Nurses practicing in Illinois or Indiana should be aware of malpractice and how it applies to their profession. Medical malpractice, a form of professional negligence, occurs when a healthcare provider causes harm to a patient by not meeting the expected standards of care. This can include failing to accurately assess a patient’s condition, not communicating important information to a physician, or not properly administering medication.
Malpractice claims against nurses
Nurses are not immune to medical malpractice claims. They are held liable for their actions like any other healthcare provider. If a nurse commits malpractice, they may face state board disciplinary action and civil lawsuits from the patient or their family.
It’s also important to understand that malpractice insurance is mandatory for nurses. It protects them from financial damages if they are found liable for malpractice, which can help to avoid financial ruin.
Some common types of malpractice claims that nurses may face include the following:
- Failure to diagnose or treat a condition
- Medication errors
- Inadequate patient supervision
- Improper patient documentation
- Failure to follow proper procedures and protocols
Suppose a patient files a malpractice lawsuit against a nurse. In that case, they will typically have to prove that the nurse’s actions or inaction caused the harm and that the harm resulted in specific damages. It is important to note that malpractice claims can be complex and costly, and the legal process can be lengthy.
Reducing the risk of malpractice
To minimize the risk of malpractice, nurses should stay current with the latest industry standards and guidelines, as well as to document all patient interactions and treatments thoroughly. Following proper procedures and protocols and communicating effectively with the patient, their families, and other healthcare providers can also help to reduce the risk of malpractice.