In nursing, there are standards of practice that protect both patients and nurses. Nurses are legally bound to render proper care and are to be held accountable for errors. Particularly in fast-paced settings, but in every setting the procedures and protocols of nursing must be maintained. It’s important to always provide a safe environment and a safe practice for patients and co-workers. In this blog, we have 4 tips for safe practice for nurses. Any simple action such as cleaning all areas the patient accesses, of course, goes without saying. But the overall points to be aware of are the following:
Effective communication must always exist with both patients and colleagues. It is also vital a nurse has good listening skills, as they play a large part of communication. For example, if a patient’s family member voices they notice something has changed with the patient, a nurse should actively practice listening. What a patients family member has to say may make a difference in care.
Clear, effective communication can also play critical role when speaking to your patient, interacting with the patient’s family or when transferring the patient to someone else for care. Even the Joint Commission has a piece about the inadequate communication when handing off a patient and why it’s so important to have great nurse communication skills.
Another result of poor communication can be an error in medication administration. Medication errors are all too common and can jeopardize a patient’s safety. Besides the fact a wrongly administered medication can harm a patient, errors can lead to litigation and loss of a nursing license.
Monitor and Report Deterioration
After completing an initial assessment of the patient and making a diagnosis, a nurse must continue to evaluate their patient’s condition. Failing to properly monitor a patient or recognize a patient’s condition has changed can not only result in patient harm, but in legal action. Even when a nurse notices changes, their responsibility then becomes to effectively communicate these changes clearly and quickly to the doctor or advanced practitioner. To do otherwise is to endanger the patient.
Document Timely and Accurately
Documenting all necessary pieces of patient care is crucial. For one thing, it is a legal document according to state laws. It ensures a continuity of care. It verifies insurance reimbursement claims and is also used for education and research. Whatever facility a nurse is working in will have their own documentation policies. A nurse must know them and follow them.
Delegate When Needed
A nurse has to be responsible when delegating to be sure the person taking over the care of a patient has the appropriate skills to do so. The person should also be properly supervised. Generally knowing and following all important policies and procedures will enable nurses to
carry on safe practices and live up to the trust placed in their profession.
Nurses who find themselves in need of legal assistance should retain legal counsel with experience. Contact Chelle Law to schedule your consultation today or for more information on the services we provide nurses.