It is important to emphasize the difference between negligence and malpractice with reference to the specifics of nursing practice. Negligence is associated with acting carelessly, and the consequences of such a behavior can be negative and undesirable for patients. These harmful actions or the absence of actions are usually not intentional (Butts & Rich, 2016). An example of negligence in nursing is the situation when a nurse fails to communicate effectively with a minority patient who does not know English perfectly on how to use certain hospital resources. As a result, the patient can get some minor injuries and be confused when searching for required rooms and resources in a hospital without an opportunity to ask for assistance. In this case, the nurse can be unaware of the fact that the patient does not understand all the recommendations and rules fully.
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On the contrary, malpractice is observed when a nurse fails to demonstrate professional skills, and inappropriate actions can lead to serious health harm and risks for a client. In this context, a nurse violates certain standards, rules, and procedure protocols when working with a patient. This problem can be observed because of the lack of knowledge, lack of experience, or underdeveloped skills (Pozgar, 2016). Malpractice can be associated with medical and care errors, providing wrong diagnoses, and offering an ineffective prescribed treatment. An example of such a situation is when a nurse prescribes a risky dosage of a medication for a patient, ignoring his past medical history and allergies. For nurses, the consequences of demonstrating malpractice are more serious in comparison with situations when negligence is observed. Still, both negative practices should be avoided because of potential risks for clients.
Butts, J. B., & Rich, K. L. (2016). Nursing ethics: Across the curriculum and into practice (4th ed.). Jones & Bartlett Learning.
Pozgar, G. D. (2016). Legal and ethical issues for health professionals (4th ed.). Jones & Bartlett Learning.