This paper is written about the role of the research nurse in the decision of informed consent. It describes the risk and benefits of the informed consent to the registered nurse (RN).
As informed consent has become a mandatory practice of the medical field. Hence, Registered Nurses (RNs) should be aware of the requirements for informed consent, and the kinds of disclosure that are seen as relevant by the courts.
A registered nurse, who carries out a nursing procedure regarding an informed consent, has the duty to provide an explanation and document that explains the details of the consent covering all aspects such as to how it was obtained and all complications and risks related to the consent. The informed consent of a client is sometimes in verbal form and sometimes in the form of a written consent. The legal experts who deal with the issues related to medical consents are of the opinion that the person carrying out the treatment should provide the relevant information to the client. So, registered nurses should be aware of disclosure and consent requirements and make sure that these requirements are fulfilled or otherwise registered nurses are at the risk of professional sanctions, civil liability and/or criminal charges.
The risk that registered nurses face can be seen in the above paragraph as if they fail to collect the information that is important for the informed consent they are at the risk of criminal charges or professional sanctions. Registered Nurses are ethically responsibile for informing a physician if there is a situation where the patient does not have enough information to make a good decision, or that the decision is otherwise not fully informed. If the physician still does not help in this situation, the nurse’s ar the patient advocates which is beneficial for them.
There are however, advantages to the informed consent process. The benefit of the informed consent to the registered nurse is that the patient does not hold the nurse or the physician responsible only for his treatment but is equally involved in the process of his treatment. This also shifts the responsibility to patients to work with the registered nurses towards their health goals, which decreases the dependence on the nurses
Registered Nurses are able to retrieve information about health care professionals, programs, and institutional problems that most patients do not. As nurses are more close to the patient and have sound knowldege of the patient’s family values, they can judge the fact that when these patients and families require more information about consent so as to decide well about it (Hardingham, Lorraine, 2001).
Hardingham, Lorraine, 2001. Retrieved on October 21st 2006 from: