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Support group for nurses involved in serious errors

February 21, 2007 -- If you have been involved in a fatal or near-fatal error practicing nursing, consider joining a confidential support group being set up by Wisconsin nurse Julie Thao. Ms. Thao is the nurse who was charged with criminal neglect (a felony) for making a medication error that resulted in a tragic death last year. Ms. Thao, who has expressed a great deal of remorse, pled no contest in December to two misdemeanors for unlawfully obtaining and dispensing a prescription drug, in exchange for prosecutors dropping the felony charge.

Now Ms. Thao is interested in helping others involved in serious errors, which are all too common, as Judy Foreman's September 2006 Boston Globe piece on preventable errors shows.

Ms. Thao notes:

The depth of grief and devastation following an error such as this is often compounded by a profound sense of blame and shame, especially if others involved reacted in a punitive way. Despite enormous support from friends, family and many within the healthcare field, I am still faced with a sense of being alone, and that only someone who has been through this could truly understand. We need each other! We need to connect, and show each other that we were able to go on, that this is survivable.

Please contact Julie Thao at for more details on the support group.

Anonymous participants are welcome.



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