Showing posts relating to: The Courtroom: Legal Spotlight

The Rules for Treating Partners of Patients with STDs

As a nurse practitioner working in the emergency department, I've become accustomed to treating patients for sexually transmitted infections. In fact, I do so nearly every shift I work. While having these sometimes awkward conversations with patients has become much easier, the waters surrounding treatment for the partners of these patients remains murky. Is it allowable to prescribe antibiotics for the partner of a patient I have never laid eyes on? What are the legal implications of doing so?

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Can a Dentist Supervise a Nurse Practitioner?

There are several states in which scope of practice laws for APRNs mention dentists. As a nurse practitioner I had never considered that I might work for or be supervised by a dentist. But, it seems others have at least considered this. Working in the emergency department I do treat a number of oral/dental complaints and make my fair share of referrals to dental clinics. Legally, could I work in a dental practice and/or be supervised by a dentist?

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5 States That Don't Allow NPs to Prescribe Schedule II Drugs

Drugs are divided into categories referred to as 'schedules' based on properties such as their potential for abuse, safety profile and legitimacy as a medical treatment. These schedules range from I to V with schedule I medications being those with an extremely high potential for abuse and no legitimate medical application and with schedule V benig those with a low potntial for abuse. In the overwhelming majority of states, nurse practitioners enjoy the freedom to prescribe drugs in schedules II-V. 

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Do NPs or PAs Have More Freedom?

While the way nurse practitioners and physician assistants work when is comes to patient care looks quite similar, there are regulatory differences between the two professions. Each state has a different set of scope of practice laws, one for NPs and one for PAs. These laws effect how effective and efficient employing these healthcare professionals is in different geographic areas therefore affecting the job market for and salaries of these providers. More practice freedoms usually leads to greater employability and higher salaries. So, do nurse practitioners or physician assistants have more freedom when it comes to scope of practice?

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Unexpected Considerations for Nurse Practitioners Volunteering Abroad

Whether you are a seasoned nurse practitioner or a new grad looking for an adventure, volunteering abroad is a great experience that is not only beneficial to you, but greatly to the people you’ll help. Underserved communities throughout the developing world are in need of nearly every type of healthcare service, from vaccines to basic health care exams. But lack of access to advanced healthcare as well as extreme poverty make it difficult for people in many countries to get the healthcare services they need.

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F.A.Q About Signing Death Certificates as a NP

The first time a death certificate appears on your desk as a nurse practitioner is a nerve wracking moment. Are you allowed to sign death certificates as an NP? If so, what if you are unsure of the cause of death? What's the liability involved with signing a death certificate? Naturally, there's a lot of confusion and concern among nurse practitioners when it comes to signing death certificates so today we're addressing some F.A.Q. to clear up the confusion. 

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5 CYA Charting Tips from a Malpractice Attorney

Two weeks ago at our Midlevels for the Medically Underserved kickoff, we had a panel of attorneys share advice for nurse practitioners related to medical malpractice. As NPs, medical malpractice is something we must be aware of. We're all human and we all make mistakes. Even those of us who practice error-free are bound to have a patient with a negative health outcome from time to time given the undeniable fact that health naturally decompensates over the course of a lifetime. 

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Second Jobs? Side Hustles? What NPs Need to Know

By Jennifer Lankford, Labor and Employment Attorney 

Moonlighting. Daylighting. Side Hustle. No matter how you describe it, second jobs or passions turned profits are common among nurse practitioners. Given the unique work hours of many NPs, you may have downtime that can be used to pick up nursing work for another health care provider, or, as is becoming more and more common, to pursue an entirely different career. Before signing on for a second job or promoting your Etsy shop among co-workers and on social media, here are some tips to keep in mind.

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Do You Need Your Own Medical Malpractice Insurance?

While none of us as nurse practitioners intentionally messes up, the reality is that our role comes with a high level of responsibility. Misjudgments or mishaps can potentially lead to harm. Failure to document decision making can come back to bite you. So, as healthcare providers, we protect ourselves by purchasing liability coverage. Most often, such coverage is purchased for us by our employers. Lately, I have received a number of questions from nurse practitioners asking if they need to purchase their own supplemental policies as well. 

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How Many Nurse Practitioners Can a Physician Supervise?

Not all states require that nurse practitioners "collaborate with" or are "supervised by" physicians. While 33 states and DC allow nurse practitioners to diagnose and treat patients autonomously, 18 states still require physician oversight for nurse practitioners to engage in patient care. In addition to this overarching oversight requirement, most states include a handful of additional stipulations as to what this oversight looks like. One of these limitations can be the number of nurse practitioners that a physician is allowed to supervise or collaborate with at one time. 

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Compensation Concerns: How Do You Know if Your Job Offer is Fair?

When a NP or PA receives a job offer, there are many aspects of the employment relationship that must be carefully analyzed. But let’s be honest, compensation is always at the top of everyone’s mind. In fact, it’s not uncommon for job candidates to flip through the beginning of their offered contract, and get right to the payment section to see what has been offered. And we don’t blame you! Beyond the initial excitement and curiosity about compensation, a common fear we hear from many of our clients is: “I don’t want to sound greedy, but do you think this employer has offered me a fair compensation structure? Are they offering me enough?”

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Should NPs Sell MLM Health and Wellness Products?

With a record breaking 20.5 million people in the United States involved in direct sales in 2016, chances are that you’ve probably been targeted a time or two by a well-meaning Facebook friend who tried to sell you a so-called life changing product from a multi-level marketing company they represent. 

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