I wrote a letter to the Arizona Nurses Association when I learned that the association was not coming to the aid of Amanda Trujillo. If you haven’t heard, Amanda was fired from Banner Del E. Webb Medical Center after she educated one of her patients about their upcoming liver transplant. I wrote about it here and here. I couldn’t understand why the association was twiddling its thumbs until I learned that Teri Hill, the president of AzNA is also the Director of Professional Practice at Banner Del E. Webb Medical Center.

This is what I wrote:

“I’ve been a registered nurse for 35 years and I had thought I had seen everything until I read about the persecution of Amanda Trujillo. I wondered why the Arizona Nurses Association wasn’t backing her until I learned that you are affiliated with the hospital that fired Ms. Trujillo. Shame on you for throwing a nurse under the bus just to appease a doctor that obviously has an anger management issue. Sorry the hospital lost out on a billable procedure, but the patient had a right to know about all of their treatment options. I hope your membership throws you all out of office for not backing Ms. Trujillo. You are a disgrace to the nursing profession.”

Yes sir, I was pissed. I assumed that the association would delete my email and get on with their business. Imagine my surprise when I received their response. This is what they wrote:

“Amanda Trujillo, RN, is a member of the Arizona Nurses Association (AzNA). The Arizona State Board of Nursing is currently investigating Ms.Trujillo’s Registered Nurse license per its regulatory mandate. The Arizona Nurses Association understands that it is difficult for a nurse to undergo an investigation of his or her practice by the board of nursing. However, we support the Board’s authority and obligation to regulate the profession in the state including investigating complaints. Therefore, AzNA does not get involved in complaints of nurses submitted to the board nor does the association comment on the specifics of any investigation. Ms. Trujillo has chosen to share the details of her case publicly and to imply that the AzNA has taken a position about her case. The fact is that AzNA is neutral and does not get involved in matters before the board of nursing. As of January 24, the state board’s investigation of Ms.Trujillo remained open. No disciplinary action has been taken against Ms. Trujillo’s license at this time, which remains active and unrestricted during the investigation. Further questions about this case should be directed to the Arizona State Board of Nursing.”

What mandate are these people talking about? Amanda didn’t break any state laws when she provided patient educations. It’s her job. It’s what all nurses are suppose to do. Furthermore, Ms. Hill’s involvement in this mess makes the AzNA far from neutral in this situation. They are collaborators. They know full well that a nurse can’t get a job while their license is under review. The “we are as pure as the freshly driven snow” tone in their letter makes me gag.

I continue to support Amanda Trujillo and I urge all nurses to write to Ms. Hill and tell her that you do, too. And if you are a member of AzNA, you can also tell her to step down as president of the association. You can contact her at teriwicker@yahoo.com