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Legal, Policy and Ethical Aspects of Prescribing - Essay Example

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Legal, Policy and Ethical Aspects of Prescribing

Are nursing laws, ethics, and policies solely sufficient in making medical prescriptions? This paper will therefore analyze nursing laws, ethics, and policies about prescription. The paper will also evaluate the significance of each factor in making of prescription by nurses. Just like any other practice or professional, nursing is subject to the law. The constitution is the supreme law of a country and this indicate that nursing practice is under the country’s constitution (Adams, 2004). This implies that a self-sufficient nurse needs to know the laws that pertain to prescription. A prescription nurse is also expected to have a good knowledge on over the counter medicine (OTC) and the implication of the concerning them (Graham, 1995). For instance, while administering OTC a nurse should ensure that the prescription order from the doctor matches with the label of dispensed medicine. The rightful user of the medicine should be identified. Correct dosage administered concerning age, body mass index, dosage form, symptoms among other factors. Correct timing should be done. Failure to adhere to one or several of these guidelines leads to legal or ethical implications. A nurse is expected to have knowledge of the statutory law that apply to prescription (Funigiello, 2005). Accurate or lawful prescription of drugs requires the knowledge of manufacturer’s guidance literature. Making prescriptions in accordance to this literature can protect prescription nurses from the consequences of the law following a complaint from a patient According to the law, misappropriate prescription can be judged as a criminal law or civil case under the law of torts (Bodenheimer, & Grumbach, 2005). Nurses have the obligation of patient education whereby supportive guidelines on the correct use of prescribed medication is given. The guidance or briefing should be accurate and should consider enlightening the user on potential dangers. The patient or user of the medication should be able to understand all the instruction. When the patient is suspected to be lacking in understanding of the information given, then their guardians should be briefed instead. This helps the nurse to avoid most torts, which may arise from wrongful prescription guidelines (Purtilo, 2005). It is also a requirement of the law that a patient’s medical and prescription information be held with confidentiality to avoid ethical issues. Although the laws provide the nurse with important guidelines in the nursing practice, the law is bound on internal hospital environment matter implying the need for more analytic principles. Nursing ethics are the accepted codes of conduct in the nursing profession, these codes of conduct provide nurses with important guidelines required during prescription. Nursing ethics are based on human conscience that is based on accepted wrongs and rights (Borkowski, 2005). A nurse is therefore expected to make prescription decisions based on the expected outcome of a patient. The committee of safety on medicine (CSM) provide guidelines to nurses that fit well as nursing ethics. Most of the times, cases of disability, mental health complications, critical illnesses and age of patients will demand careful approach especially at times of emergency. Nurses should act at the best interest of the patient whilst following legal and ethical guidelines at the same time. Nursing ethics also provide practising nurse with the ...Show more


Legal, Policy and Ethical Aspects of Prescribing As a profession and a practice, nursing is based on making of decision meant to save a life or improve the quality of life. Nurses are expected to make decisions such as which injection to give, how to take care of a patient, how to keep a patients private information and in some unfortunate times how to end a life…
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Legal, Policy and Ethical Aspects of Prescribing essay example
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