Instructions for Assessment Task
Explain what is meant by the terms, common law, statute law and civil law within the Australian legal system
Common law: The basis of common law is from England. Common law can be used to everyone when there is no statute law to cover some issues. It is composed of custom and the decision which announced by Australian courts. Therefore, it is also called case law.
Statute law: Statute law is statutes or legislation passed by State Parliament and Federal Parliament.
Civil law: Civil law explains the rights and responsibilities in the relationship between individuals, government and entities. Normally, it involves contract issues or negligence, and the wrong party will be required to pay the compensation to the damaged party.
In relation to your role as an Enrolled Nurse discuss the following terms: vicarious liability, defendant and plaintiff
As an Enrolled Nurse, we are given the guidelines from the NMBA to practise the scope of the duty to achieve the goal of providing high-quality care. However, under some circumstances, we may experience unintentional omission to our patients. The term “vicarious liability” means my employer will be liable for my error actions as the defendant if that patient brings the lawsuit against the hospital, and the patient who suffered the damage from my negligence will be the plaintiff.
How do the following acts, legislation and standards impact on Enrolled Nursing practice
Poisons Act: Generally, Enrolled Nurses are able to administer medications, it means Enrolled Nurses are being educated and qualified to practise high professional standard of conducting medications, unless the registration is marked as not competent to administrate medications. However, each medication is classified by the risk level of misuse, addiction or diversion into schedules. For example, S8 and S4D Medicines are the high-risk medications which Enrolled Nurses must be supervised under Registered Nurses and meet the standards of DHHS: Enrolled Nurse Scope of Practice – Medication Administration and Intravenous Fluid Management Policy.
Health Practitioner Act: The doctrine of Health Practitioner Act is to protect the public. In terms of Enrolled Nurses, Health Practitioner Act provides the guideline to make sure Enrolled Nurses meet the principles to evidence-based practice nursing skills. For example, AHPRA is created under the Act to set the standards for health practitioners.
Mental Health Act: The main purpose of Tasmania’s Mental Health Act 2013 is to protect the person who suffers from mental illness and at the risk of doing harm to their own health and safety or others. The Act provides the guidelines and principles for health practitioners with the decision-making framework to make sure the patient receives respect and the treatment meets patients’ needs and rights. For example, in order to accomplish the purpose of medical treatment, the nurse may experience the situation to do physical restraint to keep the patient and other people safe, but according to the Act, restraint must be approved by a medical practitioner or approved psychiatric nurse for a period of fewer than 4 hours.
Privacy Act: According to Code of Professional Conduct provided by the NMBA, Conduct Statement 3 gives the information about nurses have the obligation and responsibility to protect patients’ privacy and confidentiality. All the information obtained during the medical procedure should always keep confidential and professional purpose only. Otherwise, the penalty will be applied for the breach of confidentiality.
Aged Care Act: Aged Care Act provides the standards for approved providers to progress care quality, to respect diversity, to meet residents’ needs, and the quality of facilities’ environment. In terms of Enrolled Nurses, Enrolled Nurses must meet the standards when taking care of residents and also be aware of the facility whether achieve the standards of Aged Care Act.
Health Records Act: The main purpose of Health Records Act is to protect the privacy of individuals’ health information. The Act sets the broad range of guidelines for collecting, using, and handling health information. Also, individuals are authorised to access their own health record by the Act. As an Enrolled Nurse, we may experience the patient’s family members or friends ask to access the patient’s medical record, but without the patient’s consent or authorization, we are not able to provide the document.
Children and young people legislation: The aim of children and young people legislation is to protect children and young people from any forms of abuse timely. In the healthcare environment, we may notice a child or a young person having unusual injuries. As a nurse, our responsibility is to report abuse. According to the legislation, child abuse is mandatory reporting. We do not require to investigate by our own to find the evidence. Rather, if we are aware of any suspected abuse of a child or a young person, then we have to report it.
