MADISON, WI — When RN Tara Noluck got summoned to see her nursing supervisor about a low patient satisfaction score, she didn’t worry too much. She usually got excellent feedback, so one lousy report shouldn’t matter. But she was shocked when she was told that her schizophrenic patient and six-out-of-seven of his voices had given her rock-bottom scores.
3 voices claimed that she “talked over” them and “never listened.”
The voices also accused her of “not taking them or their pain seriously.” Noluck had, in fact, given patient Bryan Graybill the Dilaudid exactly as ordered in the chart, but the patient kept insisting that he needed more aggressive dosing to cover the pain his voices were also having.
Instead Nurse Supervisor Iris Franklin told her that the hospital had instituted a Voices Vote Too program. Auditory hallucinations were allowed to complete the notorious patient satisfaction form.
A schizophrenic patient had complained bitterly – on eight forms – that his voices suffered from insufficient pain control at the hands of nurse Noluck. She was suspended without pay for two weeks.
And pain control is not the only issue brought up by “voices not heard by others.” In Cleveland, Dr. Juliette Johnson received a letter from the state’s Attorney General for violating HIPAA. She had documented in a schizophrenic patient’s chart what his voices were telling the patient. Five of his voices filed a complaint alleging that she broke the law by recording their comments when they had not signed any release form. Dr. Johnson’s malpractice insurance company is balking at paying for legal representation.
HIPAA violation charges by hallucinogenic voices is a gray area, but it appears to be getting more visible. Several malpractice attorneys believe these issues may ultimately be decided by the US Supreme Court. Several Supreme Court justices are thought to pay more attention to the voices in their heads than to what the public is thinking.
Nurse Noluck says she has gotten over the shock of the disastrous patient satisfaction rating. “I have schizophrenic patients pretty often, and if I can do well with one who has more than seven voices then that score will more than balance out the one I got from Mr. Graybill and his team.”
Neverkidd enjoys writing for Gomerblog because that lets him continue this unbroken record of never kidding. He is the author of “True Tales from a Physician Assistant,” which he wrote using a random pen name, available on Amazon HERE.