Consent is a voluntary agreement of action given and is extremely important

Table of Contents

Consent is a voluntary agreement of action given and is extremely important for both the person receiving and person performing. As a student practical nurse, it is key to always ask for consent and make sure that clients sign-off on consent forms, as these can prevent legal actions in the long run. What consent means to me is a protection barrier between verbal and physical actions and it is extremely important as a nurse to always make sure that consent forms are filled-out and completed before performing any task that requires one. The importance of consent toward the client is to inform the client of all of the actions that will be taking place. It is important for the client to review the consent form before signing, as there should be no miscommunication; this can prevent future legal battles for both the client and nurse. The importance of consent for the nurse assigned to the client is to protect themselves and the client. It is the nurse’s duty to make sure the client signs any type of required form or consent before performing any tasks as this can become a huge issue for both parties. The nurse is required to explain the consent form to the client and ensure the client has a proper and correct understanding of the information being given. In this case study, all of the British Columbia College of Nursing Professionals (BCCNP) Professional standard indicators apply. “Responsibility and Accountability, Competency-Based Practice, Client-Focused Provision of Services, Ethical Practice” (BCCNP, 2019). These Professional standards apply to this case study for the reason of Gina wanting to take accountability and responsibility as the nurse in charge of the consent form being properly explained to the client and not wanting to move forward with the operation until the consent form is completed. Competency-Based Practice was performed by Gina, as she informed the surgeon about the situation and did not want the operation to proceed until she was certain of the situation. Gina also incorporated Client-Focused Provision and Ethical Practice in the case study as she met with her client Mr. Saara and tried explaining to him about the consent form and why it is important for Mr. Saara to sign-off on it; Gina also wanted the surgeon to follow up on the error, as it is her duty to report and have more than one person witness the consent being signed. All four of the BCCNP Professional Standards apply when it comes to asking or giving consent. This indicates that the client has the “right to choose, refuse or revoke health care after being informed about the proposed plan of care” (BCCNP, 2019). Gina’s ethical obligations in this situation are to take on the responsibility of making sure that Mr. Saara, her client, has his consent form completed before starting his operation and also makes sure that Mr. Saara is aware of what he is signing and aware of every single detail of what is written on the form. Gina should also report to her supervisor regarding the conversation between her and the surgeon as she believes that the surgeon might not be performing proper practice of care and may need further investigation. What Gina should do first is to ask the surgeon to wait and look up the hospital policy and confirm the surgeon’s information given to her. Gina should also find a way to explain to Mr. Saara properly, what the consent form indicates, whether it is finding a family member or another staff member that speaks the same language or taking time to explain to him little by little until Gina is certain he understands and signs the consent form. If I was in Gina’s situation, the first thing I would do when realizing that my client did not sign-off on the consent form pre-admission, I would contact the admission office and ask why this was not done and what the reason behind it is, as there might be a bigger reason than perceived. Secondly, I would do my best to inform my client what the consent form is for and try to call a family member, friend, or staff member that speaks the same language to help out, so that my client is informed and knowledgeable on what is going on as he has the right to refuse or revoke. If these attempts are not successful, I would ask my supervisor or the charge nurse to help suggest any other ways of informing the client with what is going on. If I was in Gina’s position and the surgeon has answered me the way Gina was answered, I would not feel confident with allowing my client to go into the operating room and would feel that my client does not have the correct information about the operation. When the client does understand and give the consent, I would address the situation further with my supervisor, as I think that the surgeon needs to understand safe practice and professional standards. I would also follow up with the pre-admission and confirm the reasoning of why the consent form was not completed, as this can become a huge issue in the future, not just for the client or nurse, but for the entire hospital.