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Dispensing naloxone in the emergency department


At the triage desk, Jayne listens to the soft-spoken man in front of her. He’s asking for a naloxone kit for himself. She recognizes Mick—he’s been treated several times in the emergency department for conditions related to opioid use.

As she explains that he must register and see a physician before he can receive a kit, Mick’s frustration is evident. Jayne is frustrated too: a number of people have been coming into the ED requesting a kit for themselves but they don’t want to register, see a physician, or share their personal information. It’s a busy ED, and this situation is frustrating for everyone.

What can Jayne do?

Jayne and her colleagues are worried that requiring individuals in this situation to follow these processes may result in them leaving without a kit, putting them at risk of dying from an overdose. She wonders if they can do anything differently.

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Frequently Asked Question

Duty to provide care


I am often asked to volunteer my nursing services at children’s camps, sports events and school field trips. What should I consider before agreeing?


When you volunteer as a nurse, whether on a field trip or in a first aid trailer, you have an obligation to provide safe, competent and ethical care to your clients. Before agreeing, make sure you have the knowledge, skills and judgment to provide the necessary care and are clear about the role expectations.
Some factors to consider include:

  • Potential clients and the types of nursing care required
  • Client information necessary for planning or providing care e.g., allergies, health concerns, medications and emergency contact information
  • Responsibilities for medications
  • Maintaining client privacy and information confidentiality
  • Obtaining client consent and when you may act without
  • Documenting services or care provided
  • Available resources e.g., policies, guidelines, clinical supports and equipment

CRNBC's Standards of Practice set out requirements for nurses' practice. The Medication Administration, Privacy and Confidentiality, Consent, Documentation and Boundaries in the Nurse-Client Relationship Practice Standards may be helpful in clarifying the expectations for practice.

The Standards for acting within autonomous scope of practice provide additional guidance.

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