A Nurses Duty to act

  1. I'm looking for opinions for a situation.

    Is it a nurses duty to get immediate medical treatment ( I'm meaning call 911 ) for a person in their home who has a medical emergency?
    I'm not asking if he / she should give medical treatment, but I'm saying get EMS to a person with a life or death situation?
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    About Mellissa81

    Joined: May '18; Posts: 1
    from VA , US

    57 Comments

  3. by   caliotter3
    The nurse has a duty to act if they are on duty caring for that person. That is a major reason why professional nursing care takes place in the home setting.
  4. by   RNperdiem
    Of course, why would you not?
    An emergency is an emergency.
  5. by   ruby_jane
    Are you the nurse for the person in your home? Or just a prudent layperson? You don't necessarily have a "duty" unless you've accepted assignment. That being said, I agree with per diem....why wouldn't you call EMS?
  6. by   OldDude
    As stated above...if you're working, yes...otherwise it would be according to if you like or dislike the person experiencing the emergency...
  7. by   Flatline
    Depends on your state, this is a state law issue. Some states like Wisconsin have laws making it a requirement for a professional to act within their scope and education. Others do not. I think they are generally refereed to as "duty to act" laws.

    It is within everyone's professional and ethical duty to intervene within their scope and education however.
  8. by   BeckyESRN
    Quote from OldDude
    As stated above...if you're working, yes...otherwise it would be according to if you like or dislike the person experiencing the emergency...
    ^This was my first thought!
  9. by   canoehead
    I heard that if you are related to the person or might benefit from their death, there is a law to call 911 when they are in distress. I never looked it up to confirm the law...but it seems wise to do in any case.

    There ARE people in the community that I would not see if they got hit by a bus, I admit. But I wouldn't be caught in their homes, so I guess that doesn't apply.
  10. by   Wuzzie
    Quote from Mellissa81
    I'm looking for opinions for a situation.

    Is it a nurses duty to get immediate medical treatment ( I'm meaning call 911 ) for a person in their home who has a medical emergency?
    I'm not asking if he / she should give medical treatment, but I'm saying get EMS to a person with a life or death situation?
    Being a nurse has nothing to do with it. It is a HUMAN duty. What a bizarre question.
  11. by   KelRN215
    Quote from Wuzzie
    Being a nurse has nothing to do with it. It is a HUMAN duty. What a bizarre question.
    Yeah, if someone in your house starts to choke or has symptoms of a stroke or heart attack or has a massive seizure, you best call 911 lest you be left to explain to the police why there's a dead person in your house and you didn't call 911.
  12. by   AJJKRN
    Quote from Wuzzie
    Being a nurse has nothing to do with it. It is a HUMAN duty. What a bizarre question.
    Yep, that's what I thought too. Me thinks the OP wants validation to throw someone under the bus. Here's another thought, people from all walks of life may act and perform differently in an emergency than what they think they would while either daydreaming or after the fact...so what would you do OP? Or better yet, what did you do in this situation that you are seeking advice on?
  13. by   bugya90
    Imagine being in court and having to explain why you did NOT call 911. I personally have no desire to ever start a statement with "Your honor..." but that's just me.
  14. by   inthecosmos
    I would recommend calling, for you know, karma's sake.

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