Hi, a quick bit of guidance on this situation would be appreciated, as I need it for an essay
I was working on a surgical ward in the UK and half way through a shift, just before lunch was told that a patient who had been waiting for a week for her op could go down to theatre in the afternoon. I immediately made her NBM and told the Nursing Assistant working at my end of the ward. I also hung a Nil By Mouth sign above her bed and explained the situation to the patient.
About 20 minutes later I found the patient happily eating lunch. Her Op had to be cancelled and was delayed by about 3 days. The meal had been given to her by an agency Nursing Assistant, who had not worked with the patient that day and had not seen the NBM notice. The patient seemed to have a degree of short-term memory loss.
Question is, who is responsible for the patient being fed? Me, or the agency NA?
Any tips would be cool.
Apr 8, '05
I agree w/ Pricklypear that the NA is operating under her own license, not yours, so you are not liable.
And you didn't "delegate" the passing of the tray to the NA for two reasons
1) that's not a nursing duty, any unlicensed person can do it
2) you can't "delegate in the negative." You can't delegate for someone *not* to do something.
IMHO, the person at fault is the *patient.* Unless there is a reasonable explaination for why she took the tray (she dementia, alzheimer's, language barrier), and/or unless she honestly believed that the reason the NA gave her the tray was because the NPO/BDM status suddenly no longer applied, it was her doing.
But that was her right as a patient. She is not required to do anything she is told to do by a nurse/MD/other staff, and she is not required to NOT do anything she is told not to do.
I don't see why *you* get blamed for the patient asserting her legal right. As long as you made it clear to her that the NPO status was *for the purpose of surgery,* she knowingly took action to delay her surgery - which is her legal right. If your patient was a competent adult, your facility should treat her like one.
Oh, wait, I remember...because nurses take the blame for EVERYTHING. :angryfire
- Lawnurse (doing my small part by defending this rediculous "legal fiction" whenever I can.) :uhoh21:
Last edit by Lawnurse on Apr 8, '05