Common Areas of Liability and Deviation from Standard Care in Nursing Practice University/College Lecturer Date Common Areas of Liability and Deviation from Standard Care in Nursing Practice Introduction The work environment in nursing practice is becoming increasingly volatile with many reports of potential deviation from standard care as observed by Peter (2013)…
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In any case, continued practice under harsh conditions predisposes nurses to potential deviation from standards care which in essence puts the practitioner at risk of liability of malpractice or negligence as depicted in a number of industry blogs. To that end, this paper draws valuable insights from an online blog on liability as it seeks to identify four common areas of nursing liability. Common areas of Nursing Liability Primarily, there are numerous areas in which nursing practitioners may be liable for deviation from standard care. However, this paper will only focus on the four common areas including professional negligence, malpractice, breach of professional code of conduct, incompetency. The occurrence of such liability elements are wide in scope and much depends of a number of factors such as they work condition as well as the operational norms or organizational culture of quality care as reiterated by Simon (2006). Some might be unforeseen while others could be inevitable especially where the life of the nurse is endangered by the patient, defective equipment or volatile work environment. In the case of professional negligence, it s is possible to handle a patient with confounding presentations. In addition, some patients may conceal vial information such as use of psychotic drugs in which case, deeper interrogation by the nursing may provoke the patient to turn violent or suicidal (Simon, 2006). That notwithstanding, nurses may overlook minor changes in patient conditions especially when they are understaffed in which case a nurse might be forced to handle many patients thereby resulting in potential delay of intervention. Failure to seek second opinion in complicated cases, or delaying needful medical intervention are indicative of deviation from standard case for which a nurse may face liability charges for negligence (Glabman, 2004; Phillips, 2013). The second area relates to malpractice where a nurse exposes the patient to a faulty or erroneous intervention out of which the patient suffers substantial injury, complication, disability or death. According to Croke (2003), faulty intervention devoid of proper adherence to professional guidelines and hypothetico-deductive clinical reasoning could amount to deviation from standard care. In the event that a similar incident occurs, the nurse in quest shall be held accountable in law. However, some aggrieved patients or their family might descend on the nurse out of anger thus causing the nurse grievous bodily or psychological harm even when the nurse could be having sufficient evidence in her defense. Due to lack of protective legislation like in the case on Montana, assaulted nurse may find not redress of justice for violation inasmuch as they stand perceived liability suit for malpractice as highlighted by Peter (2013). Breach of professional code of conduct is the third common area of liability. There are several clauses that go with professional code of conduct including issues of confidentiality, protocol and respect for client autonomy as argued by Simon (2006). Some of the medical emergencies could be life threatening with little time for proper administrative consultation. As a result, the case might warrant a resident nurse to take all practicable measures within her ability and medical judgment in the utmost effort to save life.
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