The American Nurse Association provides guidelines and policies for standards of care and scope of practice; they are listed in the Nurse Practice act. While hospital policies may vary from facility to facility it is the Nurse Practice Act that guides and dictates the standards by which nurse perform their duties and are held liable. Nurse have the legal duty of adhering to the standards of care whenever they are taking care of patients, when they fail to perform to these standard they are not only liable but are legally liable for any negligent acts or unsafe practices. The Healthcare system is not without its risks this is even more so in nursing because of the nursing shortage. Nurses sometimes find themselves in situations that may be a potential liability. These liabilities may be well known to the facility. For example a rehabilitation facility may overlook certain infractions based on patients to nurse ratios, leading to staff conformity. As these infractions are not addressed it opens the doors to things such as failure to communicate, document, improper or inadequate assessments and most importantly a lack of patient advocacy as the staff continues to do the bare minimum to expedite the patients discharge. Malpractice is negligence, misconduct, or breach of duty by a professional person that result in injury or damage to a patient (Reising & Allen, 2007). Malpractice claims can be brought against organizations and the individual nurse for failure to delivery standards of care. In the majority of cases, standards of care have not been meet and sound judgement was not used in the delivery of care of patients. In the case of Lefforge v Covenant Care the setting is a rehabilitation facility. A patient has been discharge from the hospital after orthopedic surgery to the care of a rehabilitation facility. The patient presents to the rehabilitation facility with orders from a podiatrist for pain medication. The podiatrist ordered 50...
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