Letters from our readers
I enjoyed the article “What Not to Do on the Witness Stand” by Paul F. Waldner, JD (Bulletin, June 2005). All of it is excellent advice. What I have never seen discussed, however, in the past or in this article, is what to do on the witness stand when you are serving purely as a witness—not an expert witness—and are asked to give an opinion.
I have taken care of workers’ compensation patients or people who have been injured and been asked to testify and answer questions about their care. I understand that before the case goes to trial you should pin down the attorney about your role, either as a pure witness or as an expert witness. However, what do you do when they then start asking you questions that obviously require opinions, etc? At that point, should you state that you were asked to be a witness only and, therefore, cannot answer? I have been refused expert witness fees in those situations.
Jon A. Reiswig, MD
A recent issue of the Bulletin (June 2005) contained a wonderful article about the 25th anniversary of the National Association of Orthopaedic Nurses (NAON). I am thrilled to see the relationship between NAON and AAOS strengthening with each year. However, I do want to call your attention to a piece of incorrect information in the article, which mentioned that NAON offers a certification examination. In fact, the exam is offered by the Orthopaedic Nurses Certification Board (ONCB), a wholly independent affiliate of NAON. ONCB offers a certification examination leading to the ONC credential for registered nurses. ONCB is also developing an advanced practice certification exam for nurse practitioners and clinical nurse specialists; the exam will be piloted at the 2006 AAOS Annual Meeting in New Orleans and offered for the first time in October 2006.
Dottie Roberts, MSN, MACI, RN, CMSRN, ONC