Nurses are the backbone of providing quality health services to patients nationwide. Nurses may encounter legal issues arising from the healthcare industry throughout their careers such as malpractice lawsuits and patient complaints.
Understanding the laws governing the profession and taking practical steps to comply with these regulations can help nurses have long, successful careers.
1. Maintaining licensure
One of the main ways nurses have control over avoiding legal issues is by maintaining their professional licensure and required certifications. Following all applicable laws by renewing licenses on time and completing all continuing education requirements will protect nursing licensure.
2. Promptly reporting issues
As soon as nurses become aware of potential problems at work, they should report them immediately. For example, if the nurse witnesses any violations of privacy laws or notices patient abuse, they should report the incident.
3. Improving interpersonal communication
Clear and effective communication with colleagues and patients is essential in avoiding issues as a nurse. Patients who feel cared for and respected are less likely to pursue legal action against health care professionals. Taking the time to listen to concerns and thoroughly explaining diagnoses and treatments helps create a trusting environment.
4. Keeping a document trail
Nurses should accurately and legibly document all patient interactions, medications administered and treatments. Having these notes in the patient charts ensures the best care for this person and helps create a paper trail to defend against any potential legal issues.
5. Requesting informed consent
Using informed consent means that patients are aware of all treatment outcomes or procedure outcomes, including potential risks or complications. Allow the patient to ask questions and review the consent forms before agreeing to the treatment.
If you have any questions or concerns, consult The Law Offices of Brian E. Quinn before taking action.