My Daughter’s Case Was My First CLNC® Assignment*
by Donna Berning, RN, CLNC
On July 31, 1991, my daughter was born with meconium aspiration that eventually caused hypoxia, leaving her with cerebral palsy. When she was seven weeks old, I started my nursing clinicals. During these rotations I learned that several key things about my daughter’s care and follow-up had not been right. I hired an attorney, and the day after I graduated from nursing school, I filed suit against the doctor and the hospital.
Becoming a Certified Legal Nurse Consultant has allowed me to grow both personally and professionally, and has made me a better nurse.
My attorney’s best friend was a nurse who worked on my daughter’s case for 2½ years. Because of my stake in the outcome, I worked closely with him and found the work very interesting. Unfortunately, this nurse died of a massive MI before my case was complete.
By this time I was very discouraged about the medical field. My attorney told me about Vickie Milazzo Institute. He said that with a few years of nursing experience behind me and the knowledge I was accumulating on my own case, I could pursue both avenues.
With his advice, I ordered the CLNC® Certification Program. I finished the course and passed the CLNC Certification Examination.
It was my own attorney who handed me my first legal nurse consultant job – my daughter’s case. He said it would be hard to bring another medical person up to speed on it when I knew it like the back of my hand. The medical analysis was already written, so all I had to do was attend the depositions, help answer medical-related questions, point out areas of concern and explain lab values and reports. In January 1998, my daughter’s case settled out of court.
Because I needed a steady income to care for my daughter, I kept my nursing position in the recovery room at an ambulatory center. However, I cut down to three days a week and opened my own CLNC business working two days a week, nights and weekends.
My business continues to grow every day. Becoming a Certified Legal Nurse Consultant has allowed me to grow both personally and professionally, and has made me a better nurse. I am also in a position to help other families who are in the same situation my family is in due to the negligence of healthcare providers.
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