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Pt. c/o substandard care to state-can I continue to provide care?

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The nurses on my unit, including myself, have been providing care for a hugely non-compliant, dangerously brittle diabetic. We recently sent him to the ER for sustained temp >100. There he c/o substandard care at our facility. The state came in to our facility and also interviewed me and the CNA on duty, on the phone. (We were on the shift prior to pt. being sent to the ER.)

Pt. has been re-admitted to our unit. What should I do? Could it be construed that I have conflicts of interest with this pt.? Also, I have been working as an LPN only five months and sometimes feel beyond my "scope of practice" or comfort-level, certainly, in caring for this pt.

Any words of wisdom, insight, advice, greatly appreciated. Thanks.

What does your boss say?

"...don't worry about it." However, I am soliciting 2nd opinions.

Document your care for this pt meticulously. As much as possible, try to take another worker with you for assistance, to act as a witness, and make certain you document their name. You might want to consider starting a "little black book" at home devoted to this pt. Date, time, person to assist, what was done, etc., to show that you are giving this pt as much, or more than, the care you give others. If you should be legally pounced on by this person in the future, show your book of notes to your attorney. Your attorney will know what to do with this info. But by all means do not write any pt identifiers on your little notebook or tell anyone else that you are keeping it. Sometimes when people talk smack, they follow up on it. So it pays to be prepared. And, of course, if you haven't done so already, take Sue's advice, and obtain malpractice insurance.

thanks much for your helpful suggestions. will follow advice. was unsure about malpractice insurance...my co-workers shrugged when asked, again with the "don't worry about it."

have completed (!) my RN classes (as of Wed 3:30 pm) and only await my paperwork from school being sent to state and then auth to test! (sigh of relief / gulp).

Jet

thanks much for your helpful suggestions. will follow advice. was unsure about malpractice insurance...my co-workers shrugged when asked, again with the "don't worry about it."

have completed (!) my RN classes (as of Wed 3:30 pm) and only await my paperwork from school being sent to state and then auth to test! (sigh of relief / gulp).

Jet

Get the malpractice. Should someone sue, your manager's "Don't worry about it" will turn into hanging your butt out to dry in a heartbeat.

And good luck on the boards!

iwanna

Specializes in behavioral health.

Just a note on the malpractice insurance. When I was in school over 10 yrs. ago, I had an instructor that advised against getting it. He said your facility will have you covered. And, if you had additional insurance that they would look for more reasons to go after you. So, I never purchased insurance.

I agree wholeheartedly with sirI. I went through a lawsuit and the first question out of the mouths of the attorneys at our initial meeting (employer provided legal representation) was did we have our own insurance. And the attorneys were very clear about the fact that even though the employer was providing the legal representation, at any time, they could choose to stop representing the individuals.

A medical professional in today's litigious society without malpractice insurance is very foolhardy. I never did find out the amount of the settlement, but I am told that the plaintiffs were very happy with their windfall and to this day I'm still suffering.

iwanna

Specializes in behavioral health.

Wow, I guess that I was misinformed. Fortunately, I was lucky while I was working. But, I will definitely purchase it when I return to the field. (have been out for a few years due to health issues) I am glad that I read this post. Thanks.

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