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Applying the standards for acting within autonomous scope of practice

Part 2: Scope of practice standards

Applying the standards for acting within autonomous scope of practice

  • When you are planning care for a client, it is important to keep the client at the forefront and to include the health care team in decision-making. This may include consulting others before arriving at a nursing diagnosis, finalizing a plan of care, or determining the most appropriate nursing intervention for a client.
  • When you are determining whether a client would benefit from an activity, consider:
    • the known risks and benefits to the client,
    • the possible outcomes of performing the activity,
    • any other factors relevant to the specific situation.
  • Determine the safeguards and resources needed to manage the outcomes before you carry out an activity, considering both the intended and any possible unintended outcomes that can be reasonably anticipated.
  • Based on a change in the client's condition or wishes, it may be appropriate to change or cancel an order for performance of an activity that is within autonomous scope of practice and your individual competence.  For example, you might cancel an ordered diet based on your assessment of the client’s ability to swallow. If you change an order, it is important that you know and work within the boundaries of the controls on practice, and that you consult appropriately with the professional who gave the order (or their delegate) and other members of the health care team.
  • Credible information sources to help you with decision-making and planning care for a client include your organization’s decision support tools and clinical practice documents, current literature and research, and information from other health professionals.

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