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Chapter 2


to be held responsible for, obligation employees have to their manager for the successful completion of an assigned task


Process whereby businesses, educational institutions and programs, and health care organizations are determined to meet standards and performance criteria as established by an accrediting agency. Established CAAHEP or ABHES

advance directive

a document stating a person's wishes about health care when that person cannot make his or her own decisions


omission or commission of an act that a reasonable or prudent person would not do under the same conditions.

risk management

steps taken to minimize danger, hazard, and liability.


voluntary statement of facts sworn before an authority to be true.


process by which an agency or organization establishes a minimum knowledge base for a given health care profession and awards a credential to individuals that meet the minimum knowledge level. Can be by:


branch of philosophy dealing with good conduct and moral values


a general ethical approach to right or wrong in which an act is not judged by its consequences, but rather is itself in accord with what is right or wrong

incident report

documentation that describes any injury or potential for injury suffered by a patient in a healthcare agency


an obligation to do or not do something, the state of being legally responsible for the harm one causes another person


professional misconduct that results in harm to another

moral principles

guides for ethical decision making that include the concern that we have for the well being of others, respect for individual autonomy, basic justice, prevention of harm to others, and refusal to take unfair advantage.

Safe Medical Device Act of 1990

this act requires medical device users to report to the manufacturer and FDA incidents that reasonably suggest that there is a probability that a medical device has caused or contributed to the death, serious injury, or illness of a patient.

scope of practice

professional duty limits based on state and federal law and on an individual's education and experience, and hospital policies.

tort law

describes any civil wrong independent of a contract


a belief that the end result is a necessary condition for evaluating an action, and that the action must produce the greatest good for the greatest number


first pleading filed by plaintiffs attorney


the person accused

federal law

jurisdiction is given to federal courts in cases


court appointed protector for an individual

Iatrogenic injury

an injury resulting from the activity of health care professional

law, common

principles that have evolved and continue to evolve on the basis of court decisions

law, statutory

any law prescribed by the action of a legislature

Aeger primo

"The patient first" motto of the AST

Doctrine of borrowed servant

the one controlling the employee has greater responsibility than the one paying the employee

Doctrine found corporate negligence

a health institution may be found negligent for failing to ensure that an acceptable level of patient care was provided.

Doctrine of forseeability

the ability to reasonably anticipate that harm or injury may result because of certain acts or omissions.

Doctrine of personal liability

Each person is responsible for his or her own conduct, even though others may be liable as well.

Doctrine of the reasonable prudent person

a person should perform an action as would and reasonable person of ordinary prudence

Primum non nocere

"Above all, do no harm"

Res ipsa loquitur

"the thing speaks for itself"

Respondeat superior

"Let the master answer" an employer is vicariously liable for the behavior of an employee working within his or her scope of employment

intentional torts

defamation, libel, slander, assult, battery, false imprisonment, occur when a person has been intentionally or deliberately injured by another

unintentional torts

Patient misidentification; performing an incorrect procedure; foreign bodies left in patients secondary to incorrect sponge/instrument counts; patient burns; falls and positioning errors resulting in injury; improper handling, identification, or loss of specimens; incorrect drugs or incorrect administration; harm secondary to use of defective equipment/instrument; loss of or damage to patients personal property; harm secondary to a major break in sterile technique; exceeding authority or accepted functions; violation of hospital policy; abandonment of patient, negligence (omission of an act that a reasonable & prudent person would perform in a similar situation) or the commission of something a reasonable person would not do in that situation are the primary forms. Also, malpractice.

general consent

consent given for all routine services, general diagnostic procedures, medical treatment, & other normal & routine touching

express consent

is a direct verbal or written statement granting permission for treatment

implied consent

type of consent in which a patient who is unable to give consent is given treatment under the legal assumption that he or she would want treatment

informed consent

a client's agreement to accept a course of treatment or a procedure after receiving complete information, including the risks of treatment and facts relating to it, from the physician


A credentialing procedure whereby one's name is listed on a register as having paid a fee and/or met certain criteria within a profession


a government agency authorizes an individual to work in a given occupation after the individual has completed an approved education program and passed a state board test


a record of being qualified to perform certain acts after passing an examination given by an accredited professional organization


suggests ethical standards apply absolutely across all cultures.

social relativism

Society determines the principles in order to protect and maximize personal welfare

Personal relativism

the individual determines the principles in order to protect & maximize personal welfare

Situational relativism

Universalism/absolutism, social relativism, personal relativism all have to be applied to a given circumstance and the circumstance dictates the rightness of the action

surgical conscience

The basis for the practice of strict adherence to sterile technique by the surgical team members. It Involves level of honesty and moral integrity, by asking, "is this task within the scope of my practice"?

Code of ethics for the Surgical Technologist of 1985

guidelines, usually expressed in a series of statements, which provide ethical standards of conduct for a profession.
1. To maintain the highest standards of professional conduct and patient care.
2. To hold in confidence, with respect to the patient's beliefs, all personal matters.
3. To respect and protect the patient's legal and moral rights to quality patient care.
4. To not knowingly cause injury or any injustice to those entrusted to our care.
5. To work with fellow technologists and other professional health groups to promote harmony and unity for better patient care.
6. To always follow the principles of asepsis.
7. To maintain a high degree of efficiency through continuing education.
8. To maintain and practice surgical technology willingly, with pride and dignity.
9. To report any unethical conduct or practice to the proper authority.
10. To adhere to the Code of Ethics at all times in relationship to all members of the health care team.

AHA patient's bill of rights

Adopted by American hospital association in 1972. A series of 12 rights afforded to patients during a hospital stay. In 2003 it became known as Patient care partnership

Patient Self-determination Act of 1990

Requires that hospitals and other health care facilities provide written information to patients about:
The right to make medical decisions.
The right to executive Advanced Directives.
The rights to refuse treatment.


independence; the condition of having control over one's life, or self-governing


A discipline dealing with the ethical implications of biological research methods and results, especially in medicine.

Incident reports

Tools used in risk management to report an accident or a deviation from policies or prescribed orders involving clients, employees, or visitors.


Established April 14, 2003. The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act, a federal law protecting the privacy of patient-specific health care information and providing the patient with control over how this information is used and distributed.

AST guideline statement - Neutral zone

AKA: "no pass or no touch" technique. An area designated within the sterile field in which sharps may be safely placed by one person and retrieved by another. Area that ensures no person-to-person passing occurs.


accreditating bureau and health education schools, has been nationally recognized by the U.S. Secretary of Education as a private, non-profit, independent accrediting agency since 1968.
cirriculum requirements:
*nine specific areas of study
*externship 160hrs.
graduates from both programs are eligible to sit for national exams


one who brings a court action against another


A statement one expects to prove true

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