The roles and the responsibility (scope of practice) of the registered nurse are defined by the Nursing & Midwifery Board of Australia (NMBA) in consultation with industry and other governing nursing bodies. The NNMBA also have definitions pertaining to nurse practitioners and advanced practice nurses.
The following will help you establish a basis for your reflection and enable you to complete the activity
Shields (2013) discusses the role of the nurse in a reflective personal essay that makes for interesting reading on how nursing is viewed and where Australian nursing fits in the global scene. It makes for a good introduction to the elective and to the module. Please read this article: Shields L. (2013). A personal essay on the role of the nurse. Contemporary Nurse: A Journal for the Australian Nursing Profession 43(2) 213-218
Having read the above articles it is time to explore what you know and understand about the role of the specialty nurse within your clinical practice area. consider what you already know is relation to the NMBA standards of practice for registered nurses. If all registered nurses need to meet these standards then what more is expected of someone with specialty experience?
To explore the role of the specialist nurse in the area of your elected specialty:
Find the job description for a clinical nurse in your specialty area and read it.
Identify the characteristics of the role that is beyond the generic description of the role of a registered nurse that is identify what makes the person a specialist in the area.
Speak to one of the clinical nurses and ask him/her how they acquired the knowledge and skills that makes a specialist in the area. You might ask them about what facilitators and barriers they dealt with in the course of developing their specialty knowledge.
Write down some key messages you learned from these conversations.
Physical and emotional safety
Staying safe physically is important and discussed frequently. Nurses are very aware of issues such as manual handling competencies and workplace health and safety issues but perhaps not as aware of emotional safety issues. We will explore both in this section but place it in the local context by examining the environment you are working in.
To get you thinking here is a link to a book chapter on Personal Safety for Nurses (Trinkoff et al. 2008) in Hughes(2008) Patient Safety and Quality: an Evidence-Based Handbook for Nurses AHPRO publication from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services on safety. Admittedly it is from an American perspective but useful nonetheless:
The next reading is an systematic review looking at stress in the Australian nursing workforce. Lim J. Bogossian F. & Ahern K. (2010). Stress and coping in Australian nurses: a systematic review. International Nursing Review 57(1) 22-31. doi:10.1111/j.1466-7657.2009.00765.x
As a way of exploring safety issues in your specialty area:
Take some time to talk to the staff in your chosen specialty and ask them what safety issue whether physical or emotional concerns them the most.
Ask them to identify some of the stressors in their current environment
Find one primary research article that examines this issue read it and document a brief summary of the findings.
In your summary mention one strategy identified from your reading that will help you to keep yourself safe from this risk.
As you will be well aware by now nursing is subject to a number of legal and ethical imperatives. We operate under a nursing code of conduct and a specific act of parliament. These codes and laws are designed to protect patients and clients but also nurses. The profession of the nurse is protected by law and the title of nurse cannot be used without proper qualification and registration by an accredited authority.
But nurses also operate under other legal requirements: mandatory reporting of suspected child or elder abuse.
And here is another link to an article exploring issues of financial abuse of older adults in residential aged care.
Tilse C. & Wilson J. (2013). Recognising and responding to financial abuse in residential aged care. The Journal of Adult Protection 15(3) 141-152. doi:http://dx.doi.org/10.1108/JAP-11-2012-0025
Tilse C. & Wilson J. (2013). Recognising and responding to financial abuse in residential aged care. The Journal of Adult Protection 15(3) 141-152. doi:http://dx.doi.org.ezproxy1.acu.edu.au/10.1108/JAP-11-2012-0025
There may be specific legal obligations associated with your specialty elective.
Talk to the senior staff (unit manager or clinical nurses) about legal obligations specifically related to your chosen specialty. It may not necessarily be mandatory reporting issues but be related to other issues. Areas to explore may be confidentiality issues when a person is cognitively impaired or underage has a positive HIV status and is sexually active and so on. For this section you can think outside the square about legalities of what nurses can and cannot do.
Identify one aspect of your legal obligations related to your specialty (peri-op) and write a short paragraph on how you would ensure you honour your legal obligations while working in this area.
Module one looked at the specific rights and responsibilities of the registered nurse in a specialty clinical area (peri-op) including from the perspective of keeping the nurse and her/his patients/clients physically and emotionally safe. It also raised the issue of legal responsibilities and identified issues specific to the specialty area (peri-op)
For your assessment:
write a 350 word paragraph on an issue of safety or of legal responsibility that you explored in some depth ensuring it is specifically related to the specialty area (peri op).
Cohesive and logical discussions. Comprehensive and insightful analyses which presents a diverse range of perspectives.
Evidence to support the analysis
Relevant high quality literature utilised with sophisticated interpretation and analysis.
Organisation Presentation and Referencing
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