Carers recognition legislation: The main purpose of Carer Recognition Act 2010 is to enhance recognition and awareness of carers’ rights relating to cares provide care and support to people with disability, medical conditions, mental illness or who are frail and aged. Therefore, as an Enrolled Nurse, we should understand our rights, and expect to be treated with equality. Moreover, whenever it comes to the stress, we should seek for help timely.
WHS legislation: Workplace Health & Safety Act 2012 concentrates on improving workplace safety, including investigating incidents, detecting potential hazards, and maintaining workers’ health. The aim of the Act is to provide a safe workplace environment physically and mentally for all the workers. As an Enrolled Nurse, we have the obligations to report any incidents as well as near misses to decrease the risk of incidents’ happening. Also, the Act gives the standards to perform different tasks, for example, the guidance for manual handling and risk management. (WHS class Lecture, L. Lauren, 2018)
Working with vulnerable people Act: The aim of Registration to Work with Vulnerable People Act 2013 is to minimise the possibility of harm to children and vulnerable people. In order to provide a safer environment for children and vulnerable people, according to the Act, the person who associates with child-related service, it is necessary to be registered to Work with Vulnerable People. The registration will assess the applicant’s criminal history, guilty offence, and any other personal history relating to children and vulnerable people.
- What duty of care does a residential facility have in relation to Mandatory Reporting?
To provide aged care residents a safe and secure environment, the residential facility have the responsibility to report suspicions or allegations assaults and the missing residents to local police and the Australian Department of Health (the department) within 24 hours to minimize the harm and give the support to the residents.
- What is an Enrolled Nurses responsibility in relation to Mandatory Reporting?
Enrolled Nurses are the first person to provide care to residents, so Enrolled Nurses can be the first person to notice the resident has been assaulted or the resident is missing. Therefore, the responsibility of Enrolled Nurses in relation to Mandatory Reporting is to report the situation to local police and the Australian Department of Health (the department) in order to minimize the harm and give the support to the residents.
Discuss seven (7) functions of the doctor of nursing practice Midwifery Board Australia NMBA.
The seven functions of the NMBA are defined as below. In terms of nurses, the NMBA manages the registration all over Australia, including international qualified nurses who wish to register in Australia as well as Australian nursing students. In order to protect the public having a consistently high-quality healthcare, the NMBA sets the standards to assess nursing students and provides education providers with comprehensive education programs. The NMBA also provides guidelines for nurses to perform their daily professional skills. Moreover, the NMBA administrates legal affairs relating to nurses’ practice. For example, the NMBA has the obligation to protect the public. Once the NMBA receives the complaint, the nurse will obtain the notification from the NMBA and the NMBA will start investigating and assessing the issue. If the issue requires further process, it will refer to panel hearings. The last, the NMBA and AHPRA staff are authorized to make the decision about nurses’ registration and notification about nurses’ health, performance, student’s health and criminal history.
- Registering nurses, midwives and students of nursing and midwifery
- Determining national registration requirements
- Developing professional codes, standards, guidelines and position statements to guide the practice of nurses and midwives
- Managing notifications, investigations and panel hearings
- Overseeing the assessment of internationally qualified nurses and midwives who wish to register in Australia
- Approving national accreditation standards and accredited programs of study leading to registration and endorsement
- Delegating to state and territory boards and committees of the NMBA, and AHPRA staff, the power to determine individual applications for registration and notification of a nurse’s or midwife’s health, performance and/or conduct, and a student’s health or criminal history
- Outline the Nurses Decision Making Framework and describe its purpose.
There are various decision-making tools, but they all have the one same purpose, making sure that the public receive the consistent care quality in healthcare system. The Nurses Decision Making Framework underpins the decision made by the nurses is legal and ethical to meet the expectation with the public. Also, by evaluating the outcomes of the decision can improve the framework and make the framework more flexible to meet the public needs.
- Figure out the core problem and making sure the situation is under the scope of Enrolled Nurses’ practice.
- Seeking help within the facility, follow the facility’s policies and procedures to deal with the situation.
- Finding the facts which are related to the problem.
Taking the patient’s (or resident’s) health condition, preferences, benefits into account to assess and avoid the risk. Moreover, think about whether the situation needs further assistance from Registered Nurses. Also, consider the legal parameters of the situation to prevent lawsuit.
