negligence vs malpractice??

Nursing Students NCLEX


now im confused :confused: can you tell me what's the difference between the two (negligence and malpractice) and please give examples for both. thanks :)

What I have always read and heard is this: Malpractice is professional negligence -- anyone can be negligent, but you have to have a license to commit malpractice.

An example of negligence would be that you neglect to fix the rotting front steps in front of your house, and someone coming to your front door falls through the steps and is injured. That situation could occur to anyone, regardless of your occupation, educational level, etc, and anyone can be guilty of negligence.

Malpractice is basically the same idea -- the individual failed to do something that s/he is supposed to do (or did something that s/he isn't supposed to do) to be basically safe and responsible and avoid injuring someone else -- but the individual involved is a member of a licensed profession, and the situation involved is not an ordinary situation like rotting front steps, but a situation that only occurs in professional practice.

thanks :) that's only the diff?

Edited to say, what elkpark said!!

Here's what my textbook says (Perry & Potter, Fundamentals of Nursing, 7th Edition) under Unintentional Torts:

Negligence is "conduct that falls below a standard of care... In general, courts define negligence... as that degree of care that an ordinarily careful and prudent person would use under the same or similar circumstances. Negligent acts such as hanging the wrong intravenous solution for a client or allowing a nursing assistant to administer a medication often will lead to disciplinary action by the state.

Malpractice is "one type of negligence, often referred to as professional negligence. When nursing care falls below a standard of care, nursing malpractice results. To establish nursing malpractice, there are certain criteria" that must be proved: nurse owed duty to the client, nurse did not carry out that duty, client was injured, the nurse's failure to perform the duty is what caused the injury.

(Not that you asked, but just to remind myself here... a tort is a civil wrong made against a person or property: intentional torts are willful acts that violate another person's rights (assault, battery, false imprisonment) quasi-intentional torts are ones where intent was lacking... invasion of privacy and defamation of character are listed in that same textbook... this is where HIPAA comes in and lastly there are unintentional torts explained above.)

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