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Elective Surgery is Essential - August 2020 - Subscribe to Outpatient Surgery Magazine

Outpatient Surgery Magazine, providing current information on Surgical Services, Surgical Facility Administration, Outpatient Surgery News and Trends, OR Excellence and more.

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1 8 • O U T P A T I E N T S U R G E R Y M A G A Z I N E • A U G U S T 2 0 2 0 O ne of the many duties of perioperative nurses is to make sure cases start on time. No matter how full the day's OR schedule, however, they should never rush the informed con- sent process. Their good intentions of trying to move cases along places them between surgeons and patients, and puts them and your facility at risk of being sued for failing to provide proper informed consent before procedures. Informed consent is essentially a social contract between a surgeon and a patient. The surgeon is supposed to have a discussion with the patient about the benefits, risks and alternatives to the pro- cedure so the patient can make an informed deci- sion about whether to go through with the surgery. The conversation is what puts the "informed" in informed consent. Let's say a pre-op nurse asks a patient to sign the consent form, but the patient says he was online the night before and read that impotence was a poten- tial side effect of the radical prostate surgery he's scheduled to undergo, and wants to know how like- The Ins and Outs of Informed Consent Nurses who interfere with the process can land in legal trouble. Medical Malpractice William Duffy, RN, MJ, CNOR, FAAN CONVERSATION STARTER Nurses can make sure patients understand the questions asked on informed consent forms, but can't answer questions in place of the surgeon before procedures begin.

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