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I have been a registered nurse, nurse practitioner and most importantly a patient advocate for over 20 years. I have worked in hospitals, homes and as a private consultant, always teaching patients how to speak up for themselves and to make well informed healthcare decisions that are right for them and help them to avoid all types of Medical Errors. The many things I have seen in healthcare led me write "What Did the Doctor Just Say." In it are all the steps every patient needs to take to remain safe in the healthcare system and avoid medical errors. My personal goal is help to save 100,000 people from the horrors of a medical error and I wrote What Did the Doctor Just Say? to help make that happen.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Author Bio: Why I'm So Passionate About Saving Over 100,000 Lives And How This Site Came To Be

My name is Lynn R. Parker and I have been a registered nurse, nurse practitioner and educator for over twenty years. I have worked in the areas of obstetrics, internal medicine, oncology, pain management, natural and alternative medicine and end-of-life care. I have worked in large university medical centers, community hospitals, doctors’ offices and in clinics.

Throughout my varied and diverse career I have found all healthcare settings have one thing in common; and that one thing is medical error. You can rest assured; wherever medical care is delivered medical errors occur. I have seen the tragedy of medical error with my own eyes and it has deeply affected me both personally and professionally.

I first became aware of medical error many years ago when I was the age of 17 years old. One day after school a close friend and I went to my house to hang out. Yvonne began having a sickle cell crisis. She was suffering and in horrible pain. She desperately needed oxygen and a blood transfusion.

The trouble began – and ended - when she was given the wrong type of blood. She died later that afternoon from a violent transfusion reaction, while her family and I waited to see her in the waiting room.

Soon after I entered nursing a young mother I had been working with and befriended went for a C-Section. The day before her surgery we eagerly anticipated the birth of her third little girl. We laughed and giggled as we talked about meeting her beautiful new daughter in the morning. However, that was to be. During the surgery she received too much anesthesia and was left-brain dead. She left behind two small children, a newborn and a husband to grieve her for the rest of their lives. My heart still breaks every time I think of her.

Over the years I have witnessed the results of hundreds of medical errors. My response has to educate my patients about their diseases and the kind of care suggested by best practice standards and recommended in the national guidelines.

I taught and still do teach my patients how to ask their doctors questions and to investigate the answers they are given so that they - the patients themselves - can actively participate in making healthcare decisions that are safe and meet their unique needs.

And then one day in 2007 I found myself caring for a patient who came into the hospital for what was supposed to be a simple surgery and the expectation of being discharged in within two days. When I met him three months later he lay in a hospital bed unable walk, talk, move or breathe on his own, because he had fallen victim to multiple medical errors.

At that point I just couldn’t take what I was seeing anymore. I felt like screaming and crying all at once. I had to do something to help prevent the tragedy of medical error from happening to as many people as I could. I went home that night and began writing what is now known as, What Did The Doctor Just Say?

I hope this book helps to prevent thousands and thousands of medical errors, that would make me so happy. However, if my only accomplishment is to help you and your loved ones to be safer in the healthcare system I will consider this book a huge success. I sincerely hope; each of you is safe in the healthcare system and that you get the care you need, want and deserve to have.

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