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Registered Nursing Practitioners: Draft Regulations Published on Disciplinary Matters

August 17, 2012

Department of Health

Draft regulations on disciplinary matters affecting registered nursing practitioners have been published in the Government Gazette for comment.

One promulgated, they will determine when and how the South African Nursing Council may take disciplinary steps in response to an act or omission on the part of a registered practitioner.

The draft regulations can be found in notice 660 of Government Gazette 35596 dated 14 August 2012, with three months provided in which stakeholders may submit written comment.

Proposed in terms of Nursing Act 33 of 2005, the draft regulations pertain to nursing practice in respect of:

• patient assessment, diagnosis, treatment, care, referral, advocacy, prescription, collaboration and coordination;
• maintaining the health status of a patient, including;
– preventing accidents, injury or other trauma;
– preventing the spread of disease and infection;
– monitoring all diagnostic and therapeutic interventions;
– record-keeping; and
– the special needs of vulnerable, high-risk patients;
• patient identification; and
• emergency medical treatment.

It is proposed that disciplinary steps should be taken when a registered practitioner performs a professional act for which he/she is not trained or in which he/she has inadequate experience (other than in an emergency).

Other issues addressed in the draft regulations include:

• adverse conduct;
• the manner in which professional services are advertised or touted;
• offering, receiving or sharing financial incentives;
• the disclosure of information;
• collaboration with/support for other health care professionals; and
• midwifery.