Legal Question in Health Care Law in Virginia

Can a physician demand a registered nurse compound an intravenous medication into an oral medication despite the package insert stating "for intravenous or intramuscular use only?" If this had a negative outcome with the patient it was administered to, would this be considered malpractice?

Asked on 6/19/14, 3:32 pm

1 Answer from Attorneys

Tara Candela Tara Candela, RN, MSN, JD

No, the physician cannot "demand" you do anything. You are an independently licensed practitioner and are responsible to practice within your scope of practice and to adhere to the standard of care. Questioning this order is well within your right and it's the responsible thing to do. If you follow the order and something happens to the patient, you can both be held responsible. Tell the physician that you do not feel comfortable with the order and you are concerned about the safety ramifications. And if you truly feel your patient is at risk, you may consider moving the issue up your chain of command.

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Answered on 6/19/14, 4:39 pm

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