Can a Sticker on my car = Hippa Violation?

  1. 0
    I had a sticker on the back of my car that said "hospice nurse". I have found that even with a gps, at times the gps isn't all that accurate and in town Atlanta-folks aren't real patient; so I was tired of getting honked at, so I put a sticker on the back of my car that said "hospice nurse." I've had the sticker on my car for at least a year.

    Fast forward to a new patient with brain mets (she swears she doesn't have cancer, it's "all that radiation they gave me that is killing me...) The grandaughter was commenting how cute my car was with antlers for christmas and a rudolph nose on the front of the car. Patient asked her grandaughter "how do you know it was the hospice nurses car?" Grandaughter replies "because it said so on the back of her car." Now patient gets angry, calls the office saying "now all my neighbors know my business." ((patient lives in a large apartment complex, so it's not like it was a single family dwelling and i've never had anyone complain in the last year)).
    In addition, some of the questions the social worker asked her insulted her "it's none of her business how far I went in school--that has nothing to do with how intelligent I am." anywhoo, now she only wants a home health aide to visit, she doesn't want ANY nursing visits or chaplain or social worker to visit (frankly, I don't know how we are going to keep her even with her diagnosis as if a nurse isn't supervising care, how can we keep an aide going...).

    Here is the thing. After she called the office, my administrator says I have to take the sticker off of my car as this could be a "hippa violation." How is this any different from a sticker that says "chaplain", or any other profession. What about companies that have magnetic advertisements for their company with the company name and phone number?

    I took the sticker off of my car, but in protest, as there is no policy delineating that a nurse or any other profession isn't allowed to have a sticker with said profession on their personal transportation.

    What about our uniforms that clearly state "hospice nurse" and the company name, and of course we are required to wear our badges to all visits.

    Any comments are greatly appreciated. I mean, I am PROUD of what I do for a living. I make a difference.

    Thank you!:spin:

    linda
  2. 5,029 Visits
    Find Similar Topics
  3. 14 Comments so far...

  4. 1
    That is something that I've never encountered and will look forward seeing the replies.

    IMO? If it saves a dying individual from any additional pain; physical and/or emotional, I would gladly remove the sticker.
    AtlantaRN likes this.
  5. 2
    honestly linda, i don't know if legally, it's a hipaa violation.
    but i've had so many pts who were fiercely protective of their right to privacy.
    that there were very few people they wanted knowing about their deteriorating health status.
    for that reason alone, i personally don't use stickers or any other public slogan.

    but you still have every single reason to be proud of what you do.

    leslie
    AtlantaRN and sharona97 like this.
  6. 1
    Intriguing question. But my take on this: who is to say that the person driving this car with said sticker is a hospice nurse and who is to say where or where not this person can park the car? Nobody knows why the car is parked at any given location unless someone states why. You can park your car anywhere you want, where you won't be ticketed for a parking violation. Violation of your right to free speech.

    The easy way out is to remove the sticker. But think about it. Your dress (if you wear bona fide nursing uniforms, as so many home care nurses do), and your comings and goings tell more about your purpose at any address than a bumper sticker on the car that you drove to get there.

    The client can complain, which they did, and have you removed from the case, which happened. But that does not make them right and gives them no right to tell you what you can and can't put on your privately owned vehicle. If you were driving a hearse for a POV (like I saw recently) and was embarassing the people in their own neighborhood, I could see their objections. Otherwise, until they pay for your car, they can mind their own business in this matter. It is unfortunate that they placed themselves in a bad position by complaining. The agency should refuse to do any further business with them. What will the next complaint be about?
    AtlantaRN likes this.
  7. 1
    You know, it does sound indiscrete. If you are visiting people and their neighbors see your liscense plate number, then it doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure out the score. Maybe you should change it.
    AtlantaRN likes this.
  8. 4
    So...is an ambulance with flashing lights parked in front of a house a HIPAA violation? I know there is a big difference, but it is along the same lines. I would rather have people know that I am a nurse and have a legitimate reason for being where I am than have people think I am some psycho who is stalking the poor man across the street.
    aachavez, canoehead, RnRatchet, and 1 other like this.
  9. 1
    But in the public's eye Hospice= Death. You might as well hang your dirty sheets on the line.

    Some people prefer privacy, no matter where they are on the continuem of life. Those near death are especially vulnerable.

    My hat's off to the OP for being a sensitive and considerate nurse to think of this!
    AtlantaRN likes this.
  10. 0
    Our agency had stickers with the company name on them. They were found in a closet and left out on a table for nurses and aides to put in the back windows of our cars. Our director walked in and saw them and told us that we were not to put them on our cars because it WAS a privacy violation. So they got pitched. To my knowledge, no one has a license plate or anything on their cars to denote RN or hospice etc. If one patient is offended by it, then I am sure there are others.

    As for the patient not wanting a nurse vist and only an aide, I don't think she can remain on hospice without a nurse to manage her care. THis is regualtion to have nursing visits. Maybe another nurse could be assigned?

    Good luck, she sounds like a handful! :icon_roll


    Quote from AtlantaRN
    I had a sticker on the back of my car that said "hospice nurse". I have found that even with a gps, at times the gps isn't all that accurate and in town Atlanta-folks aren't real patient; so I was tired of getting honked at, so I put a sticker on the back of my car that said "hospice nurse." I've had the sticker on my car for at least a year.

    Fast forward to a new patient with brain mets (she swears she doesn't have cancer, it's "all that radiation they gave me that is killing me...) The grandaughter was commenting how cute my car was with antlers for christmas and a rudolph nose on the front of the car. Patient asked her grandaughter "how do you know it was the hospice nurses car?" Grandaughter replies "because it said so on the back of her car." Now patient gets angry, calls the office saying "now all my neighbors know my business." ((patient lives in a large apartment complex, so it's not like it was a single family dwelling and i've never had anyone complain in the last year)).
    In addition, some of the questions the social worker asked her insulted her "it's none of her business how far I went in school--that has nothing to do with how intelligent I am." anywhoo, now she only wants a home health aide to visit, she doesn't want ANY nursing visits or chaplain or social worker to visit (frankly, I don't know how we are going to keep her even with her diagnosis as if a nurse isn't supervising care, how can we keep an aide going...).

    Here is the thing. After she called the office, my administrator says I have to take the sticker off of my car as this could be a "hippa violation." How is this any different from a sticker that says "chaplain", or any other profession. What about companies that have magnetic advertisements for their company with the company name and phone number?

    I took the sticker off of my car, but in protest, as there is no policy delineating that a nurse or any other profession isn't allowed to have a sticker with said profession on their personal transportation.

    What about our uniforms that clearly state "hospice nurse" and the company name, and of course we are required to wear our badges to all visits.

    Any comments are greatly appreciated. I mean, I am PROUD of what I do for a living. I make a difference.

    Thank you!:spin:

    linda
  11. 0
    Our agency did give out window clings with our logo on them to anyone that wanted them. BUT they were also available to the public and our volunteers. (Free advertising..lol) Our company saw it as just a way to support a local business.. no different from someone putting their child's school logo sticker on the window I guess.
    I personally did not display one and do not have RN on my license plate since we go into some not so nice areas sometimes to see patients. We do not carry meds at any time, but I see no reason to give a drug seeking person an idea that my car might have some goodies inside!
  12. 0
    Maybe the problem is with identifying the service. (AIDS Nurse, Cardiac Nurse, etc.).

    However there is freedom of "speech".

    Can you change your sticker to something like

    "I LUV HOSPICE"

    Nah, people would just think we didn't know how to spell.


Top