Legality of taking doctor's orders

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    I am wondering if anyone knows the answer to, or where I can find the answer to, a question regarding who can and who cannot legally receive doctor's orders in Indiana. I am an RN working in a physician's office. In this office, a tech who has no official medical training, has been receiving doctor's orders for medications and writing prescriptions. Today I noted a prescription she wrote for twice the acceptable dosage. She does not consult with an RN or the physician before passing these prescriptions on to the patient. I'm wondering if she can legally write these prescriptions and the physician is just responsible for her, or if it is illegal. There is a plethora of information out there, and I haven't yet found the specifics I am looking for. Thank you.
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  4. 7 Comments so far...

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    Here in good ol' Pennsylvania (and everywhere else that I know of) ONLY an RN or PA can take a verbal order from an MD.....not even an LPN.

    This sounds like a dangerous situation and since you know about it, you should address it immediately!

    Good luck!
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    Look at the BON website, but I took RN boards in Indiana in 94 and as far as I know - only RNs can take phone orders...
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    Same here. Only RNs can take Dr. orders. Even when I was a nursing student, I couldn't take a phone order without a RN listening on the phone line so I could have her/him co-sign.
  8. 0
    Quote from Cerydwyn
    I am wondering if anyone knows the answer to, or where I can find the answer to, a question regarding who can and who cannot legally receive doctor's orders in Indiana. I am an RN working in a physician's office. In this office, a tech who has no official medical training, has been receiving doctor's orders for medications and writing prescriptions. Today I noted a prescription she wrote for twice the acceptable dosage. She does not consult with an RN or the physician before passing these prescriptions on to the patient. I'm wondering if she can legally write these prescriptions and the physician is just responsible for her, or if it is illegal. There is a plethora of information out there, and I haven't yet found the specifics I am looking for. Thank you.

    I'm not clear on what the tech is doing. Is she taking phone orders for scripts, or is she accepting a verbal order from a doc who is physically present in the office and handwriting the Rx to give to the patient? It seems like splitting hairs, but I believe the former may be unacceptable, while the latter may be permitted.
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    She is taking a verbal order from the doctor physically present in the office and then writing the script. In the hospital, as others have mentioned, only RNs could take the orders, phone or otherwise, but I'm thinking that may be the hospital's policy and not state law.

    Quote from Jolie
    I'm not clear on what the tech is doing. Is she taking phone orders for scripts, or is she accepting a verbal order from a doc who is physically present in the office and handwriting the Rx to give to the patient? It seems like splitting hairs, but I believe the former may be unacceptable, while the latter may be permitted.
  10. 0
    Quote from Cerydwyn
    She is taking a verbal order from the doctor physically present in the office and then writing the script. In the hospital, as others have mentioned, only RNs could take the orders, phone or otherwise, but I'm thinking that may be the hospital's policy and not state law.

    I'm sure that is a hospital policy, but it is probably spelled out in the Nurse Practice Act as well. Best to check with your State Board of Nursing.

    The difference is that she is probably classified as a medical assistant, not a CNA, or any other category of nursing personnel. For the most part, medical assistants work under the license of the physician who employs them, and are not answerable to the Nurse Practice Act. They can do pretty much whatever the doctor allows them to do, despite their minimal training.
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    Thank you for your replies, everyone. I'll look into this further for future reference. I will at least report the script error and it will be up to the doc to follow-up.


    Quote from Jolie
    I'm sure that is a hospital policy, but it is probably spelled out in the Nurse Practice Act as well. Best to check with your State Board of Nursing.

    The difference is that she is probably classified as a medical assistant, not a CNA, or any other category of nursing personnel. For the most part, medical assistants work under the license of the physician who employs them, and are not answerable to the Nurse Practice Act. They can do pretty much whatever the doctor allows them to do, despite their minimal training.


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