Maj Dapple D Wankhar, Brig Mala Singh
Abstract: Background of the study Ethical and legal responsibility lies with any professional license. Doctors take the oath pledging to do no harms to patients, lawyers are held responsible for their clients in court, and architects are responsible for the safety of the structures they build. Nurses are no different. Whether its administering a medication or obtaining an informed consent from a pre-op patient, nurses may be held responsible if they fail to meet certain standards. Objectives The objectives of the study are to assess the knowledge regarding legal aspects in psychiatric nursing among staff nurses in a selected tertiary care hospital and to determine the relationship between knowledge and selected demographic variables. Methods and Materials The study is a descriptive study in which Simple Random Sampling is adopted. Knowledge of 60 Nurses was assessed regarding legal aspects of Psychiatric Nursing by using Self-administered semi-structured questionnaire comprising of 30 items which was modified after pilot study. Results Association between various sample characteristics and knowledge regarding legal aspects in Psychiatric Nursing was assessed by applying Mann Whitney and Annova test. Test results showed association between knowledge score of nurses and years of Clinical Experience (18.74 4.368), whereas the various sample characteristics, i.e, age of Nurses, professional qualification and present clinical area, showed no association with existing Knowledge score. Conclusion The study findings revealed that maximum (53.33 %) subjects had average knowledge on legal aspects of psychiatric nursing with a mean knowledge score of 17.93 4.52. This study revealed that none of the nurses had undergone any In-service education regarding legal aspects of psychiatric nursing, which highlights the lack of regular continuing nurses education regarding legal aspects of psychiatric nursing, an essential aspect in todays world.
Keywords: legal aspects, psychiatric nursing, nurses, knowledge