What Does A Legal Nurse Consultant Do?
Legal Nurse Consultants (LNCs) leverage their medical and legal knowledge to work with law firms and attorneys on medical cases. They provide healthcare guidance to legal professionals representing patients and healthcare workers.
In some instances, legal professionals seek the expertise of LNCs to give information about how a criminal act was committed. They also review the records of patients who need medication or are claiming to have medical conditions.
As such, LNCs are in an excellent position to diversify their practices from attending to patients to contributing to cases in the courtroom. Note that there are several legal nurse consultant jobs to explore on Jooble and other top job search platforms. So, you don't need to fret regarding job availability.
The Responsibilities of a Legal Nurse ConsultantWhile lawyers are knowledgeable in their field, they need the expertise of a legal nurse to navigate through the intricacies of medical practices. Whatever the case may require, below are some of the responsibilities and duties expected of a legal nurse consultant:
Review Medical RecordsOne of the duties of a LNC is to review medical records. Depending on the case being worked on, an attorney may require a second opinion from a legal nurse on whether or not necessary measures were taken and recorded accurately.
Assess Patient CareIn a case where there is a complaint about the patient care policies of a healthcare facility, the opinion of a legal nurse consultant will be sought after. The LNC will then assess the measures the healthcare facility uses to care for its patients and determine if it is appropriate for the situation.
Identify Patient NeedsThe needs of patients vary! So, suppose an attorney is trying to determine how a patient should be cared for. In that case, a legal nurse will be contacted to provide their professional opinion to decide the appropriate care necessary for the patient.
Communicate with Legal and Healthcare ProfessionalsA legal nurse consultant may need to speak to various healthcare and legal professionals. As such, they serve as a medium that bridges the gap between the legal and healthcare professionals interpreting several medical jargon in legal terms.
Taking Inventory of EvidenceWhen a crime occurs and medical evidence is taken in, sometimes an attorney may not fully understand what each item signifies. However, with the help of a legal nurse, medical evidence in inventory can be interpreted and its significance explained properly.
Preparing DocumentationA legal nurse is also responsible for preparing relevant documentation related to medical care. For example, the timeline of the patient's care, hospital discharge summaries, biopsy reports, lab results, and so on.
Preparing TestimonyIn some cases, when a professional medical opinion is needed in court, a legal nurse could be contacted. The nurse will appear as an expert witness to share their professional opinion in court.
Holding Patient InterviewsThere are situations where a legal nurse may need to sit with a patient to hold an interview. This case is important when an attorney needs to gain more information regarding the care the patient may or may not have received.
Doing Additional ResearchAn attorney may not immediately have enough evidence to execute a given case. As such, you must be mentally prepared to invest your time and energy in additional medical-related research to help the case.
Attending to Medical ExaminationIn some cases, an attorney may require the help of a legal nurse consultant to attend a medical examination. The legal nurse is more vast in this field and, hence, will be able to glean more information about a patient’s needs and the consequences of their care.
Estimating Cost of Care and DamagesWhen the legal team needs help determining how much is fair to cover the overall cost of medical care, they contact a legal nurse. Through professional experience, the nurse will evaluate based on the type of care the patient needs and a reasonable estimated cost.
Revising Legal DocumentationFurthermore, in a case where legal medical documents need to be revised, a legal nurse comes in handy. The nurse is able to revise a medical document more accurately.
ConclusionOutside of the nursing profession, legal nurse consulting is one of the most unique opportunities nurses can explore. This role means you're more than a nurse; you're an expert witness who advises attorneys on the processes, procedures, and terminology of the medical field.
So, the more knowledgeable you are in the medical field, the better your reputation and the easier it is to land a legal consulting job. So, bag the required medical degrees and on-the-job experience to open the door to this opportunity.
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