VA Nurse Competency Questioned After Patient Deaths

Questions are being raised about the competency of nurses employed by Veterans Affairs hospitals following a review of 29 facilities by the VA Inspector General (IG).

The IG's review revealed that only half of the facilities had properly documented whether their nurses had the appropriate skill set to do their jobs, according to ProPublica. The review found that some nurses lacked skills in critical areas such as "dialysis, mental health, long-term care, spinal cord injury, endoscopy procedure areas, the operating room and the cardiac catheterization laboratory and with reusable medical equipment." However, the review also noted that nurses received no re-training from the VA facilities to update their skills.

The VA responded to the report by saying it would create uniform standards for nursing competency and ensure nurses receive regular evaluations.

The IG's report comes after a string of patient deaths at VA facilities. Last year, a patient death at a New York VA hospital triggered an investigation in which federal inspectors discovered the nurses did not know how monitors that track vital signs worked, according to ProPublica. Similar concerns about nursing competency were raised after two patient deaths in the cardiac monitoring unit at a Denver VA hospital.

If you or a loved one has been harmed by medical malpractice, contact Sokolove Law for a free legal consultation. Call us today at (800)-561-7154.