Based on the following article (attached) please answer the questions below:
- Does the law require you to respond in disaster situations?
- Do RNs have a contractual responsibility to respond in disaster situations?
- Are you familiar with the laws in your state? (California)
Support your answers with evidence from scholarly sources.
Then, respond to 2 peers:
Propose challenges and possible conflicts that could arise, or present possible ethical situations or scenarios. Help one another find solutions.
Peer 1: According to the Emergency Law Inventory, “a licensed nurse who. in good faith, provides emergency care at the scene of an emergency which occurs outside the nurse’s employment will not be held legally responsible for acting or failing to act” (2017). According the statement nurses are not required to respond in the event of a disaster, however if duties were performed, “they can be held legally responsible if acting with extreme carelessness” (Emergency Law Inventory, 2017). In most states, nurses do not have a contractural responsibility to respond in disaster situations however, “they have a commitment to help care for and protect their patients while also protecting their own right to self-preservation and self-care” (ANA, 2017). I was actually not aware of the California law regarding a nurse’s responsibility to respond in disasters, but after reading the two articles it is apparent that they are not required to.
Peer 2: The nursing profession is one of the most selfless professions anyone can choose to do. The ANA limits that selflessness in its provisions to make sure we as nurses are taking care of ourselves as well as patients. Provision 5 of the ANA Code of Ethics states “Nurses should model the same health maintenance and health promotion measures that they teach and research, obtain health care when needed, and avoid taking unnecessary risks to health or safety in the course of their professional and personal activities” (American Nurses Association, 2015).
Nurses in California who act in good faith and provides emergency care outside of their place of employment are not legally held responsible for acting or choosing not to act. In the same breath, they can be held responsible if found to have acted with extreme carelessness. I am not familiar with the nursing laws in the state of California. Before graduation, I do plan on researching and familiarizing myself with what is expected and what I am legally obligate to do once I hold the license.