Nursing Law Dissertation

Pages: 30 (9400 words)  ·  Bibliography Sources: ≈ 22  ·  File: .docx  ·  Level: College Senior  ·  Topic: Health - Nursing

Critical Care Nursing

Regarding Legal Liability

the Critical Care Nursing regarding legal liability issues

Definition of key concepts

Introduction to the history of forensic nursing

Interaction with patients with legal liability issues

The critical care unit as forensic domain

Recognizing patients with legal liability issues

Wound characteristics

Recognition of evidence

Evidence collection and preservation

Integrating ethical and medico-legal considerations



Informed consent

Living wills and resuscitating orders

Critical care nurse as expert witness and court procedures

Research methodology for the study

Validity of the research process


Ethical considerations


Data analysis

3.10 Conclusion

Chapter 4: Data Analysis & #8230;..26


4.2 Biographical data

4.3 Knowledge base

Results of each item for the entire group 29

4.5 Summary of Scores from entire group 30

4.6 Competency indicators 34

4.7 Conclusion 35

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Chapter 5: Conclusions, Recommendations and Limitations 35

5.1 Introduction 35

5.2. Main findings and conclusions 36

5.3. Recommendations 37

5.4. Limitations of the study 38

5.5. Reflection of the study 39

5.6. Suggested Education programme 40

5.7. Final Conclusion 41


TOPIC: Dissertation on Nursing Law Assignment

The aim of the study was to certain the critical care nurses' knowledge on the legal liability issues in their critical nursing care environment. This would help come up with an education programme on the same. Both descriptive and quantitative research designs were used in their right contextual situations[footnoteRef:2]. A convenient sampling technique was also used among the critical care nurses in some of the selected private hospitals in NYC. The respond rate was high at 85% while the reliability and validity of this particular research was also guaranteed. On average, the total percentage achieved was 37.9% for 172 respondents. This below the set competency indicator of 60%, while only 8 respondents achieving the 60% competency target. There is the recommendation of an education programme to address these deficiencies on legal liability issues[footnoteRef:3]. [2: ACEP Policy Statements. Procedural Sedation in the Emergency Department (2004) and Delivery of Agents for Procedural Sedation and Analgesia by Emergency Nurses (2005).ACEP Clinical Policy: Procedural Sedation and Analgesia in the Emergency Department. Ann Emerg Med. (2005) Feb; 45(2):177-196. ] [3: Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations (JCAHO). (2005). Comprehensive accreditation manual for hospitals: The official handbook. Oakbrook Terrace, IL.]


1.1. Introduction

Due to the increased number of unnatural death in the 21st century, forensic knowledge that is critical in the development of proper critical care nurses. This has also caused the rise of medico-legal patient population in this setting. Forensic domains have therefore developed along these critical care and trauma units leading to evolving of technologically and sophisticated nursing areas. Holistic patient care however requires that all legal aspects, goals and nursing sciences to be integrated. This is because this includes the protection of the patient's civil, human and legal rights[footnoteRef:4]. [4: Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations (JCAHO). (2005). Comprehensive accreditation manual for hospitals: The official handbook. Oakbrook Terrace, IL.]

This approach of caring for the patient holistically involves several legal aspects and issues that surround the patient care in both the critical care environment and in the process of preventing crimes and violence. This new perspective of holistic patient care come as result of including the mutual responsibility concepts

