A certified legal nurse consultant is a registered nurse who has special training in medical legal subjects and has passed a national certification exam. The CLNC provides medical consulting and nursing opinions, as the expert on health, illness and injury, and on the inner workings of the healthcare system.
From the moment a potential case comes in, the Certified Legal Nurse Consultant becomes an invaluable asset by identifying the medical issues, screening the case for merit and providing services relevant to your case.
The CLNC will save you time, money, and deepen your research. A legal nurse consultant with experience as well as knowledge of various healthcare settings can be attorneys' "best kept secret". Attorneys are often amazed at the "stop you dead in the tracks" gems that are found in medical records.
Deborah Couturier has recently relocated from Orting, Washington to Nampa, Idaho, where she joins her 3 children and 2 grandchildren.
Her extensive nursing background includes 20+ years in medical-surgical, geriatrics, clinic, prison, long term care, administration, infection control, substance abuse, psychiatric, school nursing and more.
During the last 14 years Deborah worked for the State of Washington as an investigator and a licensor. Her training included; levels of evidence, investigating, technical writing, testifying, and many others.
Deborah has enjoyed a high degree of success in the court room, as well as in hearing preparation
The standards of practice for ARNP’s, RN, LPN’s, and CNA’s, as well as policies of each setting were the foundations for investigations. These standards and policies where applied during the time I was a nurse investigator for the Department of Health in Washington. The investigations were conducted due to complaints, which came from co-workers, mandatory reporters, patients, families, physicians, hospitals, clinics, nursing homes, home health and many more. The nature of the complaints were as varied as the colors of the sky. The complaints included: theft, abuse, sexual abuse, neglect, drug abuse, gambling, identity theft, multistate infractions, suicide, forgery, medical errors, death of patients, injury of patients, mental illness, and impersonating a nurse. Each complaint was unique and each medical person had their own perception of each complaint. Many investigative techniques were learned and applied, such as, interviewing, chain of custody, and levels of evidence. All persons were treated with dignity and respect. These standards of practice vary from state to state, although the core of the standards is a national standard of practice.
The Laws including Washington Administrative Codes for Nursing homes, Assisted Living Facilities, and Adult Family Homes were studied and applied during the time I worked for the Washington State Department of Social and Health Services, Residential Care. Inspections included building and fire safety, patient welfare, medical records, medications, patient care, wound observation, resident rights, nutrition, policies, procedure, and many other categories. Citations were varied and included resident rights, care and services, abuse, neglect, financial exploitation, improper ramps, safety violations, medication errors and others. Each state has their own laws unique to them, although the basics are all the same.
My experience of 20 plus years of nursing, as well as the integration of new information, are the building blocks to assist patients and/or families. These examples are from various jobs, as well as while working with Clearview Legal Nurse Consulting. Patients were found in 5 different settings with undiagnosed broken hips, undiagnosed broken ribs, undiagnosed pneumonia, medication errors, diabetes out of control, unplanned weight loss, missed physician appointments, undiagnosed UTI’s (urinary tract infections), wound care not completed or completed without physician orders. The settings were private homes, group homes, hospitals, assisted living, and nursing homes.
A nurse does not diagnose. However, a nurse with skills of observation, who provides an accurate picture of the symptoms to the physician, is valuable to the wellbeing of the patient. The physicians can more accurately diagnose the patients when presented with the right information. All the patients were followed until they received proper help. This work included observations, medical record review, medication review, equipment observation, interviews, phone calls, education, and many other activities.
Abuse or neglect can happen in any setting and with anyone. Some abuse or neglect is willful ignorance, while other cases are simply unaware innocence.
This patient advocate, medical auditor, consultant nurse will see things that have been missed by others. Hopefully, pain and suffering, will be avoided by careful review and advocacy.
“Thank you Deb, for your good work on this case which allowed HCS to move forward.”
“ALJ relied on Deborah’s excellent testimony.”
“Hearing concluded today…It went very well. Deborah did an outstanding job!”
If Your Caseload Includes: Medical or Nursing Malpractice, General Personal Injury, Products Liability, Toxic Tort or Environmental Cases, Criminal Cases, or any Case Involving Medical or Nursing Issues, such as; Probate, Medicare Fraud or Workers' Compensation - You Need Us on Your Litigation Team!