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Could I have my license taken away

Nurses   (2,676 Views 30 Comments)
by mindiianajones mindiianajones (Member)

mindiianajones has <1 years experience .

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Have Nurse has 25 years experience and works as a A.D.O.N..

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I didn't realize we were all in the armed forces....

ci·vil·ian

səˈvilyən

noun

1.

a person not in the armed services or the police force.

Yes, I believe they misused the word "civilian. Perhaps they meant to say "non-nurses". (smile)

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1,800 Likes; 4 Followers; 17,114 Visitors; 2,554 Posts

I didn't realize we were all in the armed forces....

ci·vil·ian

səˈvilyən

noun

1.

a person not in the armed services or the police force.

Oh for Pete's sake that's why I used quotation marks. Don't be an ass.

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1,800 Likes; 4 Followers; 17,114 Visitors; 2,554 Posts

Yes, I believe they misused the word "civilian. Perhaps they meant to say "non-nurses". (smile)

civilian

noun [ C ] US ​ /səˈvɪl·jən/

civilian noun [ C ] (ORDINARY PERSON)

​

politics & government a person who is not a member of the police, the armed forces, or a fire department:

What is this? Gang up on Wuzzie day? Since I am a member of a fire department and a fire department would have the people who treat injuries on scene like this guess I'm not so wrong in my use am I? FTR that definition was from Cambridge not the Urban Dictionary. The quotation marks were gratuitous for people like you and your buddy Username. Apparently you found the rest of my post okay since you pretty much reposted what I said verbatim. But if you get your jollies picking apart people's posts for stupid things have at it.

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Katillac has 18 years experience as a RN.

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In terms of being sued for malpractice for any bad outcome, a person who delivers emergency first aid is typically LEGALLY covered by Good Samaritan provisions, as long as what you do isn't outside what a reasonable person with your level of training would do. The situation that always gets brought up is trying to manage a code at 50,000 feet. If you're a psych nurse, that's unreasonably outside your scope of experience. If there's a bad outcome there's a pretty good chance the injured party would prevail. But if a cardiac cath lab nurse did the same and there was a bad outcome, successful suit would be unlikely, again, because of Good Samaritan laws and she was doing what any reasonable person would do - help within her scope.

Keep in mind the party bringing a civil suit needs to have suffered damages of some kind in order to win. An infected finger, even cellulitis from a possible allergic reaction to a topical wouldn't be likely to produce any permanent damage, so my experience informs my opinion that the chance of a successful suit would be slim. But also keep in mind that Good Samaritan laws are largely held to protect those who respond in an emergency, not small scratch to a finger.

The threat to a practitioner's license is a different matter completely. Most BONs maintain that unless it's a life threatening emergency, a practitioner is still held to their scope of practice. In many states, if a person gives roadside assistance to a person which included prescribing and providing medication and treatment to a person with minor injuries, they could if reported theoretically be practicing outside their scope. But I've never heard of someone being BON cited in a Good Samaritan situation. As another person suggested, check out your BON and you'll see they have WAY bigger fish to fry.

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AnnieOaklyRN works as a RN, Paramedic.

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more than likely it will be fine. You should not put peroxide on wounds, just soap and water. Peroxide kills healthy cells.

You are not working under a nursing license when you are home having yard sale so I wouldn't worry and he would have to get gangrene and loose the finger before he could too, as you have to show damages. I wouldn't worry about it!!

Annie

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A spur of the moment out of doors situation, random person, obvious cause, would have led me to behave as the OP did, inclusive of Hydrogen Peroxide due to the absence of acceptable water supply, and only the barest swipe or dab, as cleanse. If NKA, same with ointment, and light covering. These simply as a first aid measure basically contained in OTC kits made available to the general public, anyway. Another concern would be availability of gloves and contact with body fluids

ps I would hesitate taking a complete stranger into my home

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Lorie Brown RN, MN, JD has 30 years experience and works as a Nurse Attorney.

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I am a nurse attorney. There are 2 issues here. One can you get sued as a homeowner for an injury on your property. The answer is yes. If he came as a friend, then you would not be liable unless it was open and obvious. However as a business invitee, you have a higher duty. The second issue, your treatment. There is a good samaritan law in I think every state. Because this was what we would argue an emergency situation, your care should fall under the good samaritan law. There can be no medical malpractice under this situation for your treatment if it is covered by the good samaritan law. Medical malpractice requires a nurse patient relationship which you did not have here. He can still report you to the Board. Anyone can. They will investigate and see if charges should be filed. Even so, it is unlikely you would lose your license under this situation.

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tacticool has 2 years experience and works as a Registered Nurse.

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Anyone can sue anyone but unless you were negligent in your treatment, the Good Samaritan Law applies.

