Would you offer medical advice online?

  1. I have a quick question. I frequent a baby website often. I see a lot of nurses offering medical advice (ex. meds that can be taken during pregnancy) and ending it with "I am a nurse". I find that extremely dangerous for both the person asking the question and the nurse offering the advice. I cautioned them that if anything happens they could be in deep poop for giving medical advice using the quote "I am a nurse". I don't know if that is completely accurate or not but it just seems like a liability issue. Am I wrong? Would you give medical advice to a complete stranger on the internet and feel like you could be sure your license is not being put in jeopardy?
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  2. 12 Comments

  3. by   caliotter3
    We are not allowed to do so on this site according to the terms of service. I would not do it, b/c of the liability issues. You just can not see the entire picture on a website. I seriously doubt any doctor would do so either. You can talk about or around a situation, but nothing can be said with certainty. Just not a good idea.
  4. by   allantiques4me
    Isnt it out of our scope of practice?I wouldnt do it.
  5. by   whiskeygirl
    Yeah, I wouldn't do it. I mean other than to say "You need to see/consult with your doctor." I would be concerned with liability issues, for one. And the other, I would be concerned about only seeing half the picture. Often times patients aren't completely forthcoming with us.

    If this were me, I would probably mention the above on the thread you are reading then notify the mods.
  6. by   Balder_LPN
    But also isnt there a difference here between:

    I am pregnant, is it ok for me to take XXXX?

    and

    What would you say to a pregnant pt who came in and said she was taking xxx and was concerened about safety in pregnancy.

    #1 is medical advice #2 is answered on here all the time
  7. by   whiskeygirl
    Same answer to both, she needs to speak with her PMD
  8. by   kittagirl
    You go on to any reputability website that is set up to offer medical advice they will still always give themselves a get out clause of 'consult your personal physician'

    I would be very wary of anyone who offers advice like that on a public website.
    After all how can you prove that the person offering the advice is actually a nurse?

    In reality other than the fact that I've said I'm a nurse and we're on a nursing forum, how do you actually know I'm a nurse, you only have my say so. I could be anyone?
  9. by   Silverdragon102
    I would just refer them to their primary doctor, online how much can you trust the patient to tell you everything correctly and truthfully and not just what they think you want to hear
  10. by   Pat_Pat RN
    There are actually websites where you (as patient) can input your symptoms and a doctor will review them and send back a reply as to what the possibilities are and what kind of follow-up is probably needed.

    Isn't there a difference in "giving medical advice" and just giving facts? If someone asks, "Is it ok for me to take Tylenol while I'm pregnant"; could you not answer, "According to the FDA, Tylenol is a category B drug during pregnancy, which means it could cause harm to your baby, check with your doctor."?
    You are giving an answer, without giving your own opinion.

    Pat
  11. by   LovebugLPN
    I am saying that this "nurse" told a person that the doctor was an idiot and that this med was safe. She then went on to say she is a nurse. There may be a reason this pt was told not to take it and if anything happened the pt could become seriously ill and the nurse is putting her license at risk. There are other posters who say "I know what I am talking about because my husband is a nurse". I got treated like I was a terrible person for saying that this was not a good idea and that I would not put my license at risk since I worked so hard for it.
  12. by   tridil2000
    Quote from whiskeygirl
    Same answer to both, she needs to speak with her PMD
    hey, let's say that better!:spin:
    she needs to speak with her primary care practitioner, who very well could be an np or midwife!
  13. by   Pat_Pat RN
    If she gave contradicting advice given by her doctor, then that is a different story.

    Pat
  14. by   Tweety
    I occasionally correct misinformation on the vegetarian boards I visit. There is a lot of misinfomration out there. But if someone point blank is asking medical advice, I'll correct those who adviced him/her wrong (there always is that) and refer them to their MD>

    I often given nutrutional advise, like how to get the proper nutrition while being a vegetarian, but never medical advice.

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