Violation of Nursing Laws: Illegal Action or Ethical Dilemma

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Violation of Nursing Laws: Illegal action or ethical dilemma NR351ON_AC: Transition to Professional Nursing
Violation of Nursing Laws
“To err is human, to forgive is divine” (Pope, 1709). In the medical field, there is no ground for errors and definitely no forgiveness, only consequences. There are laws that dictate every aspect of nursing. These laws are written by the governing bodies and strictly enforced. The most common is the Health Insurance portability and accountability Act (HIPAA). This rule protects the privacy of patient health information, and the confidentiality provisions of the Patient Safety Rule. It protects the information that is used to research patient safety events (U.S. Department of Health & Human Service). There are many stringent regulations under the HIPAA laws, which have to be followed by health care individuals (HIPAA, 2003). The term “whistle blowing” is described as an action taken by a nurse who goes outside the organization for the public's best interest. The individual omits the organization's proper chain of command and directly reports the events to governing authorities. The nurse takes photos of a bad patient situation and presents the events for investigation. This is seen as an illegal action by a nurse and is a violation of the HIPAA standards. The nurse has the best interest of the patient, but is in violation of the privacy act. A visiting wound care nurse is given a camera to photograph the patient’s wounds on a weekly basis. This helps identify healing progression and determines if changes need to be done to the wound care. During a visit to an assisted living facility (ALF), a wound care nurse used her camera to take pictures of the unhygienic facility. She stated “look at this filth; it’s no wonder the patient’s wounds won’t heal.” She related that she had sent some of the pictures to the state so the facility could be inspected....
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