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Ask Practice

Ask Practice features questions and answers about a variety of practice-related issues that nurses may face over the course of their careers.

The questions come from nurses and the answers are written by the College’s Practice Support Team.  Ask Practice is updated on a regular basis, so come back often to see what new questions have been added to the list. Do you have a practice-related question that isn’t addressed here? Contact the Practice Support Team at


Accountabilities during a strike

Accountabilities when using ultrasound

Advocating for your client

Abandoning clients

Asked to cover extra shift

Authority to use automated external defibrillators (AEDs)

Communicating a diagnosis

Initiating a packing dressing

Sleeping during shift breaks

Risking fatigue by working long hours

Witnessing abuse

Code Silver

Authorizing Mechanisms

Administering influenza vaccine through a directive

Authority to initiate intravenous lines

Delegation or directive?

Do directives expire?

Orders via video conference call

Signing for narcotic wastage

Signing prescriptions with “as per…”–

Confidentiality and Privacy

Police access to health information

Mandatory reporting of gunshot wounds

Occupational Health Nurses (OHNs) and confidentiality

Discussing clients with colleagues online

Withholding information/Lockbox provision 


Obtaining informed consent 

Controlled Acts

Performing laser therapy

Portable bladder ultrasound scanning  


Applying ultrasound in nursing assessments


Co-signing a documentation entry

Electronic signatures

Ontario Disability Support Program (ODSP) Forms

Title use when working in different roles

Ethical Issues

Accepting gifts from clients

Objecting to care on moral grounds

Caring for a friend

Communicating with clients online

Accepting a friend request on Facebook

End-of-Life Care

Who can certify death

Consent for DNR order

Can an RN or RPN pronounce death when death has occurred?

Independent Practice

Record keeping - documentation

Record keeping - retention


Products and Medication


Administering Botox

Administering Edaravone

Administering methadone

Administering naloxone in emergencies

Can I distribute naloxone?

Dealing with drug shortage issues

RPNs administering sedation 

Medication samples

Medical marijuana

No directives for controlled substances

Narcotic storage and disposal

Recommending OTC medications

Sliding scale insulin

Nursing Roles

Psychotherapy and the controlled act component of psychotherapy

RPNs in triage

RPNs as circulating nurses

RPNs and initiation

What is considered “nursing practice”?

Working in different areas

Unregulated Care Providers

Can a UCP or PSW call themselves a nurse?

Delegating to a Personal Support Worker

Documenting for Personal Support Workers

Working with physician assistants

Teaching a personal support worker to administer injections

Teaching UCP to administer Naloxone

Teaching UCP to give oral medication

Page mise à jour le janvier 25, 2018