Litigious Areas of Nursing and the Nurse's Liability
by sirI Admin
- 34 Published Oct 12, '07the areas of nursing most vulnerable today are anesthesia and midwifery. rns in ob (l and d), those working solely in monitoring capacities (fetal heart, telemetry, etc.), and medication administration are also included in highly litigious areas.
of course, the advanced practice nurse (apn) other than crna and cnm are subject to increased litigation, but the latter two more so.
and, nurses in general can be and often are, at risk.
major reasons why more lawsuits are being made against nurses:
- our responsibilities have increased in complexity
- higher levels of standards of care (soc)
- increased patient expectations
- pressure to increase productivity and increased patient load
- society has become highly litigious
- failure to follow the soc
- failure to document, including lack of documentation, altered documentation, missing or "lost" documentation, incomplete documentation
- failure to recognize change in patient condition
- failure to appreciate the change in patient condition
- failure to report change in patient condition
- failure to communicate across the healthcare provider spectrum
- failure to monitor
- failure to act as patient advocate
- failure to provide a safe environment
and, i realize that we all strive to provide the best possible care for our patients.
finally, a kind word and non-defensive attitude with a patient turns away many a lawsuit.Last edit by sirI on Jan 28, '08
sirI joined Jun '05 - from 'allnurses.com'. sirI has 'many' year(s) of experience and specializes in 'APRN, LNC, Forensics, OB, ED, Education'. Posts: 85,993 Likes: 21,829; Learn more about sirI by visiting their allnursesPage
5,893 Views2Oct 15, '07 by VivaLasViejas GuideThank you for this post, Siri. In my job, I have to deal with these issues on a daily basis because I'm responsible for ensuring safe medication administration practices in my ALF. Sometimes it's good to be reminded of just how much is at stake when I go to work in the morning!1Oct 19, '07 by nyapaI was involved in a legal investigation after a patient died. A piece of documentation that I had completed had gone missing. But for some reason, I had documented the information in another area, which normally I would never do. Once I pointed this out, I was covered (and the information was not even specifically related to the case). But it was scary...0Nov 19, '07 by bagladyrn GuideSirI - one more reason you may be named in a lawsuit: Simply being staff on the floor when the incident occurs. Even if you have no role in the care of this patient and your name is nowhere in their chart, you will need to prove that you were otherwise involved when the incident took place (with documentation) in order to be dropped from the suit.
The voice of experience.