My preparation for being a long term care expert witness
When I first became interested in becoming a long term care expert witness, I knew that I had to have ample education, and that being able to prevent long term care falls was important. I already had lots of letters after my name. I had some really impressive credentials on the face of it. I was a master’s prepared registered nurse, with bachelor’s degrees in nursing and English from prestigious universities.
I maintained certification as a gerontologic nurse, and had been trained in end-of-life care from E.L.N.E.C. (End of Life Nursing Education Consortium) as a teacher and to train the trainer. I had prepared original presentations which I had given to nurses and advocates for the elderly at conventions at the national level.
My CV showed a varied nursing work history, covering a little over fifteen years (at the time) of nursing practice, performing an assortment of nursing jobs, such as aide, medication nurse, charge nurse, nursing shift supervisor, staff development coordinator, infection preventionist, and educator. My nursing work was totally dedicated to the care of the elderly in both short-term rehab and long-term care. Preventing long term care falls was a big part of my clinical care.
Off the job, I joined a chapter of a nearby organization dedicated to improving the care and treatment of elders, (National Gerontological Nursing Association, NGNA). Eventually, I aroused interest among my peers to begin a chapter locally, and became a charter member of a local chapter of that group, and the founding president for its first three years.
I volunteered at the parish level as a parish nurse, calling assigned elders weekly to ensure that they received all social, medical, and community rights to which they were entitled and needed. Eventually, I started visiting “my elders” weekly, and it became a labor of love, as in visiting an elder family member. I performed blood pressure screenings for community and church activities. I had all this experience going for me. Yet, I wasn’t sure where to start in reviewing a nursing home chart in my first case as a geriatric nurse expert related to possible avoidable pressure ulcers in a paraplegic male.
I dug into my memory banks of years past to my roles as charge nurse and house shift supervisor and went from there. That was how I started. From there, after some years of experience, with periods of trial and error, and wasted hours of unsuccessful and inefficient scanning and reading, I was able to face a new case chart with confidence and without fear of wasted time searching for the elusive documentation and corroborative facts.
Now, you have the opportunity to enhance your legal nurse consultant skills, perfect your craft, and make the most and best use of your time in chart review for a long term care falls case. Invest in our Falls Course at this link. Join me by getting more details at this link.
Sarah Jean Fisher is a gerontological nurse and expert witness.