My experience in hospital nursing was filled with mixed emotions. The frustration level was one that I have never experienced anywhere else. But I kept being a nurse, and I kept going to work. Nursing jobs paid the bills but did not contribute to my soul.
That’s a pretty powerful question with many different answers. Back in June, I tweeted about a high-profile case that involved an MD who was blogging about his medical malpractice trial as the trial was in progress. I used this as an example to illustrate why Certified Legal Nurse Consultants should recommend that their attorney-clients check out social media (and the blogosphere) for postings by opposing parties (and their own parties), before and during a trial. That case ended in a substantial settlement for the plaintiff after the MD was shown to have exposed trial strategy, ridiculed the case and made generally inappropriate postings for which he was confronted during the trial.
I was speaking with a Certified Legal Nurse Consultant the other day who had just spent the last couple of days rebuilding her file system after a virus infected her computer. When I asked her why she didn’t reload her data files from her backup, she confessed that she hadn’t run a backup in over five months. The time she saved by not performing regular backups was minimal compared to the time it cost her to rebuild her system and search for “lost” files.
Certified Legal Nurse Consultants have long known that the pharmaceutical and medical device industries have a vested interest in not only making sure that their products get wide distribution on the market, but also that they gain favorable press coverage in the healthcare and mainstream media. The extent of the “full court press” they make to gain such coverage takes on different extremes. Everything from parties, trips, gifts and research sponsorships are used to help influence writers. Another popular but hidden measure is the use of ghostwriters. They are often hired by the pharmaceutical or device industries themselves to write the articles, which are then submitted under the signature of an “impartial” doctor. Sometimes the so-called “ghost” may simply have ties, such as a sponsorship from the related industry or manufacturer, but other times the ghost may actually be part of the industry being written about. Just to name a few, many of you will remember the controversy surrounding disclosures of this practice related to Fen-Phen, Vioxx and Premarin.