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Confidentiality-A Must Have Trait For A Nursing Assistant

Apr 18, 2008
Nursing Assistants are exposed to a wide variety of events taking place in the medical field. It is crucial that they are aware of the importance of maintaining confidentiality in all aspects of their job.

Nursing Assistants are well trained in the policies and procedures of the facility. While it is important to follow them, it is not recommended to discuss them outside of the facility. For example, you don't want to provide others with confidential information regarding evacuation and other emergency procedures. Doing so many compromise the safety of the patients and staff during a natural disaster or violent attack.

Patients requiring care in a medical facility are to have their privacy protected. This means you do not discuss their care or other personal information with any other person except staff they have an interest in the care of that patient. Confidentiality becomes an issue when you know someone in the facility or someone asks you why someone else in there.

All patients have the right to their privacy being maintained. Compromising this information is a direct violation of every medical practice. Providing such information can result in termination of your job, and in some cases, the loss of your Nursing Assistant Certification.

Communicable diseases can surface in medical facilities. It is important that you follow the policies and procedures set in place by the particular facility your work with. However, do not release information regarding such diseases to anyone. This could result in a panic over the possibility of an epidemic, and lead to patients wanting to leave the facility against medical advice.

The proper medical staff will release information on communicable diseases to the proper agencies. Often this includes the area health department. They can then help the medical facility incorporate a plan of action to remedy the solution. The decision might be made to share the information with the area newspapers in an effort to allow them to protect themselves and to seek medical attention if they display the symptoms of a communicable disease that requires treatment.

Confidentiality also includes other medical staff. Nursing Assistants should not be disclosing any information they overhear among other staff in regards to a patient. Likewise, they should not disclose any information that they hear about the private interactions of staff. Often referred to as gossip, this violation of confidentiality can result in poor working relationships. The result is often a stressful work environment and patients not receiving the best care because lines of communication are not open.

To protect yourself, it is important that you clearly understand the basics of confidentiality and why it is so important in the Nursing Assistant profession. Make sure you are fully aware of the specific policies and procedures in place for the facility you work for prior to accepting employment. In addition, it is the responsibility of the Nursing Assistant to report any violations of the confidentiality policies and procedures to the proper person. Not doing so makes you as much a part of the violation as those who committed it.

While it is human nature to talk and discuss things in common, make sure the information you are sharing in regards to your work are being shared with those who need to know the information. It can be humiliating enough for individuals who need to be in a medical facility without worrying about who is going to find out about what took place while they were in care.
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