- Consider ethical problem into the situation. What are the reasons to occur the conflicts and how to resolve it.Making the decision which meets legal and ethical standards.
- Document the proceedings of the situation.
- Evaluate the outcomes of the decision.
- Discuss a hypothetical example of the civil wrong ‘breach of confidentiality’.
In the healthcare, patients’ confidentiality is being protected by law. However, the health practitioners may divulge patients’ medical record intentionally or unintentionally. For example, there is a nurse who feels stressed and confused to take care of one of his dementia patient. In the lunchtime, the nurse wants to seek for advice from another nurse and talk about this patient’s health status in public where it is quite easy to be heard by someone else. In the scenario, this nurse discusses the patient’s health condition publicly is a breach of confidentiality, the nurse may face the penalty of suspending the registration. The nurse should always maintain the patient’s confidentiality, alternatively, the nurse can have a debrief with other team members in a private area.
Explain what is meant by the term negligence and outline the four principles that must be present for negligence to be proven
Negligence: Enrolled Nurses have a duty of care to their patients, but under the circumstances that the Enrolled Nurse misconducts the procedure and the patient end up suffering the damage from mistakes made by the Enrolled Nurse. In addition, this damage should be able to be proved caused by the Enrolled Nurse who fails to perform expected Enrolled Nurses’ standards.
There are 4 principles to build up negligence. Firstly, we have a duty of care to the patient. Secondly, we breach the patient’s right because we fail to practise the standard in Enrolled Nurses’ scope. Thirdly, due to our error action, we undermine the patient’s right and cause the patient suffering. Finally, the outcomes of omission can be anticipated.（session 1 Legal and Ethical Lecture, Briere, 2018）
- i) What is a coronial inquest?
Coronial inquest is a series procedure conducted by the State Coroner to examine the cause of unnatural or unusual death, including investigating the surrounding of the death spot and the dead body.
- ii) Explain the civil claim of ‘wrongful death’
The civil claim of wrongful death means a person’s death is caused by another person’s misconduct or negligence, such as medical malpractice. There are some elements of a wrongful death lawsuit: the person is dead due to another person’s negligence, the victim’s family members suffer from the financial problem or lose any forms of support from the deceased person because of the death, and appoint a liable personal to represent for the decedent’s estate.
- iii) What is the function of the coroner?
According to Magistrates Court of Tasmania, in the procedure of a coronial inquest, the coroner is required to find out the identity of the deceased person, the cause of the death, the location and the time where death occurred. Also, the coroner may make the comments and recommendations to prevent the incident or the death recurring.
- iv) What would your responsibilities be as an EN in these circumstances?
As an Enrolled Nurse, the responsibilities would be the following:
- Report the situation to RN and manager
- Keep the surrounding area staying the same, including don’t touch anything and don’t move any medical equipments Block off the area
- Document the situation
- Give the statement to the police
- Go to the court as a witness（session 3 Legal and Ethical Lecture, Briere, 2018）
Outline the three (3) types of consent and provide an example of each type of consent.
Outline the process and principles associated with identification of patients in the health care setting in relation to referrals or requests for test. (e.g. pathology request forms)
Explain Power of Attorney and how it applies in the health care setting.
Discuss the term bioethics, including and explanation of the four (4) primary principles.
Define Equal Opportunity and discrimination.
Discuss the civil wrongs of assault and battery, including how they differ.
What organisation in Tasmania would you consider contacting to advocate for a client and what is the role of this organisation?
Choose four (4) of the ethical topics from the list below and discuss the potential ethical issues that may be encountered by the Enrolled Nurse. Use the primary ethical principles to guide your discussion.
- Reproductive Technology
- Organ Donation
- Euthanasia / Assisted suicide
- Refusal of / and withdrawal of treatment
- Not for resuscitation orders
- Cultural/religious matters eg; no blood transfusion for certain religions
- Social Media eg; FaceBook
- Discuss the principles and processes of open disclosure as it relates to the healthcare setting and explains the role of the Enrolled Nurse in relation to open disclosure.