The reason for standards of practice in nursing is to promote, guide, direct, and regulate the professional practice. Each province in Canada sets a standard of Nursing that every nurse has to adhere by. These standards ensure that the legal and professional standards of nursing are upheld. Hence the reason a license is issued for a nurse to practice so the public can be protected and safeguarded.
In Ontario, The College of Nurse’s of Ontario is the body that sets standards and practice guidelines for nurses. The main purpose of these guidelines is to provide safe and ethical nursing care for the people of Ontario.
These outline the expectation of nurse contribution to public protection.
The nurse needs to be aware of the accountability to the public.
To make the public aware of what is expected of the nurse.
These standards apply to every nurse,
In these guidelines, nurses understand their responsibilities and how to make ensure that they make safe and ethical decisions.
The other legislative body that is key to where I work is the Legislation relevant to mental health in Ontario. (RSO 1990, C.M.7-Ontario.ca).
The Mental Health Act sets out the guidelines for when a person is admitted to a specially designated psychiatric facility. The admission designation should be voluntary, involuntary or informal.
The health care consent act which states the rules determining capacity are in three areas, treatment decision, admission, and personal assistance care.
The Substitute decision Act allows for the individual who is capable to appoint another person to make decisions for them in case they become incapable.
Then there is the Health Information act of 2004. This legislation was enacted to ensure that health care providers understood the unique demands of providing mental health care for individuals and that there is no disclosure of information without the consent of the client or a substitute decision maker.
In the mental health setting, I work it is imperative to establish the status of the client immediately on arrival. Meaning if the client is voluntary, involuntary, or informal. Treatment decisions are made with this in mind. Adherence to the College of Nurses guidelines and the mental health legislation is important because depending on the capacity of the client, some immediately request a lawyer on admission who is routed through a Rights Adviser. A Rights Advisor is one of the hospital’s employees and can be reached through an extension. This information is usually posted so the client can have easy access. While trying to ensure that that client is safe and needs are met, it’s within the patient’s right to be treated immediately, and have access to an attorney. This is also a very important aspect of their lives.
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