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Long Island's Nassau University Medical Center Sued by Former Nurse

Feb 17, 2014

A just-filed lawsuit alleges that Long Island’s Nassau University Medical Center (NUMC) failed to appropriately supervise the nurse bringing the lawsuit. Allegations also include that patients may have died under the nurse’s training because of inadequate training.

In a story that The New York Post broke, the Long Island nurse alleges that his supervisors at the Nassau University Medical Center did not appropriately “support” him when he took his first job there as what he describes as a novice registered nurse (RN).

The male nurse, Robert Reilly, 42, alleges that when he took his first job at the 530-bed hospital, which is located in East Meadow, New York, he was immediately assigned to care for the most ill patients in the hospital’s intensive care unit (ICU), The New York Post wrote.

Reilly also alleges to have suffered discrimination as the only white, male nurse on staff at the hospital, according to The New York Post. The female nurses, according to Reilly’s allegation, routinely told him that, “Men don’t belong in this field,” and, “You don’t belong here.”

The lawsuit also alleges that, “It is believed that [harm to] the health and welfare, including possible wrongful death, of several patients may have resulted from [NUMC’s] negligence in failing to properly supervise, guide and support Reilly,” according to The New York Post.

Reilly alleges that the first cases he received in his now-former position at the Nassau County Medical Center when he began working there in March 2010 were “the most complex and unstable patients” in the ICU; more experienced colleagues avoided and would not mentor him, according to the allegations, The New York Post reported. Reilly also claims he was forced into 18- and 19-hour work shifts because no one would relieve him, which was the only way in which a nurse is able to end a shift.

Also, according to Reilly’s allegations, even though he worked long hours with no relief, his supervisors would not approve his overtime pay. Critically ill patients “should have been assigned to a more experienced RN,” Reilly also states in court papers, but were “ultimately placed … in an unnecessarily precarious situation,” according to The New York Post.

At least one attorney pointed out that New York law mandates that medical caregivers be supervised under specific circumstances

Reilly resigned after 11 months in January 2011 after the NUMC threatened to report him to state authorities for what Reilly alleges were “minor errors.” Reilly says those errors included his mislabeling a medication once and, on another occasion, his not entering data in a timely manner. Reilly, according to The New York Post, resigned.

A lawyer for Nassau University Medical Center did not respond to a The New York Post request for comment on the $200,000 lawsuit.

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