Malpractice Insurance: Having your own policy is a NECESSITY - page 6

New York State Nurses Association (NYSNA) REPORT: April 2003 Malpractice Insurance: Having your own policy is a NECESSITY! by Mark Genovese You may never have to use a professional liability... Read More

  1. by   sirI
    So can anyone answer my original question?
    I answered this a couple pages back, AngieO.
  2. by   Doris Myers
    Don't wait to get malpractice insurance. Even if you are a nursing student. That way if anything goes down during your time in a hospital setting you are covered.

  3. by   Tweety
    Quote from Angie O'Plasty, RN
    But honey, these things do happen, even to good nurses. Poor staffing is one cause of this type of error. Pharmacy and doctors might very well make errors in calculating or ordering. Yet the nurse is often the last link in the chain and the one who gets fired, sued, and ruined over it.
    It could be any one of us. We should all be afraid, very afraid.
  4. by   Tweety
    Quote from DeLana_RN
    My insurance company's lawyers are of course agents of their employer and thus tasked to achieve the best possible outcome for same; however, they do this by defending their client (me) - for if I'm found guilty of malpractice, this same insurance company will be responsible for paying the claim. Therefore, they will most definitely be on my side.

    On the other hand, my hospital's lawyers are much more inclined NOT to look out for my best interest because if they were to represent me (e.g., by proving that short-staffing or an unreasonable assignment was a contributing factor to my alleged malpractice) they would not truly act in the best interest of their employer, the hospital (in fact, they would most likely argue that there was no short-staffing and that the hospital shares no blame - that it's my fault alone, as the "negligent" nurse).

    Therefore, I would never rely on my employer's lawyers and insurance company to represent me (in fact, I would expect my own lawyer and insurance company to represent my interests and to protect me from my employer's lawyers!) Paranoid? No, realistic.

    I understand what you're saying.

    Hospitals are sued practically daily, especially in poor outcomes such as decubs, IV infiltrations, etc. Most of the time these things are traced to a human being somewhere within their hospital, not always nurses. They don't always fire the nurse. They defend their interests, which often means defending their employee's actions, their employee's training, etc. They realize that stuff is going to happen. IVs are going to infiltrate, people are going to get bedsores and infections. They understand it's the cost of doing business and try their best to find ways to stop. But they don't always hang their staff out to dry. As many times as they are sued, it's not practical to do this.

    However, if I make a mistake that is negligent, or as Siri said I caused harm by not following hospital protocol, you can best believe I'm going to get a lawyer of my own.

    I have also seen our hospital defend itself against process errors that involved staff, including a death by restraints where the nurse, the house supervisor, management among others were personally sued. No one was fired or left hanging. All were defended by the hospital. Another case it was felt by the family a patient was oversedated by a nurse. Same outcome, the hospital defended itself and thus the employee in the process. The employee never needed a lawyer of their own.

    Not to say it doesn't happen. As someone said, spending $100 makes people sleep better at night.