Confidentiality is a Must for Nursing Assistants

Confidentiality is a Must for Nursing Assistants
Confidentiality is a Must for Nursing Assistants

You’re working with a team of professionals to provide the best care possible to your patients. But what are you supposed to do when you’re at work, surrounded by so much sensitive information? It’s tempting to want to share all of that inside knowledge with your friends and family, but it’s not worth the risk. Here’s why:

Protect your patients.

As a nursing assistant, you are in a position where your patients need and deserve your utmost loyalty and confidentiality. They trust that their private health information will be kept confidential and protected from prying eyes. To maintain this trust, you must take every precaution to ensure that patient information remains confidential at all times.

  • Keep patient information confidential: Don’t share any personal health or medical details of your patients with anyone else, including family members and friends. Be especially careful not to share these details online—even on social media pages like Facebook or Twitter—or in public places such as waiting rooms or elevators.
  • Don’t discuss patient information with others: If your friend asks how his mom’s operation went last week, just tell him that she’s doing well after surgery without going into detail about what was done during her procedure (if he even asks).

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Avoid the temptation to gossip.

As a nursing assistant, you’re privy to an enormous amount of information about your patients’ lives. You have access to their personal information and medical histories and are often the first person they see every day.

This creates an environment where some people might view you as a confidante or best friend—but it also means that you need to avoid the temptation of gossiping about what you learn in that position.

Gossiping is not only unprofessional and inappropriate but can also be harmful if it affects someone’s health care or outcome in any way.

It may seem harmless at first, but once one person feeds into the rumor mill, it can get out of control quickly—and there’s no telling how far-reaching the consequences could be for those involved!

Additionally, gossiping could even get you into legal trouble if the details are sensitive enough (i.e., privileged medical information) or if someone overhears something confidential when they shouldn’t have been privy to such information in the first place (like if they were eavesdropping).

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Don’t read other people’s charts.

  • You may not read other people’s charts.
  • If you do, you will be held accountable.
  • It is illegal to share what you read with anyone else (including family members) or use it for your advantage.

Guard your information.

As a nursing assistant, it’s important to keep your information confidential as well.

Don’t share personal information with other staff members. It’s fine to have friends outside of work, but don’t discuss anything about your personal life with other staff members.

Don’t tell them about things like your messy apartment or recent breakup because they might see patients who know you from school or work and could put the pieces together if they know something about your personal life.

Don’t discuss personal problems with other staff members: If a patient confides in you about their medical condition or health issues, do not go back and tell another employee what happened because this would be an invasion of privacy for both you and the patient!

You should never share information about a patient’s medical condition with anyone else without first getting written consent from them (which is an exception to confidentiality).

Don’t talk about any health issues or problems with patients: Patients should always feel safe when they’re at the doctor’s office; so besides being professional while on duty as an RNA because it shows respect toward everyone involved—including yourself—it will help preserve trust between caregivers like yourself and those who seek treatment within this field overall

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Respect HIPAA.

The Incognito Nurse wants you to know that all forms of health care must comply with the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA). This federal law protects the privacy of personal health information and applies to all forms of health care. It applies to hospitals, clinics, doctors, nurses, and other health professionals.

Remember, you’re a professional

Remember, you’re a professional. You are not the nurse or doctor. You cannot make any medical decisions for your patient or give them advice about their health.

You cannot order anything for them, nor can you ask them to do something for themselves that would require an advanced level of training.

For example, asking a patient to change their wound dressing is outside of your duties as an assistant; it’s up to the nurse or doctor to decide when someone needs help with that task and how much help they need (if any).

If you’re unsure whether what you want to tell your patient is appropriate for your role as a nursing assistant—or if there is something specific that has been bothering you in particular—feel free to talk with one of our experienced team members!

We have several different resources available including brochures on topics such as confidentiality and infection control which address these issues specifically:

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Conclusion

We hope this article has helped you to understand the importance of confidentiality in nursing. As we said before, it’s not just about protecting your patients’ information—it’s about protecting yourself as well.

You can’t afford to lose your job or get sued because of something that was written on the wrong chart or overheard by someone who hasn’t been properly trained.

Remember that HIPAA laws are there to protect everyone involved with healthcare services: patients, doctors, nurses, and even assistants like yourself!