Knowing Your Limits, comment

A nurse must not only know their limits, they must work within their scope of practice. Just because a doctor tells a nurse that she may do interventions for the patient does not make it legal or safe. A nurse cannot afford to put her license and living on the line. Nor can she put her patient in danger. Every nurse in every unit in every hospital in the U.S. has certain guidelines and protocols that they must adhere to. It is the RN’s responsibility to be aware of what she can and cannot do. Do not ever be afraid to say “no” and that you require an MD at the bedside.

Original Post:
June 29, 2009
Title: Knowing Your Limits
How many times have you ever heard over the phone a doctor tell you "do whatever you have to do, I will be there as soon as I can." What does that mean? How far is our limit? Will I get in trouble if I do this or that? I have been witness of many of these situations, having worked in a critical care of the past 5 years and been part of code teams, the best advice I can give you is to know your limit. On a specific situation a doctor told a nurse over the phone to do whatever she needed to do to intubate a patient with respiratory failure, she administered paralytics without a doctor at bedside. To make a short story of this, they were unable to intubate the patient, the patient died, and so on. The nurse should have asked specific questions/orders of what she can do and she should have known her limits. What I am best trying to say is, that one should know his and her own limits and just because a doctor tell you "do whatever you have to do to save the patient’s life" we still have limits and knowing our limits should be a big part of our nursing skills.

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