After CNA training, you’ll hold a professional license. Along with that license, there are certain legal responsibilities. In order to continue to enjoy a long and stress free career as a CNA, you should review and fully understand the legal issues you may face in your new career. If you fail to remain on the right side of the law, you could face significant consequences.
Even beyond federal laws, you’ll need to familiarize yourself with local and state laws relevant to your career after CNA training. The best way to do so is by taking legal refresher courses as part of your continuing education CNA training credits.
In order to help you stay on the right path, we’ve put together a list of the most common guidelines concerning the law, your career, and possible mistakes that you’ll need to avoid.
After CNA Training – Laws to Remember
Patient Right to Privacy
The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act was enacted in 1996. It’s main purpose is to protect the confidentiality of all patients. After CNA training, you’ll be responsible for safeguarding the privacy of patients. Never discuss patient conditions, use names, or identify any medical issues with anyone outside of the medical staff directly involved with the patient.
Malpractice isn’t reserved for medical doctors. The term applies to anyone in the medical field and involves negligent conduct resulting in harm to a patient. There are certain responsibilities and procedures that were outlined to you during CNA training. Practicing outside the scope of your duties, not providing care, or failure to follow care instructions fully can all result in malpractice.
During CNA training you should have learned the parameters that constitute neglect. Lack of reasonable care often results in harm or injury to a patient, but a CNA can be found to be negligent even if the patient does not end up harmed in any way. Failure to lift and lock the side rails of the bed, failure to buckle a patient into a wheelchair, or failure to quickly clean up a fluid that has been spilled can all be considered negligence, even if the patient does not end up hurt. Negligence often occurs when a CNA is in a hurry.
Physical, psychological, sexual and verbal are the four most common types of abuse. Your CNA training covers abuse in detail. Here’s a quick refresher.
- Physical Abuse – Hitting, kicking, slapping, or being rough with patients. Physical abuse is also when a CNA provides incorrect treatment.
- Psychological Abuse – Intimidating a patient through harassment, threats, bullying speech or anything else that can cause mental or emotional harm.
- Sexual Abuse – Seductive or sexually harassing actions directed at or around a patient. Forcing a patient to perform sexual acts is also sexual abuse.
- Verbal Abuse – Using language or tone to harass a patient, demean them, or intimidate them in any way.
Patient’s personal items should be safe during their stay at any medical facility.
False Imprisonment and Involuntary Seclusion
Every patient has the absolute freedom to come and go as they please. Patients may not be restricted or restrained in any way without a doctor’s specific orders. If a patient is restrained or held against their will, the crime is legally called involuntary seclusion and is very serious.
Your mission after CNA training is to provide your patients with the best care possible. Follow these guidelines and frequently review what you’ve learned in CNA training.
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