Any tips on how to protect your self in a clinic?

  1. Hi, I'm a new LVN, I was offered a job at a clinic but I'm kinda nervous because I've never worked at a clinic before. Everything is electronic charting. How do you protect your license when working at a clinic? What tips can you give me for those who have worked at a clinic? Thank you for your help.
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  2. 18 Comments

  3. by   Everline
    I'm confused. What do you mean "protect yourself"? What kind of clinic is it?
  4. by   Life22feb
    Any tips on how to protect your nursing license?
  5. by   Rose_Queen
    Practice within your scope and as a prudent nurse should. It is actually very difficult to have an action taken against a nursing license- if you read the updates as for why a license is disciplined, suspended, or revoked, you're likely to see reasons related to drugs, alcohol, or criminal acts as the most common reason. This fear of losing a license is so pervasive and I can't for the life of me understand why.
  6. by   elkpark
    Quote from Rose_Queen
    Practice within your scope and as a prudent nurse should.
    ^^ That, and be good at charting. I agree that it's a lot more difficult to lose your license than many people who post here seem to think. OP, what exactly are your concerns about your license in that setting? Why do you think it would be riskier than practicing in other kinds of settings?
  7. by   Life22feb
    I just sometimes fear that maybe I might misspell something in my charting or what it I forget to chart something. I think I might be overreacting.
  8. by   Here.I.Stand
    Quote from Life22feb
    I just sometimes fear that maybe I might misspell something in my charting or what it I forget to chart something. I think I might be overreacting.
    Yes, you are overreacting. Don't practice outside of your scope, don't steal drugs or Rx pads (if they are used), don't batter your pts, don't commit ID theft with pts' info -- and your license will be fine.
  9. by   KelRN215
    Quote from Life22feb
    I just sometimes fear that maybe I might misspell something in my charting or what it I forget to chart something. I think I might be overreacting.
    You are not going to lose your license over a misspelling.

    Document at the point of care and you won't have to worry about forgetting to document something. But, again, unless it's something really egregious that causes serious patient harm, you're not going to have disciplinary action taken against your license for a simple omission.

    I don't really understand what you're concerned about. Why would working in a clinic and having electronic charting mean there's anything in particular you need to do to "protect" your license?

    By and large if you don't want to lose your nursing license, don't divert controlled substances from work and don't work under the influence of alcohol or drugs. I have only ever known one nurse who lost her license- she was stealing narcotics from the prison she worked at and then just didn't show up at any of her hearings at the BoN.
  10. by   Ddestiny
    Nursing schools really do make new nurses come in walking on eggshells, afraid they're going to lose their license for the slightest social faux pas. A few years in the field seems to be all it takes to get them to calm down, but until then I take the opportunities I can with the students I help to let them know: you're going to make mistakes, you're going to drop pills or forget little details, and yeah it sucks, and you may even cause minor adverse things with your inexperience (i.e. when I first started on my Post-surg floor I didn't question the "remove foley" order on a patient with an epidural. 8 hours later he couldn't pee, which happened to fall on the night shift, and they couldn't insert the next foley because of his giant prostate -- previous one had been done during surgery -- and they had to call in the urologist to place a coude. Crappy night for my patient and the night nurse and I learned a big lesson. I've never repeated that mistake and I make sure to tell the new nurses and students about this whenever it comes up, but no, no legal action was taken against me, and my boss literally told me "you're new, how could we expect you to know this?") but as long as you are not being negligent and/or literally breaking the law....you're going to be fine.
  11. by   Horseshoe
    Quote from Life22feb
    I just sometimes fear that maybe I might misspell something in my charting or what it I forget to chart something. I think I might be overreacting.
    What is going on in nursing schools nowadays that new grads have the impression that a misspelled word is going to cost them their license. REALLY?!!?!?!?
  12. by   Horseshoe
    Quote from Life22feb
    Any tips on how to protect your nursing license?
    Don't steal your patients' drugs, don't show up to work high or drunk, don't falsify the medical record, don't abandon your patients, don't physically or sexually abuse your patients, don't kill your patient by gross negligence.

    Did you notice that misspelled words are not among the previous offenses?

    Carry on.
  13. by   CelticGoddess
    Quote from Horseshoe
    Don't steal your patients' drugs, don't show up to work high or drunk, don't falsify the medical record, don't abandon your patients, don't physically or sexually abuse your patients, don't kill your patient by gross negligence.

    Did you notice that misspelled words are not among the previous offenses?

    Carry on.
    I was going to say basically the same thing.

    As far was what nursing schools are doing/teaching: I know my school (graduated 2011) the instructors were often saying "you need to protect your license". We had one instructor who actually did explain why people lost their licenses. She pulled up a few people she knew personally who were not just suspended but had their licenses yanked. All three had the same thing in common, they refused to comply with the board. One was suspended for diversion, one was suspended for false documentation and the third was suspended because she got 2 DUI's in one year and didn't report. But all three lost their licenses for failure to comply.
  14. by   ivyleaf
    document everything, esp in tele triage. if you are unsure about anything, as the doc or NP. use tele triage protocols, esp if you are not running things by the doc. also, never downgrade a pt a triage level (as in office visit vs ED) unless doc or NP OKs. I have worked in a clinic for the past 1.5 yrs.
    Also, no scanning (if you are used to that) so make sure to double check your meds. With pedi vaccines, if you are not familiar, keep cheat sheets for timing and method (sq vs im)

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