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A Situation In Which A Nurse Can Be Held Liable For Negligence

1020 words - 5 pages

Name: Liz Ortiz
Health Rights & Resp

In the field of health care, the word malpractice originally encapsulated the negligent mistakes or wrongs that a physician did. In the past, a distinct division subsisted between a physician and a nurse. The nurse operated within a well-defined framework that mainly entailed implementing orders from the physician. The roles of diagnosing patients, treating their different symptoms, and prescribing medication to them were solely roles of the physician. Thus, it was virtually unprecedented for a physician's orders to be criticized by a nurse since nurses (Peterson & Zimmerman, 2006).
However, times have changed, and the ...view middle of the document...

It is mostly the full responsibility of obstetrical nurses to execute well-calculated assessments of patient's status and efficiently communicate the status reports to the physician responsible for the patient since they always have the greatest exposure to the pregnant women. When an obstetrical nurse fails in their duty, and a breakdown occurs, disastrous results pursue (Peterson & Zimmerman, 2006).
Nurses who possess extensive experience or specialized training hold a higher standard of nursing care that corresponds to what a prudent and evenhanded nurse possessing with similar experience or training would have executed in a similar situation. Under this standard of nursing care, an obstetrical nurse with extensive experience or training is presumed to recognize probable problems from a physician who restates medical orders to fit an unprofessional motive. Similarly, the standard of nursing care also assumes that a nurse with vast experience or specialized training understands that a physician takes their full responsibility for medical wrongs even if the nurse works as per the physician's assertion. The nurse will thus be liable or accountable in tort if the medical wrong or harm happens because he or she does not possess or use their nursing care skills, knowledge, and diligence to avoid the circumstance. The gravity of such a case can cause the death of a pregnant mother, the fetus or both, which are punishable offenses by law as professional negligence.
Ways to proactively avoid or prevent negligence in nursing
A nurse working in a health care institution is legally obliged to be cognizant of the institution's procedures and policies as well as complying with its regulation and rules. Thus, procedures, policies, regulations, and rules of different health care centers can be summed up to define "nursing standard of care." For instance, a health care center's manual for the nurses may lay down specific rules and laws of conduct for nurses. Occasionally, a nurse may be met with a physician's order that is directly against the policies of operation of the health care center (Peterson & Zimmerman, 2006). If the order does not abide by the certified medical standards, customary procedures, regulations, practices, or hospital policies, the nurse must question, contravene, or...

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