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As a medical professional, you are required to report specific observations

As a medical professional, you are required to report specific observations

As a medical professional, you are required to report specific observations
QUESTION
As a medical professional, you are required to report specific observations. What are some of these incidents, and how do you think reporting them would make you feel?
As a medical professional, you are required to report specific observations

ANSWER

Nurses, who work on the front lines of healthcare, have unfortunately had to report cases of abuse and neglect. They are trained to recognize the signs and symptoms of abuse and neglect and are required by law to report their findings. Failure to do so may result in disciplinary action by the board of nursing, disciplinary action by their employer, and possible legal action.

If a nurse suspects abuse or neglect, she or he should contact a doctor, nurse practitioner, or physician assistant. Depending on the workplace, notifying a supervisor may also be required. If the victim is present with a suspected abuser, the exam should be conducted without that person present. Nurses should create a calm, comforting environment for their patients and approach them with care and concern. A thorough examination from head to toe should be performed to look for physical signs of abuse. If possible, a chaperone or witness should also be present. Thorough documentation and description of exam findings, as well as patient statements, nonverbal behavior, and suspected abuser behavior/statements, should be included.

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While the victim is still in the care area, the nurse should contact law enforcement as soon as possible. This, however, is dependent on the victim and the type of abuse. Adults who are alert, oriented, and capable of making decisions on their own can choose not to report and instead leave. Depending on the state, nurses may be required to report suspicious injuries to law enforcement regardless of whether the patient consents or wishes to file charges.

The nurse is required to call Adult Protective Services or Child Protective Services, depending on the type of abuse, and to follow up with a written report. Contacting additional resources, such as social services, may be necessary as well (depending on the organization).

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While it is not required by law, nurses should provide victims of abuse with referrals to counseling services. Victims are frequently trapped in an abusive cycle that is difficult to break. Offering mental health support to victims of abuse can help break the cycle.

Nurses should be aware of their state’s mandatory reporting laws. Employers typically outline requirements for their employees, but nurses have a responsibility to know what to do if they are caring for a victim of abuse.

As a medical professional, you are required to report specific observations

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