Nurses have an obligation to provide safe, competent and ethical care to their clients, in accordance with BCCNP’s Standards of Practice and relevant legislation.
If you think providing care would put you at risk, you may withdraw from providing care or refuse to provide care. Think about your legal, professional, and contractual responsibilities and use an ethical decision-making process to help you make the decision. The
Duty to Provide Care practice standard provides more information and guidance about your legal and professional obligations to clients.
It's important to work with the client, co-workers, and your employer to develop a plan that allows for client care and for your safety.
Nurses have a professional and legal duty to provide clients with safe, competent and ethical care, and the client has a right to receive care. Do not allow your personal judgments about a client, or the client's lifestyle, to compromise the client's care by withdrawing care or refusing to provide care.
While you cannot abandon your clients, do not put yourself or clients in situations where giving care might be a danger to personal safety - violence; communicable disease; physical, verbal, or sexual abuse.
An ethical decision-making process may help to outline the things affecting your ability to provide care. Talk to your colleagues and employer and develop a care plan that will meet the client's needs.
One option is to work with the client on a treatment plan that allows him to receive care and for you to remain safe. Another option is to consult with other health professionals about the care of this client or refer the client to another health care provider better suited to manage his care. By approaching the situation this way, you would not be abandoning the client.
Refer to the
Duty to Provide Care practice standard for more information.