1-12. LEGAL RESPONSIBILITIES
a. The law requires that you act in every case with the skill and care expected of
a nurse or technician with your training experience. If you fail to do so, there may be
serious legal consequences in addition to the needless suffering or even death, which
you may cause the patient.
b. Based upon the Gonzalez Act, a law passed in 1976, you may not be held
personally liable to pay money damages when patients are injured or killed by your
failure to act with proper skill and care as long as you are acting within the scope of your
employment. However, the United States (US) Government remains liable for such
damages and you as a taxpayer will pay higher taxes to help pay them.
c. While the Gonzalez Act shields you from personal payment of money
damages for failure to act with proper skill and care within the scope of your Army
employment, it does not shield you from disciplinary and administrative measures based
upon your failure to act with proper skill and due care. For example, you may be
reclassified in an MOS based upon improper performance of duties. A letter of
reprimand could be placed in your Official Military Personnel File, which would make
your chances for promotion very unlikely. In some cases, you could be subject to action
under the Uniform Code of Military Justice. In the worst case, such action could include
court-martial for the offense of negligent homicide (murder).
d. Central materiel service is a high-risk area. Unless you learn and practice the
principles of aseptic and sterile technique (defined later in this lesson) established for
CMS, you not only reduce your patient's chances for recovery but you also subject
yourself to a wide range of disciplinary measures to include trial by court-martial.
1-13. WORK SCHEDULES
a. Depending upon local policy and the workload, CMS may be required to
provide 16 to 24 hour service to the medical facility seven days a week. Personnel
assigned to the CMS are scheduled so that trained and qualified persons are on duty to
respond to the needs of the facility for sterile supplies and equipment for whatever
hours they are needed.
b. Use DA Form 3872 (Nursing Service Personnel Time Schedule) (see