Lorie Brown, R.N., M.N., J.D. interviews Criminal Defense Attorney, Marc Lopez, J.D. of Marc Lopez Law – www.MarcLopezLaw.com. The discussion includes what happens when the quarantine is lifted, the possibility of having a higher tolerance due to drinking during the stay-at-home orders, DUI/OWI, and protecting your nursing license and professional healthcare license.
“Nursing is in your DNA. We’re called to serve,” said Lorie Brown, the president-elect of the nurse-attorney association. Brown, who works as a nurse-attorney at Brown Law Office in Indianapolis, couldn’t leave her law practice to go back to nursing. But she did devote time preparing a guide about self-care and mental health for nurses, covering such things as mindfulness, meditation and yoga. [Read Full Article]
In an article on CBS8.com, Lorie Brown put together the video series called “COVID-19 Video Survival Guide for Nurses and Healthcare Practitioners” to provide tips for nurses on the front line of the coronavirus fight. [Read Full Article]
A nurse working at Kaiser in California took care of a patient who was positive for the coronavirus. She volunteered to care for this patient because she had training on the recommended protective gear. Her assumption was that should something happen to her, she would be cared for.
Unfortunately, after a few days passed, the nurse became ill. She put herself on a 14-day self-quarantine period. However, she could not get tested to confirm whether she had contracted the coronavirus. At that time, she was put on some type of list.
The United States has the lowest number of tests conducted for the coronavirus as compared to the rest of the world. It goes without saying that if we cannot get tested, how do we know who has it and then how can we limit the spread of the coronavirus?
What concerns me about this situation is that this nurse took care of a patient with confirmed coronavirus and became ill. My issue with this nurse who became ill after she cared for the patient is that if it is not proven that she contracted the coronavirus during her treatment of the patient, her employer would have grounds to deny any workers compensation claim she might make.
It is very important that nurses who are exposed to the coronavirus get the proper documentation, so they not only get their time off but also for any medical care co-pays and any other sequelae.
I hope nothing like this happens to you, but it possibly could. Approximately 65 employees from the nursing home where many of the deaths from coronavirus are now ill but unable to get confirmatory testing. It’s scary that all these people are getting infected and I am hopeful they can contain the virus.
In the meantime, do whatever you can do to keep yourself healthy including taking vitamin C, exercising, drinking plenty of fluids, get adequate sleep and taking probiotics.
What has your facility done in light of the coronavirus outbreak? Have any specific precautions been put in place there to protect you?
Please share in the comments below.
Have you ever worked somewhere and your supervisor says, “Just write an order for that. We always do that to help out the physicians.”
In that situation, you feel like you’ve been put between a rock and a hard place. Your supervisor is telling you one thing and your gut is saying, “Hey! Wait a minute! I don’t have an order. I don’t have a policy and procedure and the physician is not available for me to ask.” Your gut tells you that this is something you should not do yet your Supervisor is ordering you to do exactly that.
This is a dilemma in which nurses frequently find themselves.
If you are asked to do something outside of the scope of your practice … trust your gut … don’t do it! The physician just might not cover you for what you did.
In addition, know your facility’s standing orders which are those that you can adjust medications based on labs and things like that. But they must be in the actual order or in the policies and procedures.
Taking it upon yourself to adjust or order medications or order labs is improper without the protection of a standing order or a policy and procedure. This would be called practicing medicine without a license and exceeding your scope of practice.
In addition, as nurses, we know too much. Sometimes when we have a pain, we are inclined to take a pain medication that we had around for a long time that was prescribed for another purpose or a previous episode of the same event. This also is considered practicing medicine without a license and exceeding your scope of practice.
It is really important that as nurses, we set the example. We cannot borrow a pain medication from someone else because we hurt our back. We have to go through the proper procedures as we are held to a higher standard than the general public and need to go through the same channels that the general public goes through. When we are sick, we go to the doctor, emergency room or urgent care to get a prescription.
If you are asked to take a drug test and have a positive urine for a medication for which you don’t have a prescription or a medication that has expired or prescribed for another reason, it is very difficult to protect and defend yourself.
When you take an expired medication or one borrowed from someone else, you are self-prescribing and practicing medicine without a license and exceeding the scope of your practice. It also is considered diversion because the medicine was not prescribed specifically for you or for that reason. Diversion simply means taking something from where it was supposed to go and moving it to another place.
This is such a big issue in healthcare.
Although you may not feel well, go to the doctor who knows the best way to help you. In this way, it is documented that everything was properly prescribed.
When you are faced with these difficult ethical dilemmas and you don’t have policies and procedures to support you, stand in your power and tell your supervisor that you do not feel comfortable doing something which is outside the scope of your practice.
Although you may fear you might lose your job, as I often say, you can always get another job but not another license.