at beth@collislaw.com or check out my website for more information at http://www.collislaw.com.

Ohio LPNs – time to renew your license!

This month, Ohio LPNs will be mailed instructions by the Ohio Board of Nursing on how to renew their LPN license on-line.  The Board will mail the instructions to the address that you previously provided to the Board as your address of record. If you do not timely receive the instructions, you should contact the Board immediately.

If you do not want to renew on-line, you may request to have a paper renewal form mailed to you. To be sent a paper renewal form:

  • send a written request to: Ohio Board of Nursing, 17 S. High Street, Suite 400, Columbus, Ohio 43215, attn: Renewal; or
  • fax a request to the Board at 614-466-0388, attn: Renewal;
  • or, email the Board at renewal@nursing.ohio.gov

Renewal applications received after July 1 will be assessed a $50.00 late fee. If you do not renew by August 31, the license will lapse.http://codes.ohio.gov/oac/4723-7-09

Whether you choose to renew online or to complete the paper renewal form, it is important that you take a few quiet minutes to complete the form on your own!   Allowing others to renew your license for you or not taking the time to carefully read and accurately and completely respond to the questions on the renewal can be a costly mistake.

By signing the renewal application you are certifying to the Nursing Board that all information contained in the application is correct and complete. The Nursing Board reviews all original applications for licensure and renewal applications very seriously and will take a disciplinary action against a licensee who fails to provide the Board with correct and complete information.

In addition, any questions in which you have to answer “yes” to will require you to provide a short written explanation. You should take time to provide a clear and careful response. Don’t minimize the incident or fail to take responsibility for your actions, as this could be to used as an aggravating factor if the Board chooses to impose a discipline.

The Nursing Board routinely suspends or revokes licensees who provide  a false response to a renewal question.  It is always better to provide clear, honest responses to the questions than to provide information that might be misleading or may lead to more questions by the Board.   If you do not understand a question, you may call the Nursing Board staff and ask  – however, the staff is unable to give legal advice.

As always, if you have any questions about this post or another question involving the Ohio Board of Nursing, feel free to email me at Beth@collislaw.com.