August 5, 2014
Article by Global Pre-Meds
Hospital doctor shadowing & global health experience programs.
With the rise in medical litigation, insurance fraud and medical malpractice cases, the legal world often overlaps with the medical world. However, since the majority of lawyers, insurance companies and other legal entities are not always familiar with the world of medicine and its various nuances, they need an experienced professional in the medical field to guide them through medical practices and various medical jargons. All this medical jargon must be explained in a way that is easy for non-medical professionals to understand. This is where a Legal Nurse Consultant comes in.
Functions of a Legal Nurse Consultant
A legal nurse consultant basically acts a consultant to legal bodies. In cases that deal with medicine, these nurses step in and offer their expertise in the area. Since nurses are usually very familiar with all aspects of hospitals and medical facilities, they are in the perfect position to help both the medical institution as well as legal institutions.
How does this work? For example, in a suit that is against a hospital, a legal nurse consultant will help the lawyer go through all the evidence. Even though a lawyer can pick out the legal aspects of the case, there may be a lot of medical jargon that he or she will not be able to understand. The legal nurse consultant will help with these medical aspects. The nurse will be able to study patient charts, determine cases where a pre-existing condition of a patient may be relevant and see what evidence can be used in the court.
In certain cases, legal nurse consultants are also asked to be witnesses during trials due to their expertise in the field. Their witness statements are crucial for judges, lawyers and the jury to understand the medical facts behind every case.
Qualifications of a Legal Nurse Consultant
In most cases, a legal nurse consultant should have attended nursing school and obtained a valid degree as a Registered Nurse from an accredited nursing school or a traditional university.
A legal nurse consultant usually also has a lot of experience in the medical field. This work experience will help the nurse be familiar with all kinds of medical procedures.
For those who want to have an official qualification for legal nursing, they can attend a course and get certified as a legal nurse consultant. However, in order to be eligible for the course, they must have a minimum of five years’ work experience as a nurse as well as several hours of legal nursing experience within the past three years.
Benefits of Legal Nursing
Legal nursing is a great field to get into if you are interested in law. Legal nurse consultants are well paid and they are highly respected in the medical field and we’ll as the legal field. These consultants are hired by various hospitals, insurance companies, clinics and they have numerous job opportunities in the public and private field. Another advantage of legal nursing is that it can be practiced by nurses who are still working as well as by retired nurses.