Patient Rights

While nursing assistants usually provide care for those that cannot help themselves as will be covered in CNA training classes, these patients still have rights that must be respected when care is being dispensed.The patient also needs to be made aware of his or her rights as soon as possible after admission.

A certified nursing assistant (CNA) needs to ensure that he or she is aware of the patient’s rights and fully respects these rights.

Patient Rights:

1. Privacy

The first area that will be covered in CNA training classes are the privacy requirements set forth by the HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability Accountability Act) act of 1996 which ensures the privacy of patient information. This act requires that each institution create a set of policies and procedures to protect patient health information, limit access to patient information to only those parties involved in the patient’s care, create technological safeguards to protect patient information and the act lists the severe penalties that the institution will face if it violates these HIPAA standards.

Since patients have the right to personal privacy, the CNA should ensure that patient privacy is maintained in all aspects of care by ensuring that patient dignity is maintained when the CNA is fulfilling his or her duties with the patient. Patient health information should also only be discussed with the family member(s) that the patient designates.

2. Confidentiality

Another patient right that will be covered in a CNA training class is confidentiality. The CNA should only review the chart of the patient under his or her immediate care only. The CNA should refrain from gossip about the patient’s care. The patient’s health details should only be discussed with the nurse in charge, the doctor and other similar individuals involved in the care of the patient. Ensure that when discussing patient details, it is not done in an area where others can hear.

3. Respectful Care

The patient has the right to be treated respectfully and his or her dignity maintained in all areas of care. The patient should not be discriminated against based on race, gender, age, religion, etc. The patient has the right to receive expert care and to not be denied treatment.

4. Freedom of Choice

The patient has the right to choose the types of treatment that he or she will receive. The patient cannot be pressured into any treatment regimen. If the patient refuses treatment, this is their right and a CNA simply needs to inform the nurse in charge of this.

5. Informed Consent

The patient has to be informed before consenting to any treatment the type of treatment that is recommended, the medications as well as which doctors will be in charge of the treatment or the procedure.

6. Right to See Chart

The CNA should notify the nurse in charge when a patient demand to see their medical chart and then the nurse in charge will determine what to do since a lot of facilities have specific policies and procedures in place when a patient request to see their medical chart. Facilities usually have a medical records department with its own set of procedures to follow when medical records are desired by the patient.

7. Telephone and Mail Rights

Also covered in CNA training classes is the right of patients to have regular and easy access to a telephone to communicate with friends and family. The patient should be told where the phone is located and should expect privacy when they make phone calls. These telephone calls should not be recorded or monitored. The same rights apply to mail and all mail should not be tampered with or opened or read without patient consent.

8. Do Not Resuscitate Order

A patient has the right to determine what kind of heroic measures if any should be administered when he or she stops breathing or his or her heart stops.

9.Medical Durable Power of Attorney

The patient has the right to designate a person to have this medical durable power of attorney to make medically related decisions for the patient in the event that the patient becomes unable to make these kinds of decisions.

These are only some of the patient rights that will be covered during CNA training classes as well as by your employer that every CNA and patient needs to be aware of to ensure that care given is complete and proper. Awareness will ensure that you do not get into trouble for neglecting or abusing a patient’s rights.