Being accused of nursing malpractice can be quite traumatic. Besides the financial devastation, a professional malpractice accusation can also wreak emotional havoc and strike a fatal blow to your career and self-confidence. So how do you avoid facing nursing malpractice accusations in the first place?
Even if the nursing malpractice accusation you are facing is untrue and frivolous, it can still hurt your personal and professional lives. If you are a practicing nurse, here are a couple of things you can do to protect yourself against the risk of malpractice. Here are some of them:
Refer your patients as soon as necessary
This is quite common in most emergency rooms. When a patient appears to be having an uncomfortable or mild symptom, it can be easy to misdiagnose the condition. However, a small delay in referring the patient to the specialist or a doctor can place you at the risk of malpractice, especially if the symptom or condition was misdiagnosed and the emergency escalated into a life-threatening situation.
Remember to document everything
A nurse’s day can be busy. From the demand of the emergency room to handling multiple patients all the way to long shift hours; it is not unusual to miss a detail or two on your report. However, as a nurse, keeping your procedural documentation up to date comes with several benefits. Besides assisting doctors to determine an accurate diagnosis for patients and create a treatment plan, procedural documentation also provides evidence regarding tests, observations, results and methods should a malpractice suit come up. Without proper documentation, you can have a hard time proving that you did everything by the book and that you are not liable for anything.
It takes a tremendous amount of hard work and dedication to earn a nursing degree and license. Don’t let an unfair complaint put your nursing license and your livelihood at risk.