Position Statement Activity
Mary- Catherine Ferguson
Position Statement Activity
A nurse’s first and foremost duty to a patient is to safeguard their safety. Every nurse must prioritize patient care.
Following directions may not free nurses and other non-physicians of accountability when they fall short of the required standard of care. On the other hand, nurses are taught to evaluate medical advice and judge whether it is harmful to the patient. For example, when a physician fails to assess or treat a patient properly, a nurse must follow the “chain of command” method to safeguard the patient by either withholding or finding appropriate care and treatment for the patient.
To implement a “chain of command” system, every hospital and healthcare facility must have written protocols detailing a step-by-step approach. When a patient is injured, a nurse’s failure to follow the “chain of command” protocol may be considered malpractice.
Source: The Nurse Attorney. (2022). A nurse’s independent duty to the patient. The Nurse Attorney, P.A. https://thenurseattorney.com/resources/a-nurses-independent-duty-to-the-patient/
In research done by the researchers of “Patient Safety and Quality: An Evidence-Based Handbook for nurses,” the focus was on the major injury and safety issues for working nurses. According to the research, Others remain unexplored and unsolved, despite considerable evidence-based findings for epidemiology and prevention. Even though many risk factors for nursing injury remain neglected, there is much room for improvement. Increasing nurse safety has many advantages, including maintaining existing nurses and attracting new ones. Too much work can harm a nurse’s health, resulting in poor patient care. These resources must be leveraged to promote staff safety as well. In the long run, these changes will help patients by making nurses healthier and more productive.
Source: Trinkoff, A. M., Geiger-Brown, J. M., Caruso, C. C., Lipscomb, J. A., Johantgen, M., Nelson, A. L., … & Selby, V. L. (2008). Personal safety for nurses. Patient safety and quality: An evidence-based handbook for nurses.
The link between nurse-to-patient ratios and patient outcomes is likely due to increased effort, stress, and potential nursing burnout. Nurses are at risk of making errors due to their high-intensity work. Human factors engineering principles mandate that when performing a complex operation, such as providing medication to a hospitalized patient, the work environment be as favorable as possible. However, operational concerns such as disruptions or equipment malfunctions may limit nurses’ ability to conduct their work safely and effectively. These interruptions have been associated with a higher risk of medication mistakes. However, the association between interruptions and errors shows how flaws in a nurse’s regular work environment undermine patient safety.
Source: Phillips, J., Malliaris, A., MSN, & Bakerjian, D. (2021). Nursing and patient safety. PSNet. https://psnet.ahrq.gov/primer/nursing-and-patient-safety
Nurses owe a duty to care for their patients, so they should put their patient’s safety before their own.