This article is written by Quin Hoskins. Having studied law and several science-related subjects at degree level, this has provided him with the perfect foundation to cover an eclectic range of topics in his freelance writing career. From the Institute of Legal Secretaries and PAs to countless travel sites, he is proud to be associated with companies and organizations that are definitely at the top of their game. The flexibility of his freelance writing business allows him to devote a significant proportion of his time to study and is finishing his last course – out of 6 – towards his LLB (Hons) this year. He is also an avid traveler and has proudly visited 40 other countries to date, with much more planned for the future.
If you have been following this blog over recent weeks, you may have read the articles about the tort of negligence and how you can attempt to defend a claim if litigation is ever pursued against you. If this has left you feeling more than a little nervous, now will be the perfect time for you to examine your repertoire of skills and ensure you are up-to-date with modern practices; after all, as a freelance medical professional, the onus is upon you to make sure you undertake regular training sessions.
Assess Your Skills Truthfully
It should become good practice for you to get into the habit of assessing your skills at least six times per year (around every two months would be ideal). Whilst you’re working in your everyday life, you will know when you have felt that there are some skills that are slightly lacking over others. If this is ever to do with how you treat your patients, it is imperative you seek training to improve this skill as soon as you possibly can. It is the niggly little skill such as this that might get you in the end. You may end up performing a procedure incorrectly and this could lead you wide open to a lawsuit. Never, ever let things go this far. Be completely truthful with yourself when you assess your skills and aim for perfection in every single thing you do.
Seek Regular Training Sessions
The world of medicine is ever evolving: customs and practices can change on a regular basis and it is ultimately your responsibility to remain abreast with all these updates. With this in mind, ensure you schedule regular refresher training sessions. You might also like to track down a reliable website that will send you regular updates on any changes in your niche of the medical profession – this type of facility is worth its weight in gold. Keeping up with the industry updates will mean that you can implement the new practices immediately, rather than waiting for your next training refresher. I repeat, though, you must make sure the information being fed through to you are coming from a totally trusted and reliable source, as well as falls in-line with the laws, rules, and regulations that are pertinent to your particular country.
Types of Skills
The types of skills you will be assessing will depend on the level of care you administer to your patients – obviously. If you are a nurse, you will not be quite so concerned with the diagnoses of medical conditions and issuing of medicines – unless you are a nursing practitioner (which is very similar to a doctor but this position only exists in some countries). Doctors and surgeons are required to evaluate a much vaster range of skills and their everyday work can and does mean the difference between life and death for many of the people they treat. Therefore, their skills have to be top notch and there can never be any excuses.
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Excellent Patient Care
No matter which level you work at in the medical profession: be you a top, world-class cardiothoracic surgeon or an auxiliary nurse, one thing remains the same for everyone – excellent patient care should be at the heart of everything you do. This means every single medical professional must always treat every patient with respect at all times. All too often, nowadays, many medical professionals forget that they have progressed too far up the career ladder to have to worry about trivial issues such as their bedside manners – this should never be the case! Every medical professional should always exercise exactly the same level of care and attention to all of their patients. Those that fail to do so, can expect a formal complaint filed against them, and in this day and age, by a public that is becoming increasingly litigious and knowledgeable of their legal rights.
If Your Skills Remain Lacking
If there are certain skills connected with the performance of specific practices where you lack confidence and just do not seem to be able to master, it is essential that you refrain from performing them in your freelance career. If this type of practice is connected with an issue that you encounter rarely, this shouldn’t pose too much of a problem. Patients and clients would always much rather you be truthful about a skill that you've not quite perfected than bungling your way through a clumsy procedure and risk injuring your patient and facing consequential legal action.
You are a freelance medical professional who has the ultimate duty of care to all of your patients. With this in mind, you owe it to them and to yourself to ensure your repertoire of skills is at the highest level possible. Where regular skill assessments reveal any skills that may be even slightly lacking, you must take the necessary action to brush up on your skills and ensure your patients remain safe in your hands at all times.
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