Legal issues of an Advanced Practice Nurse

Legal issues of an Advanced Practice Nurse



Legal issues of an Advanced Practice Nurse

Legal Implications

Within the healthcare context, advanced nurses are exposed to blood and other fluids that contain infectious diseases. Health care workers such as advanced practice nurses are constantlyexposed to pathogens through needle stick injuries in addition to other sharp objects. They are also exposed through skin pricks. The most common pathogens that are of concern to the study include human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), hepatitis, and other problems. Many organizations have realized this health risk and consequently implemented various measures and regulations to reduce case of this issue.The main governing body for employee relations in most public and private organizations is the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) (Hasak et al., 2017). OSHA has several guidelines that demand that workers that have been exposed need to comply with the Bloodborne Pathogens standard (29 CFR 1910.1030) (Boal et al., 2010). The Needlestick Safety and Prevention Act was created to prevent such cases by restricting manufacturers in the production of sharps protections. Therefore, employees are expected to understand this deep legal environment as they carry out their healthcare duties.

Impact on Future Practice

            The increase in the instances of infection with blood borne pathogens has created an aggressive working environment for advanced nurses. All types of institutions that operate within the blanket of OSHA are expected to adopt a wide range of standards that will reduce instances of the problem. Different categories of stakeholders are most likely going to be forced to increase their standards for medical devices (Díaz, & Johnson, 2016). Enforcing safety will eventually be a normal procedure that will apply to all hospital settings. Understanding why it is important to maintain high standards in dealing with blood-borne pathogens can also improve the employee morale levels. A safer working environment has been proved beneficial in increasing nurse productivity levels.


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Boal, W. L., Leiss, J. K., Fishman, C., Grafft, J. A., & National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health. (2010). Preventing exposures to bloodborne pathogens among paramedics. Cincinnati, OH: Dept. of Health and Human Services, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health.

Díaz, J. C., & Johnson, L. A. (2016). Health care worker follow-up compliance after occupational bloodborne pathogens exposure: A brief report. American journal of infection control44(12), 1738-1740.

Hasak, J. M., Novak, C. B., Patterson, J. M. M., & Mackinnon, S. E. (2017). Prevalence of Needlestick Injuries, Attitude Changes, and Prevention Practices Over 12 Years in an Urban Academic Hospital Surgery Department. Annals of Surgery.

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