Essay Preview: Nursing Liability
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There are some many was a nurse can become liable for a patient outcome. Nursing liability issues can lead to lawsuits. Liability is across the nursing profession, it is not in just one area. Inpatient, outpatient, homecare, doctors offices, and any other health care area are subject to nursing liability issues. There are many interventions nurses should do to decrease the risk of these issues in their setting. It begins with ensuring proper patient care.
There are many types of healthcare setting. These range from preventive medicine to areas for treatment. Approximately 60 percent of nurses work in hospitals (“United States Department of Labor,” 2011). Hospitals are considered an acute care setting. These acute care areas provide care for patients that are receiving short- term treatments for brief occurrences of illness. They also treat patients that are preoperative and during their recovery period. Patients could be discharged from acute care to home or another type of facility that will provide long -term care if necessary. These acute care floors in the hospital provide care for a large patient population. These patients have illnesses that vary from infection to major trauma.
The acute care setting provides care for such a diverse population of patients with diverse needs. This increases nursing liability leaving room for error. There are many potential nursing liability issues in the acute care setting. The major potential liability issue in acute care is medication error. Medication error rates are hard to track because every facility reports differently but this they are still high on the list on liability issues. Patient falls are another liability issue. Falls can cause the patient harm, which will dramatically increase the nurses liability. Order transcribing is another liability issue. When a mistake is made during transcription it could affect the patient in many ways such as medication administration, and treatment issues, among others. Nurses must always be assessing the patient to ensure no new intervention is necessary. Nurses must ensure that they are competent and up- to- date on the ever changing field of healthcare. Surgical site care is also a nursing liability. A large number of patients get surgical site infections. It is a nurses job to protect patients from infection through infection prevention procedures especially hand washing.
One case that regarded nursing liability was the Flowers vs. HCA Health Services of Tennessee this case took place in 2006. This case regarded a patient that was admitted following cystopic kidney stone surgery. The patient was receiving morphine via a PCA pump because of uncontrollable post op pain. She was found unresponsive in PEA by nursing staff. The autopsy revealed a higher than lethal level of morphine in her bloodstream that lead to her death. An investigation took place, and it showed the PCA pump was fully functional with no issues