Can a school nurse be accused of patient abandonment? – ANA Continues to Speak Out Against Harmful Cuts to Health Care.

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Can a school nurse be accused of patient abandonment? – ANA Continues to Speak Out Against Harmful Cuts to Health Care. – (866) 348-2889

A school nurse in a public school district asked me about her potential liability when she and her colleagues leave their respective school buildings for an hour lunch period.

Some school nurses have paid lunches so they can stay in the building for students needing medications for specific conditions during that time period. But she is concerned about liability for a school nurse who is out to lunch when a medical incident involving a student occurs. She specifically identified abandonment as her main concern.

More recently, however, and certainly in today’s world, patient abandonment has been applied to nurses. In a 2009 position statement, the American Nurses Association defined patient abandonment as a “unilateral severance of the established nurse-patient relationship without giving reasonable notice to the appropriate person so that arrangements can be made for continuation of nursing care by others.”

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