Lawsuit Happy Patients - page 2
I am one semester away from getting my BSN-RN and also work as an aide. Something happened yesterday that traumatized me, and I'm hoping that more experienced people can give me advice as to what I... Read More
Oct 20, '06Just make sure in any documentation that you keep it objective and factual. Don't say anything that might sound negative about the patient, no matter how badly you want to. Let the patient say it herself! And if the patient uses vulgar language, then chart exactly what was said, in quotes. Use as many direct quotations as possible.
This patient may try to file another lawsuit. If she goes to a lawyer, and persuades the lawyer that she night have a case, the lawyer or someone working for him will read the documentation. What you want to happen is for the incident to be documented so well and clearly that an outsider reading it will tell the lawyer that the case would be laughed out of court.
You can't avoid all potentially lawsuit-happy patients. I'm convinced that some people play the lottery and others file lawsuits, both looking for the big payoff.
In your nursing career, you will see cases where a patient or family did indeed have grounds for a lawsuit. Most of the ones I've seen never sued anyone.
Oct 20, '06Don't worry. Keep good documentation of the incidents. Know that this patient having sued twice (successful or not) has already got a reputation for being "sue happy" - doesn't give her much credibility. Just be sure and cover yourself by putting it in writing. Know that these people are out there, you'll be OK.