Like malpractice committed by doctors, nursing malpractice occurs when a nurse does not perform his or her duties in a way a competent professional would in the same situation, with that negligence resulting in harm to a patient.
This does not mean that all mistakes made in a healthcare setting constitute negligence, however. The following are a few common examples of actions that could be considered negligence or malpractice:
- Failing to take required action: Nurses are the direct link between patients and doctors in hospital settings, and they often handle most of the everyday care tasks themselves. If a patient has an emergency, a nurse could be liable if he or she does not take the appropriate steps, such as administering medication or calling for help from a physician or other nurses. They also must regularly monitor the condition of their patients. If a nurse notices something of concern (or should have noticed something) he or she could be liable for failure to notify the attending physician.
- Injuring a patient: Nurses could be liable for medical malpractice if they injure a patient with a piece of equipment. This could happen in just about any way, including dropping a heavy object on a patient or burning a patient.
- Improper medication administration: Nurses must administer medication according to the exact specifications a doctor outlines. A failure to follow those orders could lead to the nurse being liable for malpractice if the patient is injured. A nurse could also be liable for medical malpractice if he or she follows the orders, but in a negligent way.Depending on the circumstances of the case, the hospital or attending doctor could be liable instead of the nurse. For more information on nursing negligence and how to proceed with a possible claim, meet with a skilled San Diego medical malpractice lawyer at Thorsnes Bartolotta McGuire.