Although much attention is given to educating nurses “on the law and their professional responsibilities”, nursing malpractice is still a burden of contemporary healthcare (Croke, 2006, p. 3). The major aspects that cause problems leading to cases of malpractice include duty, breach of duty, foreseeability, causation, injury, and damages.
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In the aspect of duty, the problem appears when a nurse does not provide care owned to the patient. Healthcare facilities have specific standards of care and a nurse agrees to follow them in the process of employment. Thus, a situation in which a nurse deliberately fails to follow the standards is considered to be malpractice. This aspect is also closely related to breach of duty. Another aspect related to malpractice is foreseeability. A nurse is responsible for foreseeing the possible harm to the patient and thus prevent risks related to treatment. However, this aspect deals only with “reasonably foreseeable” issues (Croke, 2006). Causation is the aspect that deals with determining the nurse’s responsibility for the consequences caused by her actions. The final aspects causing problems and leading to malpractice cases include injury and damages.
In the case provided in the article, a nurse is accused of being unprofessional and guilty of a patient’s death. However, the nurse claimed she did not have any duty towards the patient because he was not administered to their hospital. Still, both the Board and Courts concluded that the nurse had breaches in standards of care that led to the patient’s death, such as failure to assess his status and failure to inform a physician about a patient with a cardiac condition (Croke, 2006). These were the wrong actions of the nurse. Also, she acted wrong failing to foresee the danger of transportation for the patient which caused his death.
Croke, E. (2006). Nursing malpractice: determining liability elements for negligent acts. Journal of Legal Nurse Consulting, 17(3), 3-9.