Yes, it is a real concern as we live in a very litigious society. For some people, malpractice claims have become the new national lottery (just look at the plague of sophisticated malpractice lawyer sites on the web). There is also little consequence for someone to sue. In NC, for instance, anyone can sue you over anything with impunity--it only costs the litigant $75 to file a suit. It can cost the defendant tens of thousand of dollars to go to court over one of these frivolous claims, even if he/she is totally innocent. My advice is to always treat your patients with the utmost respect (as if that were your mother, father, sister, brother, son, or daughter lying in the bed). The "mother test" is a very good rule of thumb. Patients are less likely to sue the nurse who bonds well with them. Also, most importantly, always know and follow your facility's policy and procedure, and document succinctly but thoroughly and objectively (over documenting can be just as bad as under documenting). For, as we all learn in nursing school....if it is not documented, THEN IT IS NOT DONE in the eyes of a court of law. Purchase your own malpractice insurance
(don't rely on the hospital's!!!!)... NSO is a bargain at only $20/year for students and ~$80/year for practising RN's.