Published on March 14, 2014
Legal tips you need to know for safe nursing practice © CureMD Healthcare
Nursing • Nursing includes a variety of specialties and definitions that usually differs from one country to another • Broadly defined, a nurse is a person who is formally trained to take care of the sick and the disabled • Nursing standards today are in accordance to the latest scientific information from the literature, state and federal laws, court decisions, nurse practice acts • The Joint commission, the ANA organizations and other organizations offering special certifications, procedures and policies as well as job descriptions
Tips to safe nursing practice • Properly administrating medications – This includes knowing a drug’s purpose and action, knowing the appropriate dosage, understanding administration routes and being ready for a possible contraindications and adverse reactions – Traditionally, the five thumbs-up rules include right patients, right med, right dose, right time and right route – A nurse is usually the last access before a patient takes on drugs. Hence it is crucial for them to catch possible errors by a pharmacist or physician – Such errors could occur due to the use of illegible penmanship, banned abbreviations, clarification failures or transcription errors
Tips to safe nursing practice • Check for and identify deterioration – Per safe nursing standards, it is crucial to access your patient continually – Lots of legal actions taken against nurses are owing to the allegations of failure to check or find new changes in a patient’s health conditions – This act of failure is popularly known as ‘failure to rescue’. So, any small change in the patient’s health is to be reported immediately to the physician
Tips to safe nursing practice • Effective communication – When transferring the patient’s condition to another individual, (possibly a patient’s relative or friend or the patient itself) effective and educative communication is very important – Your listening skills ought to be sharp as well – Patients with limited proficiency of your preferred language must be offered interpreters – This is very much part of the standard care in the nursing law books
Tips to safe nursing practice • Assign responsibilities – Nurses must assign responsibilities appropriately and also supervise people carrying out assignments – So that calls for leadership skills like knowing who has the best competencies and skills to meet patient requirements – It would be smart to delegate tasks that are frequently recurring, with standard procedures, minimum changes, predictable results and minimum risks
Tips to safe nursing practice • Preparing documents that are time-based and accurate – These are equally crucial as they can be utilized as possible evidence for legal proceedings or determine whether or not a medical care delivered meets the legal care standards • Knowing and following facility procedures and policies – The pre-defined policies and procedures for any medical case must be updated on a regular basis – These policies and procedures of your facilities are the base or standards for which you can be legally held in a court
Tips to safe nursing practice • Using all equipments appropriately – Ensure you are properly trained on the equipment to be used. Else, it could lead to disaster – Today, with technology growing steady and fast day by day, technology in hospitals are increasing big time – This scenario is only going to increase in the future. Hence a sound knowledge on some of these or all these equipments is an increasing must
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