Texas Nurses Vindicated in Fight for Patient Safety — Almost

Two nurses who were fired from their hospital for alerting state authorities to a dangerous doctor have now been fully vindicated — except for one thing.

The nurses won a $750,000 settlement of their lawsuit against the Winkler County (Texas) Memorial Hospital and the local authorities who criminally prosecuted them for their complaint to the state medical board about the doctor. Read details here.

The west Texas hospital has been fined $15,850 by the state health department for its role in firing the two nurses, who worked in quality assurance at the hospital and had a duty under the state nursing practice act to turn in the doctor.

The doctor himself, Rolando G. Arafiles Jr., has now been charged in an administrative complaint by the state licensing board with endangering at least nine patients in recent years and with other violations of good medical care. You can read the official complaint here.

The only thing left: nurses Anne Mitchell, RN, and Vickilyn Galle, RN, who live in Jal, New Mexico, still haven’t been able to find a new job since their illegal firing, according to their lawyer, Brian Carney. And the physician? Dr. Arafiles still works every day at the Winkler County Memorial Hospital.

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