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A client comes to the emergency department complaining of a fast and irregular heartbeat. After examining the client, the physician gives a verbal order for digoxin (Lanoxin), 0.25mg IV q6h over the next 24 hours, starting with the first dose stat. How should the nurse respond to this order?

1. Write and sign the order as dictated, then repeat it aloud for the physician's verification
2. Verbally repeat the order to the physician for verification
3. Insist that the physician write the order, then administer the drug
4. Refuse to carry out the order.


In urgent situations, such as the one described here, the nurse should write and sign a verbal order as dictated by the prescriber and then repeat the order aloud for the prescriber's verification, asking the prescriber to spell the drug name if necessary. Although verbally repeating the order for the verification is appropriate, the nurse must write the order to prevent errors. In an urgent situation, insisting that the physician write the order would take valuable time away from crucial interventions and client evaluation. Refusing to carry out the order would be appropriate only if the nurse felt the order were unsafe.


Member since: April 2011
(Boynton Beach,FL) Original question source

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