She overstepped her job limits and scope of practice as a medical assistant. To practice outside of one’s scope involves both ethical and legal problems. Practicing medicine without a license is a criminal offense that can result in serious penalties. While I definitely do not want to see Stephanie, or myself, charged criminally, I do believe that she needs to be re-educated on what falls within her scope of practice as a medical assistant and possibly the importance of antimicrobial resistance. Stephanie should not have buckled under the pressure from Mrs. Smith and practiced outside of her practice by prescribing the medication. Shortcuts should never be involved when it comes to prescribing medications. By doing so, she could have cause harm or death to Mrs. Smith and placed the practice in a difficult situation. As the nurse practitioner, I can still be held liable or responsible even for something that I didn’t do because my name was the one the medical assistant used to prescribe the medication. The practice can be held liable because Stephanie is employed under their supervision. What if Mrs. Smith had allergies or medications that negatively reacted with the Amoxicillin? In hospital settings, this kind of thing is considered a sentinel event. It’s considered a criminal offense for unlicensed individuals to practice medicine. It’s also unprofessional to prescribe medication without first properly examining the patient.
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- Fall '15
- Ethics, Prescription drug, Medical prescription