Share this infographic on your site!

The Nursing Code

What to expect from your nurse and how to help them help you

The nursing secret code:

● If the nurse says “You have to right to a second opinion”
○ That can be code for “’I don’t like your doctor’ or ‘I don’t trust your doctor.'”
● If you say you drink or do drugs
○ Some nurses will assume it is double or triple that amounts
● If you ask for biopsy results
○ Some nurses will say no even if they are so the Dr. can deliver the news
● If you ask “Have you ever done this before”
○ Some nurses will always say yes

Things to do as a patient:

● If your nurse is exceptional
○ Write a note that says so to her manager
● Never talk to a nurse while she is getting medication ready
○ This increases the chance of error
● If you are going to get blood drawn
○ Drink 2 glasses of water so the vein is easier to find
● If a person drawing your blood misses the vein
○ Ask for someone else
● Avoid the hospital in July
○ That is often when new residents start
● Ask anyone who comes in the room
○ “Have you washed your hands?”
● At the end of an appointment make sure you know who you will hear from next
○ Just because you haven’t heard from anyone doesn’t mean nothing is wrong
● Never tell a nurse “You’re too smart to be a nurse”
○ Nurses went to nursing school because they wanted to be a nurse
● When asked what medications you’re taking
○ Always include over the counter drugs

Patients and Nurses might have different definitions of “quality care”

● This can lead to disappointment even if the care is good
○ Patients Expect intangibles:
■ They want Nurses to
● listen
● to ask what they think
○ According to one study, when it comes to identifying a patients needs, their roommate is often more on target than the nurse is
● not dismiss their concerns
● treat them like a person rather than a disease
○ “It’s more important to know what kind of patient has a disease than to know what kind of disease the patient has.” Sir William Osler
● talk to, rather than at, them
● not keep them waiting
● let patients know they care

Nursing Code of Conduct*

● Easy way’s to lose your nursing license:
○ Sending Inappropriate Texts
○ Accessing electronic healthcare records for patients not in their care
○ Hosting a pornographic website (this really happened)
■ These problems did not exist 20 years ago
● Nursing Code of Conduct in the 21st Century:
○ Technology: Draw a line in the sand
■ Social media:
● Organizations using Facebook to provide updates or information: ok
● Sending messages to individuals: over the line
■ Texting:
● Automated text appointment reminders: okay
● Texting personal information like test results: over the line
○ Patients rights:
■ Relationships:
● If a patient approaches you to have a conversation outside of work: ok
● If you approach a patient outside of work: over the line
■ Teamwork:
● Share information so nothing falls through the cracks
● Do not access or share patient information
● Do not bully or verbally abuse coworkers
● Complete records as soon as an event occurs
● The health consumer comes first, if an issue is not resolved continue to escalate concerns upward

*Check with your employer and nurses association before heeding this Code of Conduct. Rules vary depending on location and status.