The Nursing Expert Witness Part 4

In The Expert Nurse Witness, Ellen K. Murphy writes:

After being retained as an expert witness, the perioperative nurse should carefully review all relevant health care records. At a minimum, this includes records from the entire health episode at issue, not just those from the perioperative period. The nurse expert will want to try to get a complete picture of what happened and when.

The nurse should review all records for consistency (eg, is the anesthesia record consistent with the perioperative nurse’s notes, the surgeon’s operative notes, the postanesthesia care record, and the laboratory reports?). The nurse expert may find it useful to create a chronology and identify gaps where additional information is needed. The nurse should request copies of relevant facility policies from the retaining attorney and locate relevant national standards and recommended practices. He or she also may need to conduct a review of the literature published before the time of the event and consult relevant authoritative text books. If the attorney has not already done so, the nurse should consult the nurse practice act and administrative code of the board of nursing in the state where the episode occurred.