Hello ladies. I'm a fairly new student and would like to think of myself as fairly well versed, but this topic has me a tad bit stuck. What are the differences between protocols, standards and guidelines? We are discussing protocols mostly but the terms guidelines and standards are also often used in discussions and articles. My preceptor uses many papers for her clients all titled "informed consent regarding xyz" that explains in detail a particular presenting situation and the client signs her understanding and states her desired course of action. My understanding was that protocols and informed consent are two separate things although I cannot define protocol as clearly as I could explain and understand informed consent.
I am in CA and the only things I seem to pull up are that California Nurse midwives (I'm doing a meac accredited school for home birthing-not nurse midwifery) are required to have protocols they follow set up in coordination with their supervising physicians. I can't seem to find legal requirements about protocols for direct entry midwives or what the heck...exactly...protocol means? I was under the thinking that a protocol is meeting the requirements of the law in handling a presenting issue or situation. (ie; breech, or even standard testing etc) A guideline was like...procedure...that could be altered as long as the protocol was met. Standards of care would be what is acceptable to the profession.
Specifically I need to answer the difference between protocol and guideline, the legal ramifications of each and what should be included when writing a protocol. I'm stuck because I don't have a clear understanding of what a protocol is and I can't seem to find anything related to direct entry midwifery california laws stating protocol requirements. Does informed consent = protocols?
Any enlightenment would be appreciated and I would love to hear how this all works and what it means in other states as well.