Healthcare providers have a duty to provide all patients with outstanding healthcare. The American Hospital Association (AHA) adopted the Patient’s Bill of Rights in 1973, setting the framework for all healthcare professionals to follow to safeguard a patient’s right to get the best care delivery.
As a nurse, you are uniquely positioned to ensure that your patients’ rights are fully protected. This post will highlight the key points outlined by the Patient’s Bill of Rights to help you make better-informed patient care decisions.
The Patient’s Bill of Rights is an ever-evolving document, but there are seven critical areas related to patient’s rights in the bill you must know as a nurse:
All healthcare professionals must provide treatment to any person with an emergency medical condition, regardless of whether they can afford to pay for it. Any situation where medical intervention is critical to saving a patient’s life warrants fulfilling your duty to deliver necessary care.
Each patient deserves to be treated with respect and dignity. As a nurse, you must ensure that none of your patients are discriminated against for any reason, regardless of their sex, gender identity, race, age, financial status, religion, ethnicity, or other biases. It also means you must ensure that none of your patients are ever subjected to degrading treatment.
The right to informed consent is crucial to the Patient’s Bill of Rights. As a nurse, you are responsible for ensuring that your patients consent to any medical treatment, provided they have sufficient information about their condition and the possible treatment options. A patient must be provided this information in terms they can understand.
All patients have the right to refuse treatment, even those with emergency medical conditions. As a healthcare professional, you must protect your patient’s life and well-being. However, you must respect that the patient has the final say regarding the treatment they receive — even if it means declining life-saving medical interventions.
All patients have the right to choose who can cater to their healthcare needs. Hospitals and physicians often refer patients to specialists and other healthcare professionals to help them receive further care that may be outside their expertise. Ensuring that your patient can choose whom to work with for their care delivery is critical.
Every patient has the right to privacy. You must ensure that your patient gets to determine who, when, and to what extent their identifiable health information can be disclosed. As a nurse, you must play your part in ensuring their right to privacy is protected.
All patients have the right to appeal or request a fair review of any complaints against hospitals, doctors, nurses, or other healthcare providers. Their right to appeal may include complaints regarding:
- Wait times.
- Operating hours.
- Actions of any healthcare professional.
- The adequacy of the treatment they’ve received.
Creating an environment conducive to ensuring the best care delivery for your patients and educating them on their rights is a key responsibility for you as a nurse. Nurses are advocates for their patients in several crucial ways, including educating them on their rights and ensuring their rights are never violated.
Gain the necessary skills to advocate for your patients by pursuing nursing continuing education courses. Nursing continuing education courses like the ones available at Fast CE For Less at https://fastceforless.com/ce-courses-for-nursing/ can help you with your recertification and provide optimal care for your patients and leading a successful career.