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Yeah, it was me being a dumb and thinking about what I could bring out to them instead of dragging them up inside. Hopefully, it doesn't happen again, but now I'll remember to leave the peroxide and bacitracin inside. I had no idea there was a rise of allergies to bacitracin though. I'm glad you told me that! I feel super dumb for it all. I'm a new nurse who's been thinking about going into the ER or CCU eventually, and I think I'm going to rethink that, since I can barely handle thinking quickly about what to properly do over a scratch.

To clarify, rusty nails are often thought to be infection vectors for C. tetani (which is actually only true if the nail is laying around in the soil before piercing the skin).

As an obligate anaerobe oxygen (ie hydrogen peroxide) will kill the C. tetani bacterium. However the bacterium is often found in spore form in the soil and is in a spore until it is shoved deep into a puncture wound.

As a spore it can withstand anywhere from 15 mins to 24 hrs contact with hydrogen peroxide before being killed. Which is why hydrogen peroxide (which also damages the pt's cells) is useless as a bactericidal agent in such cases.

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mindiianajones has <1 years experience.

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Don't take this situation too seriously. I generally tell others complaining of a malady (routine headache, soreness, cut/scrape, etc) what I have (ibuprofen or acetaminophen, ice, soap/water, bandage, etc) and let them choose what they would like to use. And your customer could have refused any/all of what you offered.

Also, don't write a dream off because of something that happened in a non-work setting. You learn to "deal with" situations at work and think through them. I deal with situations at work I never thought I'd be okay with/in. You learn to deal with it, it becomes routine (never to patients but to staff). The first time I was in one of the situations I routinely face at work, didn't handle it as well as I would now. Time and experience teach us plenty.

Also, definitely check out the BON website. While it CAN happen and sometimes should happen, it's not as easy as so many people think to lose your license.

I guess it's just easier for me to think that when I have barely two months experience. My confidence for adapting to an emergent situation, right now, is next to zero. I still don't even feel like a real nurse, honestly. It's like I managed to scam my way into an RN position, and I'm just waiting for everyone to realize I don't actually know anything. Thank you for the encouragement, though. I definitely appreciate it.

I did end up checking the BON website, and it did make me feel better. The majority of what I saw was practicing under the influence or stealing meds, so a lot bigger deals than accidentally giving someone an infection because a cut was bandaged up the wrong way.

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mindiianajones has <1 years experience.

802 Visitors; 45 Posts

Poor kid! You were providing first aid like anyone would who cared. But I would like to gently suggest that in the future you do not use Bacitracin for a situation like this. Not because so much of the licensure question as much as it has been known to cause dermatitis in some people. I have had two physicians discourage the use of it.

Soap and water, bandage, that's it. Might want to ask him when he had his last tetanus shot, but it's up to him to follow up.

I definitely am going to get rid of the bacitracin. I didn't realize it could cause so many problems. The little packets are even still available at my hospital in the supply closets because I'm pretty sure that's where I got it from. At least, it was the last time I checked.

I haven't seen him again since Saturday, so I'm hoping everything turned out alright. I was most worried about him getting tetanus, and I know it can take over a week for symptoms to show up. I'm just hoping he was up to date. He was so not worried about it when it happened. I think I was more worried than him. Thank you!

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mindiianajones has <1 years experience.

802 Visitors; 45 Posts

In terms of being sued for malpractice for any bad outcome, a person who delivers emergency first aid is typically LEGALLY covered by Good Samaritan provisions, as long as what you do isn't outside what a reasonable person with your level of training would do. The situation that always gets brought up is trying to manage a code at 50,000 feet. If you're a psych nurse, that's unreasonably outside your scope of experience. If there's a bad outcome there's a pretty good chance the injured party would prevail. But if a cardiac cath lab nurse did the same and there was a bad outcome, successful suit would be unlikely, again, because of Good Samaritan laws and she was doing what any reasonable person would do - help within her scope.

Keep in mind the party bringing a civil suit needs to have suffered damages of some kind in order to win. An infected finger, even cellulitis from a possible allergic reaction to a topical wouldn't be likely to produce any permanent damage, so my experience informs my opinion that the chance of a successful suit would be slim. But also keep in mind that Good Samaritan laws are largely held to protect those who respond in an emergency, not small scratch to a finger.

The threat to a practitioner's license is a different matter completely. Most BONs maintain that unless it's a life threatening emergency, a practitioner is still held to their scope of practice. In many states, if a person gives roadside assistance to a person which included prescribing and providing medication and treatment to a person with minor injuries, they could if reported theoretically be practicing outside their scope. But I've never heard of someone being BON cited in a Good Samaritan situation. As another person suggested, check out your BON and you'll see they have WAY bigger fish to fry.

I definitely did take a look at the BON, and a lot of it was medication diversion and being drunk or high while working, so for sure, way bigger fish than my possibly giving a guy an infection by accident. I'm a worrier, though, so I'm always thinking what if I end up being that one person who loses their license over something like this. Thank you for the thoughtful response! There's a lot of good information that I'll remember, though I hope nothing like this happens again. I think this will be the last time we do a garage sale. I do not want the liability.

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