The American Nurses Association (ANA) authoritatively provides that the professional nursing practice standards require that all registered nurses perform their duties competently irrespective of the specialty, role or the population. The standards are however subject to change according to ANA depending of the evolution of the professional nursing dynamics. The application of these professional nursing ethics might in some cases interfere with the application of the required standards. Wound, Ostomy and Continence (WOC) was endorsed in 2010 and id is responsible for ensuring that nurses are well informed of the legal implications of their actions while practicing. (Child, Institute of Medicine, 2004) It is undisputable that the legal framework of nursing usually has a direct impact on the manner in which the policies are implemented by the leaders and how the patients are handled especially now that the care and wellbeing of the patients is the main target of any nursing facility.
The environment in which nursing is practiced is to a great extent shaped by the legal concerns. It has a great impact on how policies are implemented and how documents are shared at any nursing facility. The standard care indicates the guidelines that are to be used in delivering nursing and other cares. Nurses are required to be well informed of the regulations and key statutes that relates to the delivery of patient care that are imposed by the state or the federal government. A nurse has for several decades been considered to be a medical practitioner who performs specialized roles. With the advancements in technology, easier ways of ensuring that services are effectively delivered have been adopted.
The Revised Judicature Act of 1961 states that a civil action for malpractice may be maintained against any person professing or holding him or her out to be a member of a state licensed profession.
This is an act that was meant to protect the registered nurses from impersonation cases especially by members who are not registered. The civil action against any nurse found to be participating in any malpractice can include suspension from duty for a specific period of time. This period is in most general cases a period of 2 years. The period can however be lengthened depending on the gravity of the malpractice. This is especially applicable in a case where the negligence of a nurse leads to a wrongful death or a more serious injury. The malpractices include a case where the nurse fail to follow standards of case, fail to communicate effectively or even fail to use equipment in a responsible manner.
There is a regulation that requires that the nurses be holders of a Bachelors degree in that field. This is considered more significant when dispatching duties than just the normal experience that is usually considered. It would be more logical to consider experienced nurse for the higher leadership positions than those who are just learned but with limited professional experience. This is explainable considering that the school degree is usually less practical than thought.
The malpractice act, if passed is more likely to favor the nurses than the patients. The act specifies four major elements that need to be proven before a nurse is declared guilty of malpractice despite the evidence that the patient may have. The first is that the nurse had a duty with the patient (Fowler, American Nurses Association, 2008). This in other words is a check on whether the nurse provided the specified duty to the patient. Secondly, the plaintiff must prove that the nurse breached the duty. This is a check on whether the nurse committed an omission due to negligence in the course of the duty. It must then be proven that an injury of an adequate seriousness occurred and that a causal relationship duty breach occurred. The third and fourth aspects involve the investigations to check if the proximate cause led to a significant damage on the patient. The decision to pass this act is in the hands of the more experienced nurses in the field and if successful shall lead to a more lenient way by which the concerned leaders deal with nursing malpractice cases.
In cases a practitioner is found guilty, a law suit for medical malpractice is filed depending on the state. The leadership clarifies that the concerned nurse is served with letter of intent to sue or a complaint. The nurse is then supposed to report the management or the employer. It is a regulation that the accused doesnt speak to the accuser whatsoever. The employer usually provides insurance malpractice cover to the nurses. However, nurses have at time questioned whether or not they should carry their own insurance covers. The amount of insurance coverage offered by the employer usually differs from on job group to another in the nursing field. The act specifies an independent contractor as a nurse who practices independently. If such a case is realized, the accused shall not be liable for accessing the insurance cover. The state-bound panel listens to the case and makes the judgment on the action that should be taken against the nurse if guilty (Carmi, Schneider, 1985).
Child, A. P., & Institute of Medicine (U.S.). (2004). Keeping patients safe: Transforming the work environment of nurses. Washington, D.C: National Academies Press.
Fowler, M. D. M., & American Nurses Association. (2008). Guide to the code of ethics for nurses: Interpretation and application. Silver Spring, MD: American Nurses Association.
Carmi, A., & Schneider, S. (1985). Nursing Law and Ethics. Berlin, Heidelberg: Springer Berlin Heidelberg.
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