What is a legal nurse consultant?

A legal nurse consultant is a Registered Nurse who, by virtue of specialization and expertise, provides her/his clients with qualified opinions based on standards of care, interpretation of medical records, research, and experience in healthcare on medical-legal issues.

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What does being certified mean?

The Certification entails extensive medical-legal training and successfully completing a certification exam.

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When would I hire a legal nurse consultant?

You would hire a LNC when you require a professional to conduct a thorough analysis of medical records, provide in-depth research of relevant information, and provide additional services, enabling you to focus on the legal aspects of the case.

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Why an LNC and not an MD?

Choosing an LNC can save you money by providing the same case review as a physician.  An LNC’s case reviews and reports may focus on areas in which physicians do not normally take an active role.  The physician is unaware of daily nursing issues; and, therefore, may miss critical facts or omissions within the medical record.

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What are standards of care?

By definition, “A Standard of Care holds a person of exceptional skill or knowledge to a duty of acting as would a reasonable and prudent person possessing the same or similar skills or knowledge under the same or similar circumstances.”

Example: Peripheral intra-venous sites, according to standards, need to be changed every 72 hours, or as needed. Deviation from this can cause severe tissue damage and infection. Most patients are not aware of this fact. It is up to the nurse taking care of the patient to take charge of complying with this duty.

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What is the difference between a CLNC and an LNCC?

A Certified Legal Nurse Consultant (CLNC) has been awarded certification through a course of study with the Medical-Legal Consulting Institute, Inc., which is associated with the National Alliance of Certified Legal Nurse Consultants. A Legal Nurse Consultant Certified (LNCC) has been awarded certification through the American Association of Legal Nurse Consultants.

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Why not a paralegal?

Law firms under the supervision of licensed attorneys employ a paralegal, whereas LNC’s work independently. A paralegal’s job is to perform legal office work and they typically are not trained in medical terminology, medical procedures, hospital practices or standards of care. A LNC performs the medical and nursing research with an expertise, which a paralegal is incapable of providing.

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What is the benefit for the attorney?

Nurse consultants offer a new scope and set of expertise to assist in the effective development of your cases. I can help you understand nursing concepts that an MD cannot because MD’s are not fully aware of what the nurse’s job actually entails. Another added benefit is that a LNC is more accessible to you than a MD. If you already have nurses working for you, I can also act as a supplemental resource to assist with any special requests or additional work your case may require.

 

 

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