Student Dissertation

Agency : Informed Consent; Medical Ethics; Medical Negligence; Medico Legal Case; RTI; MTP; PCPNDT; Knowledge Indices

Objective : This study was undertaken with the following objectives: 1. To assess the level of knowledge and awareness among nurses on paralegal issues related to the hospitals. 2. To suggest suitable int

Background : Medical ethics have developed into a well based discipline which acts as a “bridge” between theoretical bioethics and the bedside patient care. The goal is “to improve the quality of patient care by identifying, analyzing, and the attempting to resolve the ethical problems that arise in practice”. The disciplines of law and ethics in medical practice overlap in many areas and yet each has its unique parameters and distinct focus. With the explosion of societal knowledge, people know more about their health and roles of health team members. If, in the course of health care provision, individuals are wronged or neglected, they are much more likely to raise issue. Average clients are aware of their rights as patients. They are prepared to enforce their claims. Hence, those who render nursing care must be well versed in the law with respect to nurse’s responsibilities and client’s rights.

Methodology : Keeping in mind the objectives of the, the methodology of the present study design was descriptive and was done prospectively to know nurse’s knowledge on paralegal aspects of nursing practice. It is a cross sectional study conducted for a period of three months from February to April, 2016. The study was set in Pandit Deen Dayal Upadhyay District Hospital in Varanasi and study area was different wards of the hospital. The target population for the study was newly appointed Nursing Staff in different wards of the hospital. 75 newly appointed nurses were interviewed using self-designed questionnaire. The questionnaire had seven sections on Knowledge and awareness of MTP Act, Transplantation of Human Organ Act, BMW Act, medical negligence, PCPNDT Act, Medical Ethics and RTI and informed Consent.

Findings : SPSS 20.0 was used to analyze the level of paralegal awareness among nursing personnel in Pandit Deen Dayal Upadhyaya District Hospital, Varanasi. Upon analysis, it was found that most of the newly appointed nurses (around 84 percent) fell in the age bracket of 21-30 years. Out of 84 percent, 47 percent nurses were between 26-30 years and 37 percent were between 21-25 years. A large majority of the newly appointed nurses (63 percent) were females. Out of the seventy-five nurses interviewed three fifths (59 percent) had a degree in B.Sc. nursing, whereas around 37 percent had degree in general nursing midwifery (GNM). Only four percent of the nurses had done Masters in Nursing. The analysis on paralegal awareness was done by computing knowledge index for each legal section. It was found out that the knowledge level of nurses regarding MTP Act, Informed consent and RTI was found to be high. The knowledge level of nurses for Transplantation of human organ Act, BMW, medical negligence and PCPNDT Act was found be of medium level based on the scoring criteria More efforts should be made to sensitize the nurses about law and liabilities related to their practice.


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