Nurse says she was fired for educating patient

Posted: Updated:

Inside Banner Del Webb Hospital in Sun City West, nurses are constantly tending to sick patients.

That's what Amanda Trujillo said she was doing last April when she spoke with a patient on the eve of their surgery.

"I discovered that they had a very big misunderstanding about what they were about to participate in," Trujillo told CBS 5 News.

Trujillo, a licensed nurse in Arizona since 2006, said she advised the patient of possible complications.

The patient decided to delay the surgery and reconsider his or her options.

Trujillo said she also ordered a case management consult for the patient to be educated about hospice care.

"The doctor, ultimately, is the focal point that directs care for patients," said Banner spokesman Bill Byron, who said company policy prevents nurses from ordering a case management consult.

"This is what we go to school to do. We are licensed to teach our patients, we are licensed to advocate," said Trujillo.

Right after that conversation, Trujillo said she was let go and a complaint was filed against her with the Arizona Board of Nursing. 

Now, Trujillo said she is fighting to clear her name - not just for herself, but so other nurses aren't afraid to do their jobs.

"What this hospital is doing is establishing a culture of fear, and what the board is doing by supporting that is they're setting that example that the education of a nurse is not valued," said Trujillo.

The Arizona Board of Nursing said they will discuss Trujillo's case at their next meeting in March.

Copyright 2012 KPHO (Meredith Corporation).  All rights reserved.