Anyone employed in healthcare knows that literally everything they do, and every move they make is governed by some type of law. Do you need to stop in the hallway to tie your shoes? There probably is a law regarding even this, but all joking aside, the law is complex and you never know when something that seems relatively minor could end up affecting your entire practice. This is especially true when working in elder care and that’s why it is vital to have a rock solid understanding of the law in an effort to protect both those in your care as well as your establishment. Whether you are a nurse practitioner or a business administrator, it is your duty to fully understand health law and policy as it relates to elder care.
Why You Should Consider a Masters in Health Law
When working in healthcare with any segment of the population it is imperative to understand healthcare laws but when working with elders and children who are at times ‘voiceless,’ it is even more important. These groups of people often can’t speak for themselves and as a result often lack the care they need for a quality of life. Children cannot tell you what is wrong with them and if regulations impede your discovery then you may miss some very important facts. A masters in health law would prepare you for the steps necessary to protect patients who don’t seem to have an advocate.
Not only can you become an advocate for those patients who can’t speak for themselves but your understanding of health law places you in a position of authority with your job and more attractive to potential employers when seeking employment elsewhere. With a masters in nursing, for example, matched by a masters in health law you can be counted on to run a facility that is beyond reproach. Although most elder care facilities have good intentions, as mentioned above, the law is complex and ignorance is no excuse. Well-meaning elder care homes have been closed down for violations they weren’t even aware they were ‘guilty’ of.
Most, if not all, major hospitals across the nation employ what is called a patient advocate. In geriatric hospitals there is an even greater need for licensed advocates with a well-grounded knowledge of health law. Over and over the subject of patients not being able to speak for themselves keeps coming up but it is a sad reality that a growing number of geriatric patients suffer from dementia. What would you do if a family contacted you with a concern that their mother or grandmother was not being given the care appropriate to her condition? What if the family suspected abuse or worse yet, what would you do if there was no law in place for a particular need?
When it comes to elder care, this is one segment of the population that often gets overlooked simply because by this point in their lives they are unable to express their wants and needs. An online masters in health law could help you lobby for better legislation while seeing to the immediate needs of the patients you are advocating for. Elders were the backbone of our nation for more years than many of us can count so now it is our turn to be the backbone for them. Learn the laws and you are in a better position to protect and defend and that’s the bottom line.