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Giving a placebo in PACU?

Posted

Specializes in Outpatient. Has 11 years experience.

I work in a very busy surgery center where we recover many pain patients(steroid injections), these patients tend to come back often. There is one patient who comes in and immediately starts demanding his Demerol he usually gets in the recovery room, the doctor orders say give "saline" IM, however the nurses are instructed to tell the patient it is Demerol, everyone refuses to do this except our so called charge nurse....does anyone have any experience with this? Is this legal? I feel it's definitely unethical. Any thoughts or comment would be appreciated.

klone, MSN, RN

Specializes in Women's Health/OB Leadership. Has 15 years experience.

Highly unethical and quite possibly illegal, depending on what happens on the back end with billing. It amounts to malpractice, both on the part of the physician, as well as any of the nurses who are carrying out this order.

BostonFNP, APRN

Specializes in Adult Internal Medicine. Has 10 years experience.

Illegal. Unethical. You could lose your license. Tell the doc no.

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Here.I.Stand, BSN, RN

Specializes in SICU, trauma, neuro. Has 16 years experience.

Where will this dr. be when you get your buttocks handed to you?

In all seriousness, NO you cannot lie about what you are giving. You are absolutely right to refuse this order.

Here.I.Stand, BSN, RN

Specializes in SICU, trauma, neuro. Has 16 years experience.

Or I should say, when your charge gets her buttocks handed to her. I meant "you" as in a generic, not "you" jenlynnrn ;)

BostonFNP, APRN

Specializes in Adult Internal Medicine. Has 10 years experience.

I would be worried that if you were the attending RN for that patient, knew this was happening, and complacent you would also be named in that lawsuit. You are the patient's advocate/protection.

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xoemmylouox, ASN, RN

Has 13 years experience.

What a mess.. I would refuse to comply with this order. When the patient finds out they might sue. I wouldn't want to be named in that lawsuit. Protect yourself.

jenlynnrn

Specializes in Outpatient. Has 11 years experience.

Ha, yeah i know!

Report them.

If the patient is your professional responsibility you MUST inform the patient and document intentional misleading of the patient in the medical record. Initiate and submit an incident report. Notify your malpractice insurer.