Nursing is the largest healthcare profession in the United States. There are over a whopping 3.8 million registered nurses in the nation. 3.8 million individuals dedicated to providing care. Whether a patient goes to the hospital for an emergency or visits their family doctor for a routine well-visit, they’re bound to interact with a nurse. It’s nurses who spend time with us, show us empathy, and do the things for us that we’d never imagine doing for anyone else. And while most nurses are absolutely wonderful, nursing negligence can and does occur.
Nurses often provide care in an empathetic, non-judgmental way. From spending the better chunk of time with patients, to monitoring health, to simply helping a patient sit up, nurses are there for it all. And there’s no doubt that the competent nurse (which the majority likely are) is hard-working and diligent.
But even still, humans make errors – they fail to monitor vital signs, administer the wrong medication (and make other medication errors), there’s equipment errors, errors that result in patient injury and more – and nurses are no exception. Nursing negligence and errors can constitute medical malpractice.
Are you or a loved one the victim of nursing negligence? Are your injuries due to malpractice at the nursing level? If so, you may deserve compensation. Our team of experts can help you determine if a nursing malpractice lawsuit can get you the justice you so rightly deserve. Contact Hampton & King today to see what your options are.
What Is Nursing Negligence?
“Negligence is defined as doing something or failing to do something that a prudent, careful, and reasonable nurse would do or not do in the same situation.”
When a nurse fails to administer adequate patient care and in fact, performs below the standard of care, which results in a patient’s injury, nursing negligence has occurred. Ask yourself this: if another nurse had taken care of you, would your injury exist? If the likely answer is no, you may have a case of medical malpractice on your hands.
Common Nurse Fails – Nursing Negligence Examples
Nursing malpractice can take on many forms and can look different in every situation. Here are some of the most common examples of nursing malpractice:
- Failure to properly monitor a patient’s condition
- Not verifying patient information
- Administering the incorrect medication
- Failure to respond to a patient’s need in a timely manner
- Neglecting to update a patient’s chart
- Failure to bring in the doctor when necessary
- Using medical equipment that may not be sterilized or isn’t working properly
- Failing to feed the patient or administer the necessary medicine
- Not communicating discharge instructions with the patient
Can You Sue A Nurse For Malpractice?
When we hear about malpractice cases, our minds usually think of surgeons, specialists, and other doctors acting negligently. Amputating the wrong leg. Performing surgery on the wrong patient. Childbirth injuries. Misdiagnosing a patient. We seldom relate malpractice claims back to nurses. So the question stands: can you sue a nurse for malpractice?
Nurses made an oath the same way doctors did: to provide adequate care to patients. And because of this, they need to uphold the standard of care. So when a nurse is negligent and causes harm to a patient, a patient can sue them.
There may be certain instances where the hospital that employs a nurse who acted negligently may be held liable instead. If the hospital knows a nurse might represent a risk to their patients but still lets them work their shift, it might be liable.
Nursing Malpractice: Filing A Claim Against Nursing Negligence
Your nurse owes you a duty of care. If you suspect your nurse failed to provide that duty of care, you can file a nursing malpractice claim. But there are certain elements that must be present in a case for it to hold up in court.
- Establish the fact that the nurse owed a duty to practice within the standard of care.
- Clearly show the nurse breached their duty and failed to provide you adequate and reasonable care.
- Your claim must show the reason you sustained a particular injury was because the nurse acted negligently. That is, you must show a direct link between the breach and an injury, and demonstrable damages or harm resulting from that injury.
When these elements can be established, you may have a strong case for medical malpractice against a nurse. But do remember that there is a statute of limitations and the period of time you have to file is limited. In many states you have two years from the injury or the discovery of the injury to file.
Speak To A Lawyer – Contact Hampton & King
Navigating a medical malpractice case can be tricky – whether you’re suing a doctor, hospital, or nurse. That’s why it’s important to have an experienced lawyer by your side. Our expert attorneys can help you get compensated for the damages you sustained including:
- Medical bills, past and future
- Lost wages
- Pain & suffering
- Mental anguish
We understand you expected a certain standard of care from your nurse. And if instead of getting proper care you’re left with an injury, know that you have options.
Please reach out to us to discuss your case. Together we can determine if you have a claim and we’ll fight to get you the justice you deserve. Contact us for a free consultation today.
FAQs About Medical Negligence in Nursing
An example of negligence as a nurse could be a nurse failing to administer medication to a patient at the prescribed times, leading to the patient’s condition worsening.
Negligence in medical law refers to a healthcare professional failing to provide the standard of care that a reasonably competent professional would have provided under similar circumstances, leading to harm or injury to a patient.
To prove negligence in nursing, five elements must be established: duty of care, breach of duty, cause in fact, proximate cause, and damages.
Yes, negligence is an ethical issue in nursing because it involves failing to meet the standards of care and ethical obligations to patients, potentially causing harm.