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Letter to the Alberta Association of Registered Nurses

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March 19, 2003

Ms. Jeanne Besner, RN, PhD, President
Alberta Association of Registered Nurses (AARN)

Ms. Donna Hutton RN, Med, Executive Director
Alberta Association of Registered Nurses (AARN)
11620 168 Street
Edmonton, AB T5M 4A6

We maintain that professional, registered, nurses must provide a leadership roll in providing safe, ethical compassionate, nursing care to clients in elder care facilities and assume the primary role of.

THEREFORE WE RECOMMEND THAT THE AARN ENDORSE THE FOLLOWING:

  1. The professional nurse must advocate the client’s right to not be prescribed or administered mind altering, psychotropic drugs without the informed consent of the client, the client’s guardian or other authorized representative.
  2. The professional nurse must respect and protect the client’s dignity and mental well being by not diapering a continent client or permanently relegating a client to bed without the informed consent of the client or the client’s guardian or other authorized representative.
  3. The professional nurse must advocate the client’s right, the client’s guardian or other authorized representative’s right to access nurse’s notes and medical file on demand and information relating to the client’s care
  4. The professional nurse must safeguard the client’s right to safety of personal belongings by establishing and maintaining a written protocol concerning missing or stolen items.
  5. The professional nurse must provide accurate, ethical recording, charting and reporting practices and demand accurate, ethical recording, charting and reporting practices from subordinates.
  6. The professional nurse has a duty to report unsafe, unethical practices and the neglect or abuse of clients.
  7. The professional nurse has a duty to maintain support for a fellow professional or other caregiver who reports elder abuse.
  8. The professional nurse must resist such practices or protocols which muzzle him/her from speaking out in advocacy.
  9. The professional nurse must anticipate and even demand high standards of care from other professionals such as physicians, physiotherapists, social workers, policemen and others.
  10. The professional nurse must demand and maintain the integrity and excellence of care even though the work place is staffed by less than qualified staff that may be non-registered or non-regulated.
  11. The professional nurse must confront and report the dilemma of understaffing which results in the warehousing of clients.
  12. The professional nurse who accepts clients into his/her care must act in the best interests of the client and assume professional responsibility for and not limited to specific issues such as supervising and facilitating:
    • Physiotherapy
    • Orthopedic support devices
    • Professional fitting for a wheelchair
    • Appropriate, adequate food, specific diets.
    • An environment that leads to positive mental and emotional health
  13. The professional nurse who accepts clients into his/her care must ascertain and demand that the facility is safe, functional and appropriate for the care of the clients.
  14. The professional nurse must refuse to sign a confidentiality statement which disallows her to perform her duty as a client advocate.

FURTHERMORE,

We maintain that presently there is failure in far too many elder care facilities, to provide safe, ethical, compassionate, nursing care to clients.

Therefore, we are asking the professional association, the Alberta Association of Registered Nurses to take on the primary role of advocacy for those in care and confront the significant issues which result in less than safe, ethical, compassionate, nursing care to clients.

Elder Advocates Of Alberta Society

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