LPN Volunteering at Senior Center- Need Advice

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    Posted this in volunteer nursing, probably not the best spot- I really could use some help and I'm very appreciative....thanks all:



    Hi all,

    I am a relatively new grad- June 2012- and have worked per diem at a SNF. I've recently been asked to help/volunteer at a local senior center looking to start an adult day program.
    It seems It will not be an adult day health program as there is no facility available for bathing, but one to mainly provide the social and respite benefits of such a program.

    Currently, it's a 'club' run by other unlicensed volunteers- lasting about three hours three times a week...and there are about four people who come three times a week. Obviously it's very small and whatnot, but I'm weary to say yes (even though it is my dream to work at an adult day health program- so difficult to secure a position), as it is in it's infant stages and not a licensed facility. I would not be performing ANY nursing skills/duties whatsoever, but I'm still nervous as I am still VERY new to the nursing profession and I know how sticky legal issues can be. If something were to happen, I know that regardless of volunteer status, my license is on the line. Can someone give me some seasoned nursing advice? I want to be involved and like I said, it is my dream to work in ADH- but I don't want to risk anything. I appreciate any help I can get.


    Thanks in advance
  2. 7 Comments so far...

  3. 0
    But are you even working there in the capacity of a nurse or are you just a volunteer like everyone else? If you are just a common volunteer I'm not sure why you would have any problems.
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    Sorry, but I don't think you are asking the right people. I think you need to look at your states nurse practice act or consult an attorney familiar with the ins and out of this kind of situation. I would also look at my professional liability insurance. With that information you can make a decision.
    AngelicDarkness and LaLaEm4 like this.
  5. 0
    Thank you both, I'll be calling the BON today and seeing if my liability insurance is sufficient. I won't be using any nursing skills, but I know that a license is a license, and I want to protect that. Thank you both again!
  6. 1
    I agree with what has already been said. I would think if you are not acting as a nurse though then you shouldn't be 'advertised' as a nurse either. By that I mean that I wouldn't wear a nametag that says LPN or RN or whatever. I wouldn't have my name be posted as "Jane Doe, RN" but only as "Jane Doe." You're obviously always a nurse no matter what, but I think if some legal issue arose then it would probably make a difference. For example, I might help out with a health fair acting as an RN and that's what I'm "advertised" as so the coordinators verify my identity/license before I volunteer. However, if I volunteer at my child's school dance then I'm volunteering as "Jack's mom" and not "Jane Doe, RN." Don't let them use your title to make people think they are being advised by a nurse. I would think if seniors are participating in activities that they know are being overseen by a nurse (if you're representing yourself as Jane Doe the nurse rather than just Jane Doe) that kind of implies a nurse-client relationship whether you want it to or not. I'm not a lawyer. That's just my opinion, and I could be wrong. It just seems like a fine line. I don't know if I'd want to be on that kind of line when there is no real benefit involved other than the promise of a future job opportunity without being 100% sure what I was stepping into.
    LaLaEm4 likes this.
  7. 2
    ::sigh:: Another "my license is on the line" panic.

    If you are volunteering, not performing any nurse duties, not identified as a nurse in any way, shape, manner, or form, and not doing anything that makes for a nurse-patient relationship, your position is exactly the same as any other volunteer. If there's an emergency, like a cardiac arrest or an airway obstruction, your role is the same with the exception that you cannot exceed your training and experience; as an LPN, that probably means you'd be held to the community CPT standard.

    By all means call the BON and explain. Dollars to doughnuts they'll tell you your license wouldn't be at any greater risk than if someone went down in front of you at the grocery store.
    LaLaEm4 and BrandonLPN like this.
  8. 0
    I appreciate this. I know it seems panic-y but I'm sure with a few more years under my belt, it'll simmer down . Regardless, thanks for your reply, it was helpful to me.
  9. 1
    I meant "CPR." Dang acrylics.
    Nascar nurse likes this.


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