Medical malpractice is often associated with doctors. In the minds of the general public, surgeons and physicians are the ones who most often make errors. The truth of the matter is this: Medical malpractice is just as serious an issue among nurses. Studies have shown that medical malpractice is on the rise in the nursing profession, and every nurse should understand the elements involved in a successful suit.
As a nurse, duty is what you are expected to provide to the patient. Your job must be performed correctly, your techniques must be correct, and the environment must be safe. Timely treatment is expected. At times, your ability to perform a treatment can be hampered by a lack of supplies or assistance. When this is the case, you need to look for options as quickly as possible so that you can provide appropriate care to your patient.
- Breach of Duty
When you fail to perform your duties, you are said to have breached that duty. This may mean that you did not provide a safe environment, you did not provide timely treatment, or any number of things. If you are unable to perform your job according to the policies and procedures of your employer, protect yourself by bringing issues to someone’s attention.
A damage is something that is a direct result of your breach of duty. You fail to put a bed rail in place, the patient falls from the bed and breaks a bone. If that same patient falls but is not injured, there are no damages. In order for damages to be proven, there must have been some type of bodily harm.
Cause and effect can be difficult to prove, but it is a typical element of medical malpractice. Something must have happened as a result of your care or lack of care. A successful medical malpractice case is one that proves something happened to the patient that would not have been caused for any other reason.
Understanding the criteria behind a successful medical malpractice case can help nurses protect themselves. It can also help patients determine whether or not they have a case. The best way to protect yourself? Do your job properly every minute of your shift.
If you believe that you have been injured at the hands of a medical professional, contact our offices as soon as possible. Our attorneys are here to fight for any compensation you may be entitled to by law. Call now for your free initial consultation.