1.2. Literature review and background to the problem

In undertaking research, it was found that forensic knowledge was immensely used in the nursing science and practice. This is because it is new, specialized and has not been explored in the republic of United State of America. It is viewed as a discipline of its own kind, however it focuses is on investigating sexual abuse cases, and how forensic nursing manifests in trauma. Due to the nature of the injuries inflicted on the victims of assault, they are depressed and find themselves in a state of trauma hence they need quick and special attention[footnoteRef:5]. During the research, the researcher faced a problem of inadequate trained personnel for the specialized units for handling patients of assault (Critical care units). It was also noticed that there was massive employment of nurses who are inexperienced. This may lead to unethical practices in the critical care units such as neglecting of patients. As a result legal cases (medico-legal cases) arise. Malpractices and negligence of patients in these specialized units may lead to a patient becoming a patient with legal responsibility issues. A nurse is the one who is supposed to identify and recognize evidence of crime when a patient enters the critical care unit. he/she is then a key person in identifying and collecting evidence correctly which will in turn lead to the assailant being convicted or prevention of the crime[footnoteRef:6]. [5: Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations (JCAHO). (2005). Comprehensive accreditation manual for hospitals: The official handbook. Oakbrook Terrace, IL.] [6: International Council of Nurses (1997). Styles and Affara, Credentialing Fact Sheet. Available at]

The health sector in the whole world has then been called on board to take a major part in the investigation and prevention of crime. This is because when the living forensic patients are being nursed, there are some important factors which are supposed to be considered. These include; consistency, credibility and competency. This is where then the law and the health sector become entangled and cooperate as one in bringing justice to the patients who have been assaulted[footnoteRef:7]. The nurses attending patients in the critical care units are usually the first persons to set eyes to the patients, talk to their family members, handle their property and also they are the first to deal with their specimens in the laboratory and therefore, they are supposed to be extra active and to be more specific proactive when dealing with the assault cases. [7: International Council of Nurses (1997). Styles and Affara, Credentialing Fact Sheet. Available at]

Although they are supposed to collect the evidence involved, they are supposed to check on the status of the patient first and ensure that they are in stable condition before they embark on the evidence collection activity. This is because the life of the patient is more valued than the evidence itself. A critical care unit nurse should be able to balance all these activities so as to attend all without compromising the other while concentrating in one.

1.3. Research problem and question

In order to ascertain whether the nurses working in the critical care units posses the required knowledge on legal liability in the environment of critical care in which they work poses a problem which need to be researched. The following research question will guide this study in coming up with a concrete answer. The question has been formulated to ensure that the research will be comprehensive enough to cover the required areas. The question therefore, once answered then one will be able to give a conclusion. The research question is:

What knowledge does critical care nurses have on legal responsibility issues in the environment of critical care?

1.4. Research aim and objectives

This study is aimed at investigating the how much of knowledge is held by critical care nurses on issues of legal liability in their environment.

The objectives of the study are three as follows:

i) to formulate a questionnaire base on the literature and also the findings of a sample patient's record showing the legal liability issues faced on daily basis by the critical care nurses while in their working environment. The questionnaire will then be constructed from the data collected from the audit report and the literature available.

ii) to measure the knowledge of the critical care nurses on the legal liability using the questionnaire already developed for the purpose.

iii) to comment on the results obtained giving guidelines on extending education programs to the nurses on the legal liability and giving conclusions on the same.

1.5. Overview of the research design and methodology

1.5.1. Research design

This is the research plan of the researcher. It outlines the strategies that he will adopt to provide solutions to the research questions. It is also meant to enable the researcher to give precise information which can be interpreted. Quantitative research will be employed in this study to give correct results.

This study will be undertaken in two phases; Phase one will be the retrospective audit where by the records of patients will be put under retrospective examination. The second phase will entail survey; in this phase, the research will aim at determination of whether the nurses have knowledge on critical care environment and the patients nursed there.

The survey will be conducted to gather adequate information on the opinion of people, their actions and their knowledge[footnoteRef:8]. [8: ACEP Policy Statements. Procedural Sedation in the Emergency Department (2004) and Delivery of Agents for Procedural Sedation and Analgesia by Emergency Nurses (2005).]

1.6. Scope and limitations of the study

Some of the limitations include; only private hospitals and healthcare centers were involved in this study, hence the findings are not general to all… [END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

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How to Cite "Nursing Law" Dissertation in a Bibliography:

APA Style

Nursing Law.  (2012, January 31).  Retrieved September 28, 2021, from

MLA Format

"Nursing Law."  31 January 2012.  Web.  28 September 2021. <>.

Chicago Style

"Nursing Law."  January 31, 2012.  Accessed September 28, 2021.