chapter 3 nursing ethics and law

professional ethics
are published formal statements indicating the profession’s expectations for its members

# one principle
Never do anything that you know is not in the patient’s best interest

is related to you belief of something’s worth and may differ from the values of others around you

made up of values that influence your decisions and behavior

ethical dilemma
is a situation in which a decision must be made between two opposing alternatives when there is not an exact right or wrong answer

ethical decisions
are not made with one’s emotions of feelings but are based on principles and logical reasoning

to stand up for that which is in the patien’s best interest as opposed to that which is in the best interest of the physician, hospital, or coworker

who served as the patients primary advocate
the nurse is

what is maintaining patient’s dignity
allowing and honoring the patient’s possession of self respect

being completely truthful about patient’s condition, test results, treatment options, and potencial recovery
; acknowledging when the nurse makes a mistake rather than hiding the fact

delivering nursing care with a gentile and caring attitude

is the ability to intellectually or emotionally understand the feelings of another person without actually experiencing or even agreeing with their situation, thought, feelings, distress, or pain

sharing the feelings and distress of the other individual

is defined as a patient injury that occurs because the nurse fails to meet his or her responsibility to the patient

Patients’ Ethical Rights

Types of Unethical Behavior That Nurses Must Report
*Impairment of the nurse by alcohol, drugs, or severe *fatigue
*Diverting drugs by taking a patient’s meds
*Known and suspected patient mistreatment or abuse
*Fraudulent documentation
*Unauthorized treatment outside the scope of practice
*Practicing without a license
*Failure to follow physician’s orders
*Failure to perform a necessary action

ethics committees
responsible for reviewing ethical issues related to patients care

what does the federal government provides two sources that govern nurses?
constitutional and statutory laws

nurse practice act authority
Licensing nurses
Taking disciplinary measures against nurses who fail to follow the NPA
Regulating the practice of nursing as well as nursing education

case or judicial laws
are written in response to specific legal questions brought before courts

base line from questions of cases for future cases

criminal laws
protect the public or society as a whole

civil laws
protect an individual’s personal rights such as life, liberty, thinking, speaking privacy and most healthcare issues

HIPAA ( Health insurance portability and accountability act)
mandates hospital, clinics and other healthcare providers handle patients’ records in manner that will protect record confidentiality

to challenge the decision of a court to a higher court , where the decision will be either confirmed or reversed

the legal qualification to make one’s own decisions

to give permission for, to agree to the consent generally must be written

controlled substances
drugs related by law; drugs that have the potencial for abuse such as narcotics

money awarded to a plaintiff upon proving injury by the defendant

the one accused of breaking the law

durable medical power of atterney
legal written designation making another person responsible for one’s medical decision

one’s responsibility for his or her own actions

false written statements about another that are made publicly known with intent to harm

the one accusing another of criminal or civil law violation

a written law

a violation of s civil law; involves a wrong against and individual or his /her property

HITECH ( Health information technology fro economic and clinical health act)
requires healthcare providers to notify patients in writing when health info has been breached

Nursing and socialmedia
must not share confidencial information in social media

mandatory reporting laws
Communicable diseases
Child abuse
Abuse of disabled and elderly individuals
Gunshot or stab wounds
Rapes and sexual assaults

when nurses’ action fails to meet professional standards of care and injuries a patient

false imprisonment
intencially preventing a patient from leaving a facility or restricting movement; often very harmful

examples of false imprisonment
restraint devices : bedrails
chemical restraints: sedatives and tranquilizers
belts, tied sheets, wrist or ankle restraints and vest or halter restraints

to threaten a patient with harm or to show intent to touch him/ her without permission

to intentionally cause a patient harm

sexual harrassment
can be verbal visual or physical ; harrassement that is based on sex and is unwelcome ( hostile or offensive work environment)

Good Samaritan law
protection to the voluntary caregiver at sites of accidents and emergencies

premature cessation of the professional care nurse-patient relationship without adequate notice or patient’s permission

Professional role boundaries
* emotional involvement with s patient
* physical or sexual relationships with patient
* financial involvement with a patient
* accepting gifts or tips from a patient

Standard of care
aka: standards of performance or clinical guidelines

* established within nursing textbooks
* nursing journals
* nursing accreditation and regulatory agencies
* professional nursing association
* written policy and procedure manuals

Continuing education
post licensure study that serves to maintain, improve, expand, and enhance you nursing knowledge
* subscribing to nursing journals
*attend educational seminars
( more on pg41)

Patient chart
medical record kept on the patient and can be used a source , and principal site for communication regarding specific patients

entries in patients charts
Keep in mind that it is a legal document.
Make entries in a timely manner, being accurate and pertinent.
Never erase an entry or use correction fluid.
Record all pertinent data.
Keep entries factual.
Never document that you did something you did not do.

informed consent
a written permission to allow medical treatment or surgical procedures

emancipated minor
one whos has established his/her independence from parental control
* court order, marriage history of living independently and being self supporting, service in the military

implied consent
the one time only that medical treatment may be provided with out written consent os when a life threatening emergency exhists

advance directives
written document that provide guidelines for making medical decisions in the event a person becomes incapacitated or un able to make their wished known

proxy directive
Designates the individual legally responsible for making medical decisions when a person is unable

instructional directive
Specifies aspects of care the person does or does not desire and the circumstances in which to apply these wishes

incident reports
aka; unusual occurrence reports or variance reports . they are to be completed in the event of an unusual occurrence or an accident

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