“You are a nurse, what does this look like to you?” “I don’t have time to visit my doctor, as a nurse, what do you think about this … ?”
Many time, we are asked something similar like questions above, from friends, family, and pt’s caregivers. But be cautious, because although you were not working as a nurse at the point of time and you did not receive compensation for your advice, you can be sued for giving inappropriate advice.
If you decide not to give advice at all, be reassured, there is no legal requirement for you to answer all medical/nursing questions asked of you when off duty.
The person suing you for harm caused by inappropriate advice must prove that you owed him a specific duty, that you breached that duty, that he was harmed, and that the harm was a result of the breach of duty.
If you choose to offer advice, be aware of positions on the issue taken by your state’s nurse practice act, common law, professional organizations, and your malpractice insurance coverage.
Resource Retrieved from Nurse’s Legal Handbook (6th ed.)