Looks like the nurse is assessing her patient. I’m sure that she will talk to him about his temperature and ask him for his input as she writes up his treatment plan. Bedside nurses monitor your health and meet your daily needs. We talk to the public, our patients, and advocate for you everyday.

Now imagine a time when nurses are told that they can no longer talk to you because you don’t have a right to know. You don’t have the right to know about your temperature or your health care options, and you don’t have the right to know what hospitals and nursing organizations are doing to your nurses behind closed doors. Sounds a little Orwellian doesn’t it? Well it’s happening. Just in case you haven’t heard, Amanda Trujillo was fired for teaching her patient about their healthcare options. She checked a box on the hospital’s computer screen that sent an order for a case management hospice consult per the patient’s request. Now she and other nurses are being told that they don’t have the right to talk about this case in a public form. The Arizona State Board of Nursing has ordered Amanda to get a psych evaluation due to her “erratic behavior” as evidenced by her chutzpah for speaking up, and the ANA has asked the public not to jump to conclusions about complex cases based on information in the press and found on social media websites. I want to thank the ANA for patting our heads and telling us that everything is going to be all right, but the public has a right to know that their health and welfare is in jeopardy.

There are conversations going on over at LinkedIn on the ANA’s discussion board you need to check out. There are comments from members with strong ANA ties that are enlightening. One nurse wrote that the public doesn’t have the right to know everything and another nurse said that the ANA has always been there to support nurses when the state association has found that the nurse needs that support. Personally, I don’t agree with either statement. I invite you to join the conversation and tell them what you think.

This issue isn’t only about Amanda, it’s about the American public. The health care industry is trying to bully nurses into not talking about abuses in the system and they will stop at nothing to achieve their goal. We will not be silenced. Strong patient advocacy makes for stronger patients who have more control over their own health care decisions. The American public has a right to know.