Failing to Follow the Standards of Care
By Erica Couture
Central Florida Community College
Practical Nursing Program
Negligence of Duty: Failing to Follow the Standards of Care
As nurses, we are expected to practice by a set of standards; standards that are comprised of laws and ethics that require us to practice and behave in a certain manner. When we are entrusted by the state as well as the community and given a license to practice as nurses. We are expected to uphold to those standards and not fall below par or people suffer. In the case of Loretta Safron, LPN whom was found guilty of negligence of duty - those standards were put to the test. She did not practice by those standards that we are entrusted to uphold and as a result a life was lost. Loretta Safron was charged with neglect because after being told about a change in a patient’s condition by a nursing assistant she did not respond; she did not ASSESS her patient! She had a duty to do so. After realizing that her patient had coded, she did not initiate CPR and this patient died. She then committed a breach of duty! After looking through her patients chart, she realized her patient that she was trusted to care for and sworn to protect and “do no harm” was in fact a FULL CODE. So this nurse caused harm to her patient and that harm was related to her breach of duty, which constitutes causation. Therefore, Loretta was charged with “Failure to initiate CPR” otherwise known as Negligence of Duty, or professional malpractice. To understand “Negligence of Duty” we must first examine what the Nurse Practice Act constitutes as “Negligence.” Negligence is a general term that refers to conduct that does not show care that is due to that person. It occurs when someone fails to do something that a reasonably prudent person would do in a similar situation. There are four essential characteristics of negligence: Duty, Breach of Duty, Harm, and Causation. Duty is...