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Can a nurse excuse herself for caring for a patient that is an aquaintance?

Texas   (1,038 Views | 4 Replies)
by nursealmondjoy nursealmondjoy (New) New

510 Profile Views; 3 Posts

Hi,

I am an RN working in oncology in my first year after graduating. The area I work in we often have patients for 2-6 weeks or longer. This may sound silly but I had a dream that a patient on my floor was an ex of mine who treated me very badly (cheated, borderline abusive, and I believe he was convicted for sexual assault after we broke up) and I was assigned to care for him. I didn't initially recognize that I knew him because he was going by a different name and was bald and no longer had any facial hair etc. Obviously a dream isn't going to hurt me but it got me thinking. Do I have the right to refuse a patient if it is someone I know and possibly am on bad terms with? I know you can refuse to care for family members but how about a friend or ex or something like that? I could see having someone you are on bad terms with making false allegations against a nurse if they are your patient. I couldn't find anything about the legality of this. All I found was stuff about refusing ebola patients or unsafe patient loads.

Anyone had experience with this? I am in texas but I don't know if this would be a state or federal legislation.

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loriangel14 is a RN and specializes in Acute Care, Rehab, Palliative.

1 Follower; 6,923 Posts; 36,968 Profile Views

There wouldn't be any legislation regarding this. It would be a facility policy perhaps. I would think that there would be no problem excusing yourself from caring for soemone if it would be awkward or uncomfortable. I have done it myself.

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Pangea Reunited has 6 years experience as a ASN, RN.

1,547 Posts; 21,600 Profile Views

In general, it's not an issue and employers/co-workers are happy to accommodate. I'd approach it as asking for an assignment to be altered, though ....not simply refusing.

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2 Followers; 14,620 Posts; 106,345 Profile Views

Everywhere I've ever worked, it has been facility/organization policy that you don't provide direct care for anyone with whom you have an existing personal relationship (family members, friends), regardless of whether it's a good or bad relationship. Just the fact that the relationship exists is a good enough reason. You just let your NM or charge nurse know that this is the situation, and the assignments are adjusted. In my experience, it's not about "refusing" an assignment -- the organization doesn't want you to be caring for someone you know personally.

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