Nurses play a vital role in the healthcare system; they’re often the frontline caregivers who have direct contact with patients. As such, nurses are also at risk of committing medical errors that could result in patient harm and medical malpractice claims.
What kind of errors put nurses at risk for medical malpractice?
One of the most common errors that leads to nursing malpractice claims against nurses is failure to properly monitor a patient’s condition. This can include failing to check vital signs regularly, not adequately monitoring a patient post-operative, or not paying attention to changes in a patient’s symptoms.
Another common error is administering the wrong medication or dosage. This can happen if a nurse is rushed or distracted, if there are mix-ups with medical records, or if the nurse is not properly trained in administering medications. Last but not least, errors can also occur when nurses fail to properly clean or sterilize medical equipment. This can lead to patient infection and other serious complications.
Why do these errors occur?
There are a number of factors that can contribute to medical errors by nurses, one of which is fatigue. Nurses often work long hours, with shift work and overtime becoming more and more common. This can lead to nurses feeling tired and rundown, which can in turn lead to medical malpractice.
Secondly, the medical system itself can be chaotic and hectic, with patients coming in and out all the time. This can make it difficult for nurses to keep track of everything, leading to potential mistakes. Finally, there may be times when a nurse is simply not properly trained or doesn’t have enough experience to handle a particular situation.
If you or a loved one has been harmed due to what you believe to be medical malpractice by a nurse, it’s important to take action. The first step is to seek medical attention if necessary. Once you’re stable, you may want to report the incident to the nurse’s supervisor or the hospital where it occurred. You can also contact your state’s Board of Nursing to file a complaint.