Could I have my license taken away

  1. Okay, this is all.... mostly me being WILDLY paranoid in the suing culture of our current time. I know no one here has a law degree, and I'm mostly just looking for opinions to calm my wack ass down even if it's someone just telling me to chill the eff out because I'm being ridiculous.

    My mom and I are having a garage sale. There are some items we have in a homemade wooden crate box. A gentleman poking through it scratches himself on a nail that IS nailed down and not sticking up but was apparently lifted up over the years just enough that somehow he scratched his finger. I run up to the house and grab some bacitracin, hydrogen peroxide and a bandaid and patch him up.

    Should they decide to sue for a scratch, if it perhaps got infected or what have you, could I lose my license for helping him in what little way I could?
  2. Visit mindiianajones profile page

    About mindiianajones, ADN, ASN, RN

    Joined: May '18; Posts: 42; Likes: 34

    29 Comments

  3. by   hherrn
    Probably. If you have him completely disrobe, perform a rectal exam, and place a foley prior to the bandaid.

    Take a little time going through your BON web site, as well as others.
    Once you see why people are disciplined, you will probably get relief.

    But, interesting example. Despite what your mother used to do, using hydrogen peroxide is wrong, but probably not overly harmful. If on the other hand, you used another of your mother's practices, say putting butter on a burn, you could be on the hook for the infection.

    It is not what a reasonable person with similar training would do, and that is one of the standards of liability.
  4. by   mindiianajones
    Thanks! I kind of panicked and was just thinking about what I had available quickly. It's not like it was a deep puncture wound, just a scratch, but it happened on our property, and I wanted to do something so I wasn't thinking about it very well. I probably should have taken him up to the house and just washed it out instead but hindsight.
  5. by   Wuzzie
    I highly doubt you'll find yourself in trouble for this but for future reference soap and water alone would have been perfectly fine. When treating strangers outside of work I always err on the side of a conservative approach and recommendation that they follow up with their provider.

    As a point of education not only is hydrogen peroxide frowned on but there has been a rise in allergic reactions to antibiotic ointments such as Bacitracin and Neosporin. Our ID and derm docs recommend just plain Vaseline be used on a properly disinfected wound. This includes PICC line insertion sites after they've been pulled.
  6. by   mindiianajones
    Quote from Wuzzie
    I highly doubt you'll find yourself in trouble for this but for future reference soap and water alone would have been perfectly fine. When treating strangers outside of work I always err on the side of a conservative approach and recommendation that they follow up with their provider.

    As a point of education not only is hydrogen peroxide frowned on but there has been a rise in allergic reactions to antibiotic ointments such as Bacitracin and Neosporin. Our ID and derm docs recommend just plain Vaseline be used on a properly disinfected wound. This includes PICC line insertion sites after they've been pulled.
    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.
  7. by   Wuzzie
    Quote from mindiianajones
    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.
    You are not dumb. You are a human who was concerned about another human. Frankly I find it ridiculous that we, as nurses, have to worry about dumb stuff like this. If you were just a "civilian" you wouldn't be giving this a second thought. Quit beating yourself up.
  8. by   mindiianajones
    Quote from Wuzzie
    You are not dumb. You are a human who was concerned about another human. Frankly I find it ridiculous that we, as nurses, have to worry about dumb stuff like this. If you were just a "civilian" you wouldn't be giving this a second thought. Quit beating yourself up.

    I try not to, but I should have known better. I mean, yeah, I wouldn't have thought any different as a civilian, but I've been through nursing school and am currently working as a nurse however short a time it's been, so I should have been better about it. But now I know! And thank you for the kind words. It means a lot. I've been constantly struggling with feeling like I'm too dumb to do this job and all my schooling was for nothing because I clearly don't remember a lot of it. I feel like I'm just faking knowing what I'm doing at work, at this point, and it's terrifying thinking of being in an emergency situation.
    Last edit by mindiianajones on Jul 21 : Reason: forgot to quote
  9. by   brownbook
    Quote from mindiianajones
    I try not to, but I should have known better. I mean, yeah, I wouldn't have thought any different as a civilian, but I've been through nursing school and am currently working as a nurse however short a time it's been, so I should have been better about it. But now I know! And thank you for the kind words. It means a lot. I've been constantly struggling with feeling like I'm too dumb to do this job and all my schooling was for nothing because I clearly don't remember a lot of it. I feel like I'm just faking knowing what I'm doing at work, at this point, and it's terrifying thinking of being in an emergency situation.
    My nursing school did not teach me about emergency first aide. Don't think your dumb.

    I try to educate myself but half jokingly think a boy scout with a first aide badge would be a better first responder than I.

    No nurse, no doctor, knows it all. Never think you're supposed to know about something even if it's a commonly used drug or treatment. You should be saying, "I don't know about that, can you teach me", several times a month.

    Plus medical/nursing knowledge changes. Several years ago hydrogen peroxide and bacitracin would have been recommended!
  10. by   mindiianajones
    Quote from brownbook
    My nursing school did not teach me about emergency first aide. Don't think your dumb.

    I try to educate myself but half jokingly think a boy scout with a first aide badge would be a better first responder than I.

    No nurse, no doctor, knows it all. Never think you're supposed to know about something even if it's a commonly used drug or treatment. You should be saying, "I don't know about that, can you teach me", several times a month.

    Plus medical/nursing knowledge changes. Several years ago hydrogen peroxide and bacitracin would have been recommended!
    Honestly, I don't think my school taught us about it either, but at this point, I second guess myself so much that I think what if they did, and I just wiped it from my memory?

    This did make me feel a lot better about it, though, so thank you. I was just learning at work a few weeks ago that they no longer want us to carry flushes around in our pockets because our body heat could alter the temperature, so medical knowledge constantly changing is something I need to keep in mind, for sure.
  11. by   FurBabyMom
    Quote from mindiianajones
    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.
    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.
  12. by   /username
    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.
  13. by   Have Nurse
    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.
  14. by   Have Nurse
    Quote from /username
    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)

close