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Is this a problem? taking your neighbors blood pressure

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by HappyNurse2005 HappyNurse2005 (Member)

HappyNurse2005 specializes in LDRP.

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1,784 Visitors; 10 Posts

I would have no problem taking my neighbor's blood pressure. It would be a good idea for me to keep a written record of BP and any advice given such as notify your physician that your BP is X/Y

I have had physicians prescribe antibiotics, meds for my asthma, et cetera when I was working in ICU. One physician dictated so he would have a record of his assessment and treatment. I thought that very responsible (especially when I asked him to dictate that I look ten years younger than stated age and he did) LOL

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tewdles has 31 years experience as a RN and specializes in PICU, NICU, L&D, Public Health, Hospice.

30,673 Visitors; 3,156 Posts

There is nothing wrong with checking a BP on a person upon request if you have the skill and the equipment. It is wrong to suggest anything to them other than to contact their PCP as a result of the BP.

It is funny to me how many nurses have no reservation about giving or recommending OTC medications to casual acquaintances and friends but balk at obtaining a BP...one of those things is outside the scope of nursing and the other is well within the scope.

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15,082 Visitors; 1,917 Posts

This is rather ridiculous. I check friends', neighbors', family members' BP's all the time and I never think anything about it.

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CrunchRN has 25 years experience as a ADN, RN and specializes in Clinical Research, Outpt Women's Health.

1 Follower; 30,107 Visitors; 4,183 Posts

OMG. People are getting so crazy with this "I might get sued" mentality. There is NOTHING wrong with taking the neighbors blood pressure!!! In fact it's a nice gesture for a neighbor. If her blood pressure is out of the norm then refer her to her PCP, or if it is unstable in any way then refer her to the ED.

I so agree!

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3,383 Visitors; 109 Posts

I was looking up Good Samaritan Laws to research this a little bit, and I feel that the RN could argue for that protection, if something were to arise. Per this site, it seems like you'd be covered, the only caveat would be any 'emergency' phrasing in the law. But otherwise, it'd be a voluntary act, no reimbursement, within their skill set, they're wanting the help, and a good-faith effort to help. As for the emergency part, HTN crisis is an emergency, right? And you wouldn't be able to tell if they were in crisis unless you were to take the blood pressure.

Personally, I'd take it, but also help them to get an automatic cuff and help them learn to use it since, "I won't always be available."

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blondy2061h has 15 years experience as a MSN, RN and specializes in Oncology.

1 Article; 37,233 Visitors; 4,094 Posts

I remember in nursing school we used to have "health fairs" all the time where we took people's BP. Anyone's BP who wanted. How is this any different?

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streptococcus specializes in Emergency Department.

2,083 Visitors; 40 Posts

Taking, or (Measuring) an individual's blood pressure is a basic skill not a treatment. Your can purchase cheap machines to measure BP at many stores, and these machine do not receive regular calibration either.

Therefore, I cannot perceive how measuring someone's blood pressure is an issue.

The difficulty would arise when one attempts to provide health care advice related to blood pressure.

Edited by streptococcus

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BabyLady is a BSN, RN and specializes in NICU, Post-partum.

14,646 Visitors; 2,300 Posts

I remember in nursing school we used to have "health fairs" all the time where we took people's BP. Anyone's BP who wanted. How is this any different?

At our school we were not permitted to do VS at health fairs because as students, we were not licensed medical professionals.

We brought this up once and the instructors felt that if we took the blood pressure and it was incorrect and the individual acted on that information and something happened, you COULD be held liable because you haven't passed any level of standard and are not operating under a license of anyone.

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country mom has 16 years experience.

10,438 Visitors; 379 Posts

Isn't that why there's nursing malpractice insurance? Anyone can sue anytime for anything. I don't make it a habit to hand out advice willy-nilly, or to become every person's personal nurse, but it's conceivable that over the course of a lifetime, there's a pretty good chance at some point, in even some simple way, you'll be called on to act out of the goodness of your heart, off the clock. Best to be prepared and CYA. Malpractice insurance is really not that expensive, and it's worth the piece of mind just in case someone decides to get all litigious on you.

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CT Pixie has 10 years experience as a BSN, RN.

35,483 Visitors; 3,723 Posts

People worried about being sued with the argument that if you take it and something happens to the person, (ie:you get a high reading, tell them to contact their PCP and they chose to do nothing and then stroke or have a heart attack)..what about all the neighborhood drug stores and grocery stores that have machines to take your BP for free...same thing with your line of thinking..if something happens to the person who used the BP machine at the store..do you think they have the right to sue the store?? Nope, ok, they can TRY to sue but no lawyer in his/her right mind would take the case.

I have and will continue to check someones (family, friend etc) BP and give them the reading and advise if necessary for them to contact their PCP. They want to sue me..have at it. Good luck with that.

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1,514 Visitors; 69 Posts

Here is a thought...what if neighbor asks you to take BP, you decline (afraid of being sued) and she suffers heart attack/stroke. Family knows she went to you and knows you are capable of assisting...they sue you anyway.

My point is you could face potential litigation either way...as a nurse, wouldn't you rather know you helped someone out?

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MinnieMomRN specializes in Med-Surg; Telemetry; School Nurse pk-8.

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Seriously? I wouldn't think twice about it. Sounds like your friend is a nice neighbor to an elderly lady. This world needs more Good Samaritans. So yes, as long as my phone wasn't ringing off the hook with "Minnie, could you just stop by to..." ALL the time, I'd do it in a heart-beat. (Pun intended). :redpinkhe

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