Patient Abandonment?

Specialties School


Specializes in NCSN.

I hope everyone is having a wonderful summer. I dare this article on Facebook regarding school nurses who take a lunch break off campus and potential pt abandonment.

The person who wrote it obviously isn't one of us, but it's something I never thought about before.

Can a school nurse be accused of patient abandonment?

Specializes in Pediatrics Retired.

I've thought about it. In Texas a school nurse is allowed a "duty free" lunch. There is no reference to "where." If you're principal is aware of your lunch break schedule and approves of it, I think you're ok; unless you walk out to lunch in the middle of needing to care for a student or something dumb like that.

Specializes in School Nurse.

I'm not sure what state the article has in mind. You don't have abandonment issues in my state (MD) becuase you aren't there to accept new patients. It occurs when you improperly terminate an existing nurse-patient relationship. Students aren't patients just because they are students. The fact that a student got ill while you weren't there, doesn't create an abondonment.

However, if you do have sick kids under your care, going to lunch within the building or home at the end of your contract hours, IS an issue. It's pretty clear than end of a duty shift in our state do not indicate an automatic out for abandonning patients.

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