A fake nurse was taking care of people at a Quebec hospital for two decades, warning patients to pay more attention to their healthcare providers
Imagine learning that your favorite nurse was actually a fake nurse who was never certified to take that position? This is a real-life story. The world was shocked after reading that a woman worked at a hospital in Jonquière, Quebec, for two decades and no one ever noticed a thing.
The “nurse” was working in different departments. She was included in the operating room team too!
The woman maintained the job by using the nursing license number of a person who had the same name. Her secret was revealed at the very same moment she signed up for a training course. They noticed that the age on her license number didn’t match her real age.
An investigation showed that the woman had no nursing degree and she was dismissed.
“Over the years, the documents asked of her were provided—falsified documents,” explained Joëlle Savard, spokesperson for the region’s health authority. Savard said their records system doesn’t allow two people to use the same license number.
How was she able to keep the job for so long? She was working as a nurse’s aide and that’s how she learned some things to start off her “journey.”
There are no reports of major mistreatment of accidents related to the woman’s working time. “If there were, they were dealt with at the time,” Savard said.
“A few weeks, or a few months, that has happened before. But for such a long time, in our minds it was impossible,” union representative Julia Bouchard said of the scandal.
This may be a rare case, but people like this woman can easily make a mistake that could cost someone’s life. “It’s very serious because a person could have committed acts that could have had serious consequences for patients,” said Luc Mathieu, president of Quebec’s Order of Nurses.
Getting a qualified doctor
Patients need to feel safe when handled by their doctors. Having an imposter take care of you seems bad, right? Patients build a specific relationship with their healthcare practitioners, and this connection relies on their trust.
All doctors are different and they all have a different style. A good doctor has the following qualities:
- They prevent health issues and keep their patients healthy. They don’t wait for an issue to develop so they can treat it.
- A good doctor listens and takes every detail into consideration all while doing the necessary consultation or exam. Patients have to feel comfortable.
- A good doctor knows a lot, but always listens to their patients’ experiences and try to understand. You can always learn something new.
- Good doctors are easy to communicate with
- Patients and colleagues respect them
- They are professional whose office is clean and well-organized. They are never late.
- A good doctor will always recommend thorough examinations, checking every inch of their patient’s body.
5 steps to getting a good doctor
“First of all, word of mouth and personal referrals can be quite helpful,” explains Donna Ross, medical social worker and patient support services manager at the Chris Elliott Fund. “If it were me, I would engage in a detailed and thorough discussion about what a friend or acquaintance found to be commendable about the doctor and whether there was any room for improvement.”
Everyone is different, so one needs to contact someone who shares similar values. This is of great help in the process.
Primary care physicians work with 40 patients a day, limiting their time with each of them. Look for offices with a warm atmosphere where everyone is relaxed and interested in your health.
3. Education background
Learn more about your doctor and their education. Make sure they have great experience or education for their position. Doctors take courses to upgrade their knowledge.
Jimmy Lin, MD, Ph.D., MHS of Rare Genomics Institute, recommends using Doximity.com to check a doctor’s training. You can also go to HealthTap.com to check your doctor’s expertise. LinkedIn and Healthgrades are also an option.
4. Call a friend or family member
Ask someone to accompany you on that day. This person can be your friend or relative. It’s like having four eyes! They will pay attention to the tiniest details you ignore. Plus, they can advise you or help you remember some details of your condition.
“It’s hard to listen to difficult medical news and pay attention to all the details at the same time,” Dr. David Harrison, a staff physician at Mass General Hospital and medical director at Best Doctors, Inc. “Bring along a friend or family member to remind you of the questions you want to ask, and to help you write down important notes.”
5. What’s your goal?
You may not like someone’s attitude, and that doctor may be the best doctor in the world for your friend. Know what you are looking for in a doctor.
“Some people like a doctor who is loose with writing prescriptions for drugs; others prefer one more conservative,” says J. Todd Wagner, PT, DPT, OCS at Life Physical Therapy in Wading River. “Some want their doctor to be willing to listen to them for twenty to thirty minutes, and others are impatient or busy and want to be in and out of the office fast. Be specific with yourself about your wants and needs, and shop around until you find the right person.”