Is it legal for an Assisted Living nurse to refuse to give a prescription?

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I'm supposed to be taking my grandfather (who has dementia and Macular Degeneration) to his ophthalmologist in 2 days as he's part of a clinical trial in which he receives injections into his cornea to try to combat MD. In order to keep infection out, he's supposed to get a drop of Tobramycin in each eye for 4 days before and 4 days after his injections. I got a call from him today in which he stated that the nurse is refusing to give him the drops.

I drove over to the ALF to confirm if the nurse on staff is giving him the drops or not and it turns out that she isn't. We ended up getting in a huge argument over this and she stated that she refuses to give the drops as the prescription does not state when she's supposed to get them, so that the prescription is not valid.. I asked to see the prescription that she has on file and it stated 1gt 4D (one drop for 4 days). I tried to go above her head but it turns out that she's the charge nurse of the facility. I ended up having to run to CVS to get a refill prescription so that I could give him the drops myself as she refused to even give me the bottle as I'm not POA. I tried to go to the director of the ALF and he told me that this issue is between the staff nurse and myself / my doctor and that he has no control over the issue! My doctor is telling me(as well as I as a EMT-P) know that this is the correct writing of the prescription.... does anyone have any advice on how I should go about in getting the staff nurse to give him the eyedrops? As a paramedic I'm on shift for 24 hours so I can only get to him every other day to give it to him myself.

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Please note the original question was asked 4 years ago.

Great answers for those who today would need such information :)
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That prescription is written incorrectly, unfortunately. It doesn't designate which eye. It's ambiguous. I am a nurse, I would have just called the doctor if I could contact him or her. But until I clarified the order, I wouldn't do it either.
Yes as a nurse you can refuse to administer a medication until you clarify it - in this case I would have done just that, end of story.
There is two sides to every story...that nurse is not going to jeopardize their license over an order written incorrectly. Maybe she is the only nurse in the place ,or an agency nurse that doesn't know the patients very well. 
Take it to administration or have the doctor call to clarify the order. 
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Riley is correct no medications may be given without a prescription from a Dr. When an order is written PRN then the nurse can use her discretion. Deciding when someone is no longer capable of taking the correct drugs at the ordered time then there has to be an intervention whether at home or in residential care. There are a number of ways to achieve this. At home a caregiver can either administer each dose or fill a pill box if the loved on is still capable of taking them on time. In an institution the safest method is for staff to keep all medications in a locked area. This may involve an extra fee to have the medications given out and residents who are still capable can continue to keep their own meds. Some facilities require all precriptions be filled by a single pharmacy which has it's own difficulties.
If a loved one has hospice at home the patient usually may continue to use their own pharmacy. Medications are usually prescribed in two week supplies to avoid waste and patient or caregiver is responsible for administration.
Riley is probably an exception in her facility in that she is clearly competent to make her own decisions.
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I live in an assisted living facility and basically self-medicate myself. The staff keeps a few pills that they give me during the day. I take the very early morning pills as I do not want them to wake me up and I take them when I go to bed. However, if I want them to do anything with my medications, they will INSIST the doctor write specific instructions for that medication. They will not budge from what the original prescription says. It is a hassle but the only way you will get what you feel is proper is to have the doctor write a very specific order to do what you want.
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All nurses are required to follow doctor's orders. If they feel the prescription has been incorrectly written or they observe an adverse reaction, it is their duty to contact the doctor with their observations. There are nurses drug books where trade and generic names are listed along with correct dosing, adverse reactions and interactions with other drugs and foods For example if a patient is started on an antibiotic for a lung infection and after the first dose develops a rash, the nurse should with hold the next dose and immediately contact the doctor or his deputy to receive further instructions. All of this should/must be documented in the patients record. Any known drug allergies should also be in the patient's record
If you are having problems with nursing staff do not rely on oral communications write a note and include instructions for it to be included in the patient's record. Also write to the doctor and DON, naturally keep copies so you can prove your requests to the State board of Nursing when they investigate.
On the subject of involving elderly demented patients in clinical trails it would seem to be an excellent idea as long as the patient is caused no distress and there is potentially an improvement in quality of life. It is all about common sense which seems to be lacking in today's world.
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What you say is true, butterflygirl. You really can't judge them all by a few... or shouldn't, anyway. I give people a lot of rope :-) My mother came from a generation where they did think of them as nearly like Gods... what they said was what they believed, and they didn't go many steps, if any, beyond what doc said. Some of the other posts I've seen, today, talk about "quality of life" and that's why I feel, strongly, in family being proactive, to insure the best quality of life. I just can't say it enough.
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I meant I greatly respect most nurses. I greatly respect all 15 that I mentioned.
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Just as in many places in life, The actions of a few give the rest a bad reputation. There are 15 nurses right now that I could HUG and KISS. I love them and they are the kindest and most attentive to their jobs. I do not pretend to be able to do what they do and I greatly respect most of them. Just like firemen, they do no harm usually. I just feel that some get a little too drunk on power especially in this day of health insurance companies cutting costs every way they can think of. Seriously, my father has not seen a dr since he has been in the nursing home that he is in. He sees a Nurse practitioner. She is nice and works hard to help him. She consults with a Doctor but I have never met him.
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When my mother was in a nursing home/rehab type place, before she came home, it was true, they were not allowed to give anything that was brought in. If we had any 'scripts, they had to be turned over to the nursing staff, who then ordered the medication, themselves. That wasn't always a handy thing, either, because they had to be ordered from whatever program they were in, and the meds had to be curried in... which was not ever on the same day. That said, it's a shame the nurse wasn't kind enough, or efficient enough, to follow through in some kind of way, to remedy that situation. It would seem irresponsible to not at least let you know what needed to be done to make sure he gets the drops. I just wanna say, too, from my family's own experience, you do have to always continue being an advocate for your loved one. They probably all hated having to deal with us, but we knew our mother better than anyone, therefore we had to make requests, over and over again, in every place that she landed, in her recovery. We were always civil in our communications, although some of them were not, and often didn't listen. We almost lost her three times as a result of them not listening. Doctors and nurses are greatly needed, and we appreciate them, in many ways... but they are not Gods, only human beings. And there are sometimes things which they, in their busy tasks, are either not aware of, or perceptive of.
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You need medical POA for sure!
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