while working as a home health nurse the patient's husband asked me to look at his knee because he was having pain and wanted to know if he should use a heating pad, take ibuprofen or some tylenol. I told him to see his doctor, that I am not able to give him advice. Is that stupid? I'm so paranoid about legal action. What do you think?
Dec 4, '01
Nope, you're not stupid at all. I personally think your response was very appropriate and correct. You are wise to be concerned about legalities. Legally, you cannot give him ANY advice, even to take a darn tylenol, unless he is your patient and you know his full health history. It's a lawyer-eat-nurse world out there.
Dec 5, '01
You were absolutely right. Aside from not being able to diagnose, he was asking for a free professional service, so don't worry about insulting anyone, tell him "you get what you pay for"
Dec 6, '01
You are correct NurseKrissy. That is out of bounds. I have come across this situation many, many times in homecare. You are not to diagnose, prescribe or treat anyone except your patient
Must Read Topics