Informed Consent Geriatric Nursing

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Pages: 5

Informed Consent and the Geriatric Patient
Cheryl Glaus
Brigham Young University-Idaho

Nursing 400
Sherry Stott
October 22, 2015

Informed Consent and the Geriatric Patient
Informed consent is a legal term that indicates autonomous, informed authorization by a patient to undergo a medical treatment or medical procedure. The physician or other medical personnel cannot make medical decisions for a patient. The patient should be provided with accurate, significant, and appropriate information so that the patient can make informed medical choices. Informed consent includes the accurate discussion between a physician and patient that covers all information of a planned treatment. This discussion should be documented
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The manager’s role includes making sure that the process of informed consent is correctly achieved. In other words, informed consent is completed before the procedure and the doctor also signs it. The witness’ role is important for legal reasons and the nurse is responsible for witnessing the signing of the informed consent. As a patient advocate, the nurse encourages the patient to express any concerns and makes sure that any questions are brought to the doctor's attention prior to the procedure. Information given includes preoperative and postoperative teaching. The conclusion of this study suggests nurses play a fundamental role in obtaining informed consent. How well a nurse performs the role of obtaining informed consent depends on: clinical knowledge; education in ethical and legal matters; knowledge of the hospital policies; the patient's understanding; the family involvement; and cost factors (Susilo et al., …show more content…
Most geriatric patients are competent to provide consent for medical care. As a manager, witness, and advocate, nurses should help with the consent process by using clear communication, alleviating obstacles such as pain and anxiety and having an interpreter available for language barriers. Nurses also need appropriate education and clinical knowledge, understand ethical and legal matters and have knowledge of hospital policies to assist the patient in the consent process (Susilo et al., 2013). If a surrogate decision-maker is needed the most qualified client representative should be requested and the patient should be given the opportunity for assent (Batchelor-Aselage et al., 2014). If the patient is incompetent to make medical decisions and the care is an emergency and no other decision maker is available, regulation may prevent the position to undertake treatment with appropriate documentation (Batchelor-Aselage et al., 2014). The reason for informed consent is to encourage autonomy, to protect the patient from unwanted treatment and procedures, and to help the patient make suitable medical care decisions that connect with the patient’s own values. Informed consent is a process of mutual decision-making, not just an act of obtaining a signature on a consent