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Atlanta Legal Nurse Consultant Presents Legal/Ethical/Safety Issues In Nursing To The Athens Chapter Of The Georgia Nurses Association


Atlanta, Georgia – Atlanta legal nurse consultant Liz Buddenhagen, registered nurse and certified legal nurse consultant discussed legal, ethical and safety issues with the Athens Georgia Nurses Association chapter members on July 12, 2010.

About the Talk:

Buddenhagen said that legal, ethical and safety nursing issues are closely related. When reviewing medical records for legal purposes, deviations and adherences to standards of care are addressed. The legal standards of care are comprised of what a reasonable and prudent nurse would do in similar circumstances and are further derived from practice standards, guidelines and sources commonly encountered in clinical settings.

She said a legal nurse consultant will relate the care rendered to the American Nurses Association Standards of Practice, the Georgia Nurse Practice Act, the employing institution’s policy and procedures, any guidelines available to the specific practice issue – such as the Infusion Nursing Standards of Practice for IV therapy, current nursing literature and Joint Commission national safety goals, among others.

Buddenhagen said “in order for a medical negligence case to be deemed eligible to qualify as a lawsuit, that there are four legal elements that must be met: duty, breech of duty, damages and causation.”

Applying the legal elements and the standards of care to any medical situation can assist the nurse in clinical decision making and can support safe practice and decrease risk of lawsuit filing and consequently patients receive optimum care.

The Atlanta legal nurse reviewed medical-legal case studies and the “Legal Eagle Eye Newsletter” for nurses was introduced as a resource of real life lawsuit results involving nurses.

About legal nurse consulting:

Buddenhagen described three roles nurses are involved with in the legal system: expert witness (testifying expert), behind the scenes consultant and fact witness.

“The legal nurse consultant is a registered nurse who performs a critical analysis of healthcare facts and issues and their outcomes and others as appropriate,” said Buddenhagen.

Legal nurses can consult on any medical-legal case including personal injury, product liability, medical negligence (medical malpractice), workers’ compensation, toxic torts, risk management, medical professional licensure investigation and criminal law.

About Liz Buddenhagen:

Liz Buddenhagen, registered nurse and certified legal nurse consultant, principal at Buddenhagen & Associates, has a thirty year clinical background in hospital nursing including critical care and assists Atlanta attorneys with their medically related cases. For more information, view website, email or call 770-725-2997.


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