Ethics Question

  1. I am currently a nursing student at the University of Colorado Health Sciences Center. I have been asked to find out from currently practicing nurses what their opinion is on the following:

    1. What is your understanding about off duty liability? Would you stop at the scene of an accident? Have you had such an experience, and, if so what was the outcome?
    2. If a neighbor asks you for free advice, how do you respond?

    I know that you are busy, and thank you in advance for any input you would have on the above two questions.
  2. Visit chickel profile page

    About chickel

    Joined: Feb '04; Posts: 7


  3. by   live4today
    Hi Chickel

    If the situation warranted my intervention at the scene of a crime (no one else there to help, someone flagging me down for help, etc.), then I would stop.

    I would let them know that I will do what I can as a Good Samaritan, but will not attempt to act any greater than that. I've yet to be involved in a situation like that, but I think the law now requires medical personnel to stop. Not sure. Perhaps the laws vary from state to state.

    If a neighbor ask me for free advice, it would depend on the type of advice she/he ask for in order for me to decide if I would give the advice. If it's a medical question, I strongly urge them to contact their physician without delay. If it's a nursing related issue, I might answer it in a limited way so the neighbor wouldn't take what I tell her/him as gospel to act on without consulting the doctor first.

    You didn't really specify what kind of advice, so I answered your question as if you meant medical or nursing advice being asked.
    Last edit by live4today on Feb 5, '04
  4. by   angelathenurse
    In Texas we have to stop if no emergency vehicles are already there. I stop but I do not tell them I'm a nurse. The Good Samaritan Act protects us as healthcare workers.

    When a neighbor asks medical questions, they all get the same answer, call your primary physician. The way people are these days I hate to give away bandaids for fear the I'll get sued because the bandaid broke and the cut got infected. Stupid stuff like that keeps me from doing a whole lot of "neighborhood free clinic" stuff

    Just me and my opinion though!!
  5. by   barefootlady
    I will and have stopped for accidents here, covered by Good Samaritan act. Usually just need some small assistance while EMT's are taking care of really big stuff.

    Have told neighbors to call doctor or go to the ER when asked certain questions. Have identified that a drug is an antibiotic or something along those lines and to take all of Rx even if neighbor feels better. Reinforce need to take BP meds and cardiac meds on a regular basis.

    Have given the names of specialists to neighbor for further evaluation when they described symptoms of disturbing nature. Glad I did, it was cancer and it was caught early. I did not choose one doctor over another for this neighbor, I just gave a few names.

    Do offer assistance when seizure is noted and there is no one else there. Do Heimlick. Put head between legs if faint or lay down if possible.

    Also turn small,lost children into security at mall, Walmart, or other stores . Sometimes Mom takes as long as 30 minutes to realize they are gone. Guess the grandmother in me will not allow them to wonder around aimlessly, crying.

    Hope this helps.
  6. by   traumaRUs
    I also stop is no emergency vehicles, don't give advice to neighbors and carry my own malpractice insurance.
  7. by   chickel
    Thanks to all of you for taking the time to let me know your thoughts on this ethics question. All of you had interesting things to say and some different perspectives on the subject. Thanks again for your time and effort!!
  8. by   BarbPick
    Good Sam law applies in Florida as well.
    Now the neighbor...Now days most people have a smaller co payment to see their family doctor. Other than a bandaid on a boo boo, I tell all to call.