Waiver: (Tongue in cheek) I realize that no one here is qualified to give me actual legal advice. I will not hold anyone here responsible for any advice I may be given. If I make a stupid decision based on stupid advice, I pledge to hold the poster as harmless.
So here's the deal. I work inpatient on a diabetes research study. The NPs and PA manage the diabetes treatment for patients admitted (usually NOT for diabetes) who sign a consent to participate in the study. We do not see the patients for follow up after hospital discharge. Part of the study includes certified nurse educators who contact the patients one week after discharge to ask scripted questions such as confirming the doses of insulins or other meds the patient was prescribed at DC, has the patient had hypoglycemia since DC, has the patient had hyperglycemia since DC, has the patient required ER treatment since DC, etc.
In the past, the NPs and PA were asked to help out with these phone calls, which I tried to do. I quickly realized this put me in a tight spot when a patient had very low or very high glucose at home...I was supposed to just gather data and not advise or treat the patient whatsoever. After that experience I refused to do further follow up calls and explained to the group my thoughts that I am responsible to evaluate and treat patients to the highest level of my license and education, so hearing a patient tell me he has blood sugars of 300+ at home obligates me to at least instruct the patient in adjusting his insulin doses OR to prescribe an additional medication for better control.
Am I right? The question of our doing these phone calls is going to come up in a meeting in the near future and I want to be prepared. I emailed the service department at my liability insurance
carrier to ask the question and have not yet received a response.