Nurse laid off mid-surgery

By | April 14, 2009

A Dean Health System manager removed a nurse from a minor surgical procedure last week — in violation of medical protocol — in order to lay her off, a spokesman for the company confirmed Monday.

The abrupt removal, which spokesman Paul Pitas said posed no danger to the patient, came after the Madison-based health-care provider announced Wednesday that it planned to “immediately” lay off 90 employees.

Pitas, director of corporate communications, labeled the action “clearly … an error in judgment on the part of the manager conducting the layoff.” He declined to name the manager but described her as “an otherwise good employe with more than 30 years of nursing experience who made a regrettable decision.”

“This person is very upset and is extremely remorseful over this,” Pitas said, adding that the layoffs created “extraordinary circumstances.”

Pitas said the incident occurred at Dean’s West Clinic at 752 N. High Point Road on Wednesday or Thursday as employees were notified of the job cuts.

He declined to name the employees involved or what type of procedure the nurse was assisting in when she was summoned from her duties and terminated.

“There was a period of time in which an RN was not present during the procedure,” Pitas said. “While there were other clinical staff present, including a physician, the absence of an RN goes against established patient-care procedures at Dean Health System.”

He added that the patient, whose name is protected by patient confidentiality laws, is “doing fine.”


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