A few weeks ago, there was a story all over the news and social media, featuring a video of a nurse being taken into custody after refusing to allow blood to be drawn from an unconscious patient. In the video, a police officer was demanding that he be allowed to draw blood from the patient who was under her care, though he had no warrant to override direct consent from the patient, which he was unable to give. The officer became irate at her refusal, though she explained that it was her job to protect the rights of her patient, and placed her in handcuffs.
In the end, the nurse came out as the hero, and there was an investigation of the officer who was wrongfully asking for the blood sample and wrongfully placed her into custody. It was a dramatic scenario and quite frightening to any medical professional who cares about their patients, even though the final outcome was positive.
At some hospitals, this has caused serious discussion about the place of nurses and other care providers in being the point of contact with the police. Changes are being made at some facilities to remove those directly responsible for patient care from the equation so they are no longer required to interact with the police. If your facility is not one of these, it is important to know how to protect yourself and your patients in similar scenarios. Continue reading “Protecting Yourself while Protecting Your Patients”