Liability Paper

Topics: Nursing, Negligence, Physician Pages: 5 (1639 words) Published: April 14, 2013
Knowing what Nursing Liabilities and Negligence’s are
And Preventing them from Occurring
Sandy E. Preza
Dr. Wojtecki

To be able to understand and know what a words definition is describing we must know in nursing, the nursing standard that follows clinical words. In defining Liability one can say it means to be responsible of one’s action when committing to patient care. Nursing Liability standards puts every nurse to be an advocate of each patient they encounter. The American Nurse Association has their description of Professional Liability for nurses and they acknowledge that nurses must promote a safe environment, protect a patient’s health, and must be responsible for the delegation of patient needs to another nurse or unlicensed personnel, to be able to reduce any potential Liability. On the other hand Negligence is defined by the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare or JCAHO as a, “failure to use such care as a reasonably prudent and careful person would use under similar circumstances”, (Croke, 2003) 54. There are also six categories within Negligence that lead to a Malpractice Lawsuit. These categories can help nurses identify any weak areas they may need to work on to prevent a lawsuit or court case, but if a nurse is served with a complaint then it is important for them to also know how to handle the upcoming lawsuit professionally.

In Liability we have to make sure the nurse has the right perception and knowledge so there are no surprises later. What makes a nurse so Liable for each patient is that their roles within the scopes of practice for nursing has increased over the years causing them to encompass a wider role in Healthcare compared to the physicians themselves. The physician used to do most of the tasks for their patients a long time ago, but then realized that the nurse was the real advocate because they had to assist the patients for long periods of time, and hence the physicians gave nurses a greater Liability. It says in another article that as advocates nurses have the right to question a physicians drug prescription order, their decisions for a patient, and when they believe instead of helping the patient the treatment may cause harm or not function depending on the patient’s organism. To help prevent Liability the nurse will have to follow make sure her decisions follow the institutions procedures and policies and that if the physician insists on their decision that the nurse follows chain of command to be able to also avoid Malpractice from happening.

Malpractice can occur if the nurse or any clinical employee is being negligent towards a patient. As I mentioned already there are six Malpractice categories that are found within Negligence that will lead to a Malpractice Lawsuit. The first category is the nurse is being negligent of following standards of care like, design a plan of care or fail to complete an admission assessment; the nurse does not follow the institutions policies and procedure or follow their proper protocols; and to also not follow a written order given by the attending physician. The second category that may cause a Malpractice Lawsuit includes; the nurse not being able to use medical equipment nor be able to follow the recommendations of the manufacturer to use the equipment; to fail to check all equipment prior to use for safety precautions; a nurse must be able to place the equipment on the patient properly during their treatment; and if the nurse can’t use the equipment to learn the way all needed equipment in their area functions. The third Malpractice category defines the nurse’s failure to be able to communicate with the physician when their patient’s health requires they be reached; to maintain good listening by communicating with the patient and hear their complaints, so the nurse can then quickly act on them; also by adequately communicating with the patient before and after they have been discharged; and the nurse...

References: 1. Karen A. Ballard, Patient Safety: A Shared Responsibility, Online Journal of Issues in Nursing, Vol. #8 No. #3, Manuscript 4 (September 30, 2003) available at
2. Frank J. Cavico & Nancy M. Cavico, The Nursing Profession in the 1990 's: Negligence and Malpractice Liability, 43 Clev. St. L. Rev. 557 (1995).
3. Mary E. O’Keefe, Nursing Practice and the Law (Philadelphia: F.A. Davis Co. 2001).
7. Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations. Sentinel Event Glossary of Terms [Web site]. 2003. laboratory+services/sentinel+events/glossary.htm.
9. Fact sheet on the National Practitioner Data Bank [Website]. 2001., Fact%20Sheet%20-%20National%20Practitioner%20 Data%20Bank.pdf.
14.Hall v. Arthur, 141 F. 3d. 844 (8th Cir, 1998).
15.Chin v. St. Barnabas Medical Center, 160 NJ 454 (App. Div.1999).
16. Busta v. Columbus Hosp. Corp., 916 P.2d 122 (Mont. 1996).
19.Pellerin v. Humedicenters, Inc., 969 So. 2d 590 (La. App.,1997).
21.Koeniquer v. Eckrich, 422 N.W.2d 600 (South Dakota,1988).
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