Safe Practices for Nurse Sick Call

Essentials of Correctional Nursing

A nurse is being deposed by the plaintiff’s attorney about the care provided to a patient while in the county jail.  The patient suffered a bad outcome and is suing the county, the jail physician and the nurse for inadequate care. The attorney asks why the nurse gave an over-the-counter (OTC) medication to the patient who complained of cold symptoms. The nurse’s response is that the protocol for a common cold allows the nurse to use an OTC decongestant. The attorney asks where the nurse got the protocol. The response is that the nurse obtained the protocols while employed at the state prison. The nurse has continued to use them since taking the sole nursing position at the county jail.

This is an actual case and the starting point for this week’s blog post on avoiding risky practices in the use of nursing protocols and sick call. What problems do…

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