Nursing Practice: The Case Of Nursing Malpractice

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Day by day medical technology is improving, unfortunately so are cases of nursing malpractice. By understanding the laws that governs nursing practice, it will help the nurse protect client’s rights and reduce the risk of nursing liability (Sommer, 2013, p. 23). It’s usually necessary to prove that the nurse was negligent to prove nursing malpractice. The Joint Commission defines negligence as a “failure to use such care as a reasonably prudent and careful person would under similar circumstances” and malpractice as “improper or unethical conduct or unreasonable lack of skill by a holder of a professional or official position. Sommer defines professional negligence as the failure of a person who has a professional training to act in a reasonable and prudent manner (p. 24). Before there can be a nursing malpractice case, the plaintiff must prove certain legal elements. These elements include: 1) duty of care: the defendant nurse had a duty of care toward the plaintiff; 2) breached of duty: that the defendant breached that duty, usually by acting negligently or carelessly; 3) causation: that the injury would not have happened if the …show more content…

“A nurse may subject herself to a malpractice action if she accepts a work assignment that she is not competent to perform. On the other hand, refusing to perform an assignment may be considered patient abandonment, which may also bring a malpractice action or government investigation. Abandonment may also be found when a nurse does not observe a patient frequently enough, fails to find adequate coverage when the nurse ceases to treat the patient or fails to bring in a qualified professional when required by the patient's condition. The liability of the nurse often becomes the liability of the health care facility because nurses often act as agents for the facility” (Nursing Law Manual

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