Legal suits

  1. I was wandering. Someone told me the other day that OB nurses and Peds nurses are the worse to work for cause they are the two floors that has the most law suits. Is that correct? I am supposed to shadow a nurse this Saturday on the OB floor and that is what I want to go into but after hearing this I am concerned. Does anybody know?
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    Joined: Jul '02; Posts: 196


  3. by   ERNurse752
    Do what you want. You can get sued anywhere. Good luck!
  4. by   Hardknox
    OB is the most litigious area in the Boston area. Several of the nurses and doctors have been sued at the hospital I worked at. This is because the hospitals, like the Catholic Church, in MA fall under what is called a charitible cap. That means if you sue and win you can tops get $20,000 from them. That is why the nurses and the docs are sued. You wouldn't believe some of the suits that go to trial! You and I would call them frivolous but even if the person gets nothing you, the nurse, have gone through hell with the depositions and trial. Several cases have been settled out of court and some are pending. We usually don't find out the outcomes of the settled out of court cases.

    What with short staffing becoming increasingly more the norm, the chance of making a mistake became a real possibility. It's one of the reasons I left the job.

    However, I LOVED OB and would tell you to follow your heart. However: Practice the underwear method of charting---COVER YOUR A$$!
    Last edit by Hardknox on Aug 29, '02
  5. by   nimbex
    I was involved in a suit, the lawyer said that OB, and ICU's are the most common litigation units for our facility.

    Doesn't mean you shouldn't follow your heart. A law suit can be initiated even if you've done everything right... you have no controll over that....

    so as the last response said... follow your heart
  6. by   MollyJ
    OB and the ED are notoriously litiginous. ICU's, too. Sometimes sick people die.

    You won't find an absolutely safe practice environment, but reasonable staffing, support and education are what you should look for.

    There is very little tolerance for fallibility in this world.
    Thanks guys I appreciate the input.
  8. by   BadBird
    You can't live your life in fear of a lawsuit, just practice safe nursing, chart to cover your A$$ and enjoy as much as you can.
  9. by   NRSKarenRN
    Also carry malpractice insurance.
  10. by   shay
    One of the hazards of working OB.....yep, it's the most "high risk" area to work as far as litigation goes. Wugh.

    Some days it's really scary, but most days it's not. You just have to be really really REALLY aware of your legal boundaries, and be brave enough to stand up to the docs when their practice is not so wise from the legal standpoint, kwim?

    If you want peds or OB, go for it. Don't let the lawsuit aspect scare you away.
  11. by   HISSYTHECAT
    I do not mean to be stupid..but what do people sue over on these floors?
  12. by   911fltrn
    They sue because it took the nurse 10 minutes to get their ice water and sandwich :-) Patients have no patience anymore.
  13. by   Shevalove
    I have heard from a malpractice lawyer that came in to talk to us as students said that OB and any type of nurses where you do triage are the highest
  14. by   Hardknox
    Mostly they sue because of bad outcomes. Some babies die--sometimes for a reason to do with the delivery and sometimes because who knows why--?God's Plan? Sometimes the baby has a long term medical problem. Or the Mother dies or has another unexpected outcome. Whatever the cause, people get angry after the shock wears off, see all those ads on TV for medical malpractice lawyers and end up suing. Basically people want a perfect outcome. Who doesn't? But sometimes life doesn't work that way. You just have to take a course on legal issues in OB-- there are several excellent ones out there--Barbara Calfey, I think her name was, and Michelle Murray give the best ones-- and try to be safe. And I agree, get your own malpractice insurance. $89.00/yr from NSO.
    Last edit by Hardknox on Aug 30, '02