The doctor's job is to prescribe and he is the one that will be held the most liable...that is why his malpractice insurance
is tens of thousands and a nurses is less than $200 a year....it's because we are RARELY sued.
Your job is to communicate your concerns, give an objective opinion and chart appropriately. Your job is to give the medication in the correct location as ordered and to make sure that it is not a lethal dose.
That is where your liability ends...you'll just INCREASE your liability and get a reputation as a difficult nurse to work with if you start trying to "save" the frequent flyers.
In all due respect to Imanurse1...since you were off-duty, I would be wary if you got an accurate account of what is going on with that case. A doctor is not responsible if a patient lies about what they are taking and cannot be held responsible if an adult walks in, asks for drugs for pain, is assessed to need pain meds by the doctor...yet brings in more narcotics and takes them on top of what is given and the hospital has no knowledge of it.
Seriously...I would be willing to bet a whole paycheck that isn't the whole story. We cannot legally search their bags, we can't go into the bathroom with them, and I have been told that you cannot drug test them on arrival because of HIPAA.
If I got sued as a nurse under those circumstances, that is the one time that I wouldn't even stress over it.