Are you terrified by the sheer volume and total disorder of the files stacking up on your desk? What’s a busy Certified Legal Nurse Consultant to do? Easy. Get them out of view!
As comes the time for all Certified Legal Nurse Consultants, I’ve purchased a new laptop. It’s not quite the slim ultraslickbook that I wanted. In point of fact, it’s a 7 pound, 17” wide behemoth that barely fits into my rolling computer case and spans two tray tables when I’m sitting in steerage. But, it’s a powerful beast, blinding fast, has a solid state drive so it’s drop resistant and, since I chose Windows 7 versus Win8 is extremely stable.
Over the years, I have become acquainted with the attorneys in one of my oldest attorney-client’s law firm. It’s a large multi-specialty firm. I always find out who the other attorneys in a firm are and contact them, just to introduce myself and let them know I’m working with one of their colleagues. Of course I let them know what I do as a Certified Legal Nurse Consultant and put a bug in their ear that they too can use my CLNC services. One of my most memorable cases came from working with an attorney in the family law department.
On a trip to England my husband, Tom, and I visited Stratford-on-Avon, looking for the home of William Shakespeare. The historic center of town is small and easy to navigate. However, we couldn’t find anything that even resembled Shakespeare’s homestead. Resting against a wall, we opened our water bottles and looked once more at our map. At my insistence (since husbands don’t ask for directions), we stopped a passing pedestrian.
Search is a tricky thing and search engines are trickier. The major search engines consider your past searches and cookies whenever you do a search. This means that what you’ll find when doing research for your legal nurse consulting business is influenced by what you’ve found (and clicked on) in the past. For Certified Legal Nurse Consultants, this can limit your results. One search engine that doesn’t do this is called DuckDuckGo.com.
The medical record rarely tells the full story in a medical malpractice case. It often seems as though the healthcare team has forgotten the purpose of the medical record and is intent on hiding as many of the real events as possible. Some providers go out of their way to blatantly lie about an incident. In many cases, the electronic medical record and its limitations even encourages this practice. No wonder patients who are harmed from a hospital stay (considering that 20% of every patient suffers a preventable harm, there’s plenty of them) view litigation as their only recourse. Their own medical record is unlikely to spell out the truth of what really happened.
As an RN, you come from an industry that shows scant respect for all you know and all you do. It’s a fact that consumers believe doctors make the big decisions. As a result, it’s doctors who get most of the credit. But you and I know that it is the nurse who has more patient interaction and invariably knows more about what’s really going on with the patient. And it pays substantially to convince attorneys of this fact.
Vickie and I have a friend who’s an Android® phone user. She’s inordinately proud of the fact that she can “trace” a unique pattern on the surface of her phone as her password or security key. She thinks this is much more secure than my 4-digit iPhone® combination number. But guess what, it’s not!
My Most Memorable CLNC® Case: My First Time Testifying at Trial Resulted in a $13.5-Million-Dollar Verdict
The one case I will always remember and that was special to me as a Certified Legal Nurse Consultant was a neonatal case involving an undiagnosed congenital malformation requiring surgical intervention on a term infant in the newborn nursery. From the moment my attorney-client contacted me, I was instantly passionate about the case.
People often ask me how I managed to get on major networks like Fox & Friends and NPR. In fact, I was in business for 19 years when The New York Times featured my story. My response is, “Thirty-one years of growing a successful Legal Nurse Consulting business.” You have to lay the groundwork before you can expect national media attention. The heavy hitters won’t call you until your name is well known in your industry.