Is it within a nurse’s scope of practice to flip a port over with a physician’s order? I am getting mixed responses from colleagues, and cannot find any literature that either supports or refutes nurses performing this task. —Jennifer Edwards, RN, BSN, OCN

This is a controversial question, as nursing practice can differ from state to state. That being said however, Oncology Nursing Society’s standards for caring for vascular ports does not leave flipping a port as a nursing responsibility. As one can flip the port in the wrong direction, allowing for further kinking and/or breakage of the internal catheter, this should be a procedure done by a physician—preferably under fluoroscopy or after viewing the diagnostic radiographs. Patient safety should always come first. —Rosemarie A. Tucci, RN, MSN, AOCN