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Floor_Nurse Floor_Nurse (Member)

Should I intervene ?

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Hello all. I have a question about helping in an emergency situation with someone else's patient. I'm responsible for a certain child in a classroom of special needs kids. I don't have to take care of the others,  but if there's an emergency (with another child) should I intervene? I don't know his/her plan of care (POC) nor do I know if they are a DNR. I don't want to get in trouble with my license. By the way, the other kid does not have a nurse assigned to him/her.

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2 hours ago, Floor_Nurse said:

Hello all. I have a question about helping in an emergency situation with someone else's patient. I'm responsible for a certain child in a classroom of special needs kids. I don't have to take care of the others,  but if there's an emergency (with another child) should I intervene? I don't know his/her plan of care (POC) nor do I know if they are a DNR. I don't want to get in trouble with my license. By the way, the other kid does not have a nurse assigned to him/her.

Your employer should have a policy in place that addresses this type of issue. I would ask.
But regardless, I would assist as confidently able after assuring that the child I was personally responsible was safe. That means I would do what I knew how to do well and correctly- nothing more.
I assume you're not in this classroom alone and another adult (at least) is there with you? I would let the adult assigned to care for the child take the lead and simply be as available as possible.

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Look at your scenario from the other end...what would be the consequences if you were present, aware of the other child's emergency, trained and capable of initiating an intervention, and did nothing...

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That's sort-of what my employer said, OldDude. They posed the question "can you live with your conscience? "

I agree that I should be helpful, but then again, I'm probably the only adult in the room who has been in situation where the Heimlich maneuver or CPR was needed. That is, I know how to keep a cool head,  even if the outcome is death. 

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Good Samaritan laws protect bystanders when they act in a reasonable fashion to emergencies. However, some states have enacted a “duty to rescue” laws that require nurses to provide care in an emergency  Vermont, Wisconsin, Rhode Island and Minnesota have such a law.  Other states may as well. Che k your state’s laws. 

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Check your state law and do what a prudent nurse would do. If there is an emergency and this was NOT a special needs child, would you intervene?

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The law in my state says that a bystander who did not create the dangerous situation is not generally required to prevent injury to other people in a dangerous situation. There are exceptions, of course. The only time I would not be tempted to intervene is if there's already enough trained/qualified people helping.

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