What are the standards of care in human services?

Question:

What are the standards of care in human services?

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Answer:

The term "standards of care" is a term first defined by the medical industry and is commonly heard today in regards to malpractice lawsuits. While standards of care apply to human service workers as well, the definition is a little different, but it's intent is the same in both fields: to ensure patients and clients have access to high quality care.

For either field, there isn't exactly a clear cut standard of care, it mostly revolves around general guidelines and accepted standards within the respective fields. So, for example, in the medical field, if a patient came into the emergency room after taking an antibiotic for a bacterial infection that returned upon completion of the antibiotic cycle, a doctor who doesn't treat that infection with serious, acute care could be charged with malpractice because they did not meet that patients standards of care. Especially if that infection progresses to the patients blood.

The case would be similar for a human service worker like a therapist if one of their clients reported they were going to attempt suicide and the therapist doesn't immediately get them into care. That patients family could charge the therapist with malpractice because they did not meet their clients standards of care.

For more information about a career in human services, check out this article: Human Services Job Information

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