Liability

  1. What's the policy at your office regarding giving immunizations? I work in a pediatrician's office and am the only nurse there. A couple of weeks ago the doctor got called away to the hospital during office hours. He left just as I was giving one of my little patients her 1 year MMR vaccine. About 5 minutes after the doctor left she became very flushed...enough to worry the mom and scare the living daylights out of me. I've always relied on the doctor to be responsible in case something went wrong during immunizations. With him gone, I really worried. (thank the Lord the child was fine, don't know why she flushed) He now wants me to do flu shots when he's not in the office. I've refused, but ideally I should. I could shoot a lot of kids on his day off.

    How should I go about this? Is a medical directive enough to cover me should a child react to the vaccine I give? I do know how to handle severe allergic reactions and we do have all the equipment and medication needed. Or should I keep playing it safe and not do it when he's not there?

    I'm an RN BTW.

    Thanks!

    Laura
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  2. 3 Comments

  3. by   Jeansky
    In our office a Doctor must be on site for the very reason you stated. Expecially for a child. We also make it a policy that someone checks the medication and dosage of all ped injections!
  4. by   maikranz
    Define "responsible". If you were in a health department or an on-site location in the community, you wouldn't have an MD or APN around. As a RN, YOU are responsible for what you give (remember the 5 rights). If you are going to give pediatric flu vaccine, remember that it is not the same formulation as adult.

    Check with your state's nurse practice act to be sure.
    Good luck!

    Originally posted by laurasc:
    What's the policy at your office regarding giving immunizations? I work in a pediatrician's office and am the only nurse there. A couple of weeks ago the doctor got called away to the hospital during office hours. He left just as I was giving one of my little patients her 1 year MMR vaccine. About 5 minutes after the doctor left she became very flushed...enough to worry the mom and scare the living daylights out of me. I've always relied on the doctor to be responsible in case something went wrong during immunizations. With him gone, I really worried. (thank the Lord the child was fine, don't know why she flushed) He now wants me to do flu shots when he's not in the office. I've refused, but ideally I should. I could shoot a lot of kids on his day off.

    How should I go about this? Is a medical directive enough to cover me should a child react to the vaccine I give? I do know how to handle severe allergic reactions and we do have all the equipment and medication needed. Or should I keep playing it safe and not do it when he's not there?

    I'm an RN BTW.

    Thanks!

    Laura
  5. by   laurasc
    Thanks for your replies. I checked with the College of Nurses of Ontario (which is our provincial licencing and regulating board) and they said that what I need is a medical directive stating that I have the doctor's permission to administer the vaccines and to administer any emergency medication required if there is a problem. So my boss wrote up one and it's on file.

    Laura

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