How to Ensure Patient Rights

When it comes to ensuring patient rights as a nurse or CNA, you play an invaluable role. There are few professions that interact as heavily with patients as a certified nursing assistant. With this unique level of interactions comes a unique responsibility. You must actively work to educate and respect the rights of patients, regardless of any situation. In an attempt to clarify the roles and responsibilities of respecting patient rights, the following list of Patient Rights is followed by methods in which you can ensure these rights are upheld, and which you will need to know for your CNA exam (

Respecting and Protecting Patient Rights – A Breakdown

The following are different scenarios followed by what you, as a CNA, can do to ensure these rights are met. This is by no means a comprehensive list, but rather a compilation of the most important rights and how you can ensure these rights are upheld. You may learn these, among others, during your nursing training (see more here).

Patient Right to Understand His or Her Rights – You can ensure the patient knows their rights by meeting with your supervising nurse or social worker and obtaining a copy of patient rights to discuss with the patient.

Treatment Filled With Dignity and Respect – The easiest way to satisfy this right is by simply calling the patient by name, which eliminates any possible misunderstanding that could be viewed as discriminatory by ailing patients.

The Right to Have Needs Met – Do everything within your power to satisfy the realistic needs of all patients.

Be Told About His Current Condition and Treatment Options – As a nurse or CNA, you should never speak for the doctor or other nurses. When a patient asks about his current condition and treatment options, take this question to the lead physician or supervising nurse. Work to have this question answered without giving the answer yourself.

Right to Know Cost of Care – Refer the patient to the accounting department or social worker. While a patient has the right to know what he is being charged, do not discuss this with the patient as this turns into a serious liability on behalf of the health care facility.

Right to Refuse Treatment – All patients have the right to refuse treatment. If this becomes an issue, encourage the patient to ask questions and voice their concerns. Suggest a second opinion, if possible, and speak with your supervising nurse regarding the patient concerns. Never suggest the patient must go through with a treatment.

Receive Treatment by a Physician of Their Choice – Respect their choices regarding who the patient wishes to receive treatment and care from. Try to do what you can to satisfy this right.

Right to Practice His Religion – All patients have the right to practice their religion. Assist the patient to visit their religious services within the facility or offer to call a religious clergy of their choice.