HPCA 2003 Health Practitioners Competence Assurance Act

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HPCA 2003 Health Practitioners Competence Assurance Act

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HPCA 2003 Health Practitioners Competence Assurance Act

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Course Code: HPCA2003
University: New Zealand Institute Of Technical Training

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Country: New Zealand


This report should discuss the significance of the HPCA to the role of health professionals in Aotearoa/New Zealand
Analysis of the scope and function of the HPCA 2003 act
Compare and contrast your specific (or a chosen role) with another role detailed in the HPCA 2003 act.
Expend on the HPCA 2003 act to compare and contrast ethics and codes of practice including the scope and standard of practice for the two health professional roles. 


The HPCA Act 2003 relays a framework that healthcare authorities use to regulate the competences of health professionals. Therefore, the act protects the patients from harm by the caregivers. The HPCA 2003 outlines all competence details for health practitioners that enhance consistent across the medical field (Rights, 2018). The document contains guidelines that ascertain that health practitioners are fit and competent to conduct their activities. The report does not regulate the activities of all care professionals. Examples of practitioners under regulation include pharmacists, nurses, and dentists. Some professions pose minimal harm to the patient; hence, requiring no regulation. However, specific medical fields already have independent regulatory authorities. This essay will discuss the scope and function of the HPCA 2003 Act. The write up will also compare and contrast the roles of dentists and nurses according to the act. Finally, the paper will compare and distinguish the ethics and standards of practice between the two professions.
Scope and Functions of the HPCA 2003 Act
The 2003 Act is a large document that subdivides into seven parts. Part one discusses the introductory provisions and the key provisions. The preceding clauses outline the functions of the act, interpretation of the document among other issues. On the hand, the critical requirement provides the standards that dictate the fitness and competency of caregivers to serve the patients (Humphrey, & Chiarella, 2015). Part two offers the criteria for registering and issuing work certificates to practitioners. Health professionals refer to the second part to obtain information about the registration requirements. Part three explores the competency and fitness of caregivers to serve the public. The section also discusses the quality assurance issues at health facilities. Part four provides detailed information about registering complaints and procedure for disciplining error-prone caregivers. Part five explains the processes for making appeals. Caregivers have the right to appeal a decision to suspend them from service. Part six talks about administration and structure of the healthcare field. The section details the procedures of appointing authorities and the scope of practice of those individuals. Finally, part seven outlines miscellaneous provisions.
The primary function of the act is to ensure safe care to the public. The document vet caregivers to ensure that they are fit and competent to serve the clients (Howell, 2015). The act provides a platform that holds practitioners accountable for any medication mistake at the health facility. Additionally, the document outlines the duties of each practitioner and forbids the caregivers from practicing outside their specialization. A health practitioner that performs activities outside the area of specialty is prone to errors. Therefore, such a practitioner jeopardizes the health and safety of the patients. The act empowers the authorities to restrict the activity of practitioners if their actions can cause harm to the public. Furthermore, the document protects the caregivers who participate in quality assurance functions.  Healthcare stakeholders are using the 2003 record of lobbying for the inclusion of other health careers to form part of the act (Water, Rasmussen, Neufeld, Gerrard, & Ford, 2017). The document outlines the health professions that are not under regulation and the reasons behind the exclusion. The act also documents the quality assurance functions that caregivers can conduct during their line of duty; therefore, the HPCA has numerous features.
Comparison between Nurses and Dentists
The 2003 Act has the duty of outlining standards for registering both nurses and dentists. The registering authority follows the instructions in the document before admitting the two sets of professionals into the healthcare field. The act also sets standards for cultural and clinical competence of the nurses and the dentists (Riden, Jacobs, & Marshall, 2014). The document also has uniform ethical conduct for both nurses and dentists. Healthcare authorities recertify the care providers annually. The act provides qualification guidelines for dentists and nurses. The law requires the authorities to retain a register of all caregivers in the medical field. The document restricts the work description of caregivers to ensure patient safety and welfare. The act also requires registered nurses and dentists to pursue continuous development education (Tudor, & Shaw, 2015). The HPCA issues the minimum standards of practice for all health practitioners. The document provides a clause that protects practitioners who are suffering from diseases. Therefore, the act protects the welfare of the professionals and the patients. The authorities have the right of suspending a care provider who fails the fitness and competency test. Therefore, the act has a uniform way of managing both nurses and dentists.
Dentists and Nurses have entirely different roles as indicated in the HPCA 2003 Act. Registered nurses (RN) employ nursing judgment and knowledge to examine the health needs of the patients and issue care (Hall, Halton, Macbeth, Gardner, & Mitchell, 2015). Moreover, nurses support and advise patients on how to manage their conditions. On the other hand, registered dentists (RD) diagnose patients with orofacial complications. Furthermore, the dentists remove a broken tooth and replace it with a permanent or a temporary structure. RNs conduct general nursing duties and delegate other functions to the enrolled nurses (EN) and other assistants. However, the RDs have specific tasks of correcting teeth and orofacial complex disorders. Additionally, the dentists attend to issues affecting the hard and the soft tissues around the teeth (Reinders, Krijnen, Onclin, van der Schans, & Stegenga, 2017). Nurses provide a conclusive assessment of the development, implementation, and evaluation of the integrated health care plan. However, the dentists only extract teeth and administer analgesia during teeth extraction. Registered nurses have the duty of monitoring health services to ensure competent practice. On the other hand, dentists prescribe tests and drugs during dental treatment. Therefore, the dentists have specific roles while the nurses have general duties.
