what would you do?

  1. while working as a home health nurse the patient's husband asked me to look at his knee because he was having pain and wanted to know if he should use a heating pad, take ibuprofen or some tylenol. I told him to see his doctor, that I am not able to give him advice. Is that stupid? I'm so paranoid about legal action. What do you think?
  2. Visit NurseKrissy profile page

    About NurseKrissy

    Joined: Jan '01; Posts: 20
    RN, BSN Intensive Care


  3. by   JennieBSN
    Nope, you're not stupid at all. I personally think your response was very appropriate and correct. You are wise to be concerned about legalities. Legally, you cannot give him ANY advice, even to take a darn tylenol, unless he is your patient and you know his full health history. It's a lawyer-eat-nurse world out there.
  4. by   canoehead
    You were absolutely right. Aside from not being able to diagnose, he was asking for a free professional service, so don't worry about insulting anyone, tell him "you get what you pay for"
  5. by   nur20
    You are correct NurseKrissy. That is out of bounds. I have come across this situation many, many times in homecare. You are not to diagnose, prescribe or treat anyone except your patient

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