ADVICE, P.R.N.: Good advice from the wrong source

October 2004 
Volume 34  Number 10
Pages 18 - 18
  PDF Version Available!

 © 2004 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc. Volume 34(10)             October 2004             p 18 Good advice from the wrong source [ADVICE, P.R.N.: DIABETES TEACHING]


Last week I discovered that a UAP (unlicensed assistive personnel) in our unit has been counseling a patient who was just diagnosed with diabetes. The UAP has diabetes herself so she understands the disease, but I don't think she should be giving patients health care advice. What do you say? —G.H., W.VA.

We agree. Even though the UAP may know how to manage her own condition, she isn't qualified to assess what your patient needs to know about the disease.

Legally and ethically, providing patient education is a responsibility for nurses, not UAPs. Take the UAP aside and explain to her that patient education exceeds the scope of her job description and that she must stop. If the patient asks her questions ...

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