Be a Nurse, Not a Defendant: Avoiding Nursing Malpractice
Lloyd Bell was recently invited to speak at Brenau University’s senior nursing course – Nursing Leadership and Management. The course, taught by the school’s Director of Nursing, covers medical malpractice, mistakes to avoid, and basics on how nurses can avoid committing malpractice. Equipped with more than twenty years of courtroom experience and exposure to complex medical scenarios, Lloyd outlined the critical steps these future healthcare practitioners need to know to provide the highest standard of care.
The medical field is complex, and it’s important for nurses to communicate clearly, specifically, accurately, and thoroughly both in writing and speaking. Nurses should communicate transparently with doctors, other nurses, and patients and their family members. when it comes to treatment decisions, discussing questions and outlining risks associated with procedures. This level of thoroughness and honesty should also be extended to patients and their family members.
A nurse acts as part of a team—not as a solo operator. As a medical professional, a nurse serves as a type of safety net to catch things that a single set of eyes may not see. It’s vital for the entire medical team to be on the same page to work toward an effective treatment plan, and that can’t happen without teamwork.
It’s great when the answers are clearly laid out in front of you, but in the complicated world of medicine, this isn’t always the case. Critical thinking is required when determining a treatment plan and while taking all of the patient’s symptoms and other medications into account. It’s best to show patients that the medical team has thought through all the viable options before making the most appropriate treatment decision.
In the eyes of juries, if something wasn’t documented, it wasn’t done. Every medication, vital sign, and time needs to be diligently documented. Apart from the needs of juries, the medical team needs this documentation. Doctors and other nurses can’t properly care for the patient without knowing his or her full history of treatment.
For more information, contact Bell Law Firm today.