Comparison of Codes of Practice of Nurses and Dentists
 Nurses and dentists have similar values that guide their professional conduct during the line of duty. The values include respect, trust, partnership, and integrity. Both dentists and nurses have the responsibility of patients and the client’s families with respect (Moyo, Goodyear-Smith, Weller, Robb, & Shulruf, 2016). Additionally, the caregivers should respect their colleagues to improve the working relationship. A respectful treatment should honor an individual’s uniqueness, dignity, and worth. The health professionals should also build trust between the self and the patients. Trust improves the quality of medical attention and ensures the comfort of the patient. Furthermore, caregivers should provide both physical and emotional support for the patients to earn the trust of the clients. The patients should trust the nurses and the dentists to enhance a rapid recovery from infections. The healthcare professionals must strike an appropriate partnership with the patients to improve the quality of service delivery (Sinclair, Papps, & Marshall, 2016). Dentists and nurses must recognize the power imbalance existing between the patients and the caregivers. Integrity is the application of honesty in healthcare practice. The caregivers should disclose honest information about treatment to the patients.
New Zealand nurses have seven standards of practice governing their activities while the dentists’ standards concentrate on professional boundaries.  The initial nursing standard is about accountability and responsibility (O’connell, Gardner, & Coyer, 2014). The standard requires nurses to restrict their practices to nursing duties. The second standard requires nurses to apply evidence-based knowledge to attend to patients. The third standard requires RNs to maintain a proper therapeutic relationship with the patients. Additionally, the nurses should build an effective working relationship with the other caregivers. The fourth standard ensures that nurses are competent and ensure the safety and health of the patients. The fifth standard defines the ethical principles that nurses must apply when delivering medical attention to clients. The sixth standard indicates the essence of effective leadership in the nursing profession. The final standard outlines the importance of efficient resource management. However, the Dentists’ standards of practice majors on professional relationship between the caregivers and the practitioners (Tan, Bennani, Thomson, Farella, & Li, 2016). The standards warn RDs of having a sexual relationship with the healthcare consumers. Dentists should not take advantage of their positions to exploit vulnerable patients. The RD should also avoid sharing patient’s information on social media without the patient’s consent. Furthermore, the dentist should use official emails to contact the patient and avoid using private contacts for communication.
The HPCA Act of 2003 has a huge score that covers seven parts. The document also has several functions that apply to all the health practitioners in New Zealand. The primary purpose of the legal paper is to ensure that practitioners are fit and competent to attend to patients. The act also provides similarities and difference between the roles of dentists and nurses. Both the two health professionals must pass the fitness and competency tests to acquire registration. However, nurses and dentists have distinct parts in the healthcare facilities. The ethical codes are similar for nurses and dentists. However, the Standards of practice differ between the two professions.
Hall, L., Halton, K., Macbeth, D., Gardner, A., & Mitchell, B. (2015). Roles, responsibilities, and scope of practice: describing the ‘state of play’ for infection control professionals in Australia and New Zealand. Healthcare Infection, 20(1), 29-35.
Howell, C. (2015). Knowing your legislation. Kai Tiaki: Nursing New Zealand, 21(1), 26.
Humphrey, C., & Chiarella, M. (2015). Legal frameworks for practice in Australia and New Zealand. Midwifery-E-Book: Preparation for Practice, 304.
Moyo, M., Goodyear-Smith, F. A., Weller, J., Robb, G., & Shulruf, B. (2016). Healthcare practitioners’ personal and professional values. Advances in Health Sciences Education, 21(2), 257-286.
O’connell, J., Gardner, G., & Coyer, F. (2014). Beyond competencies: using a capability framework in developing practice standards for advanced practice nursing. Journal of advanced nursing, 70(12), 2728-2735.
Reinders, J. J., Krijnen, W. P., Onclin, P., van der Schans, C. P., & Stegenga, B. (2017). Attitudes among dentists and dental hygienists towards extended scope and independent practice of dental hygienists. International dental journal, 67(1), 46-58.
Riden, H., Jacobs, S., & Marshall, B. (2014). New Zealand nurses’ views on preceptoring international nurses. International nursing review, 61(2), 179-185.
Rights, W. (2018). HPCA Health Practitioners’ Competence Assurance Act. Retrieved from https://www.nzno.org.nz/support/workplace_rights/hpca
Sinclair, J., Papps, E., & Marshall, B. (2016). Nursing students’ experiences of ethical issues in clinical practice: A New Zealand study. Nurse education in training, 17, 1-7.
Tan, A., Bennani, F., Thomson, W., Farella, M., & Li, M. (2016). A qualitative study of orthodontic screening and referral practices among dental therapists in New Zealand. Australian orthodontic journal, 32(2), 155.
Tudor, K., & Shaw, S. (2015). Health regulation and the prescription–and proscription–of educational practice. Policy Futures in Education, 14(2), 211-224.
Water, T., Rasmussen, S., Neufeld, M., Gerrard, D., & Ford, K. (2017). Nursing’s duty of care: From legal obligation to moral commitment/Te kawenga kia ata tiaki te ao tapuhi: Mai i te herenga a-ture ki te whakaunga a-tikanga. Nursing Praxis in New Zealand, 33(3), 7-21.

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