Nurse's Legal Responsibilities for Patient Care

  1. Hi Lorie

    Could you refer me to where I can find references for teaching staff nurses about their legal responsibilities for patient care. I hear on a regular basis from nurses, "I'm not losing my license over this or that" or "I'm not licensed to do this or that". I feel like nurses who make these blanket statements really don't know what they are legally liable for. I have our state nurse practice act, but I am looking for detailed information regarding charting.

    Thank you in advance for your time.

    Dear Nurse's Legal Responsibilities

    The standard of care is what those acting under same or similar circumstances would do. Your hospital's policies and procedures are the best guide to what the standard of care is at your facility. The standard of care varies from institution to institution. For a couple of examples, some facilities will allow nurses to remove PICC lines and in others they are not. In some hospitals, nurses are allowed to draw blood from a Quinton catheter and in others they are forbidden to do so. With regard to more detailed information about charting, I would suggest looking at the continuing education programs out there. There are many good ones that are very comprehensive.

    Hope this helps.
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    About Lorie Brown RN, MN, JD

    Joined: Mar '18; Posts: 63; Likes: 115


  3. by   twinsmom788
    It seems that the Standard of Care is defined by the polices/procedures of your facility. When I would interview nurses as a surveyor, the last thing I wanted to hear, was " well not sure about the policy, but this is how I do it". Made me cringe every time.