Not all nurses at a hospital are regular nurses at a hospital. Indeed, they may not actually be full time employees or hired employees. Rather, the nurses may be traveling nurses. These are nurses who circulate on contract through various venues within a given speciality. They may work the same hours and alongside nurses hired by the hospital, but they are not actually employees of the hospital. Rather, they are contractors of the hospital.
This creates a unique legal situation since they are not employees, and thus the normal rules of various liability may not apply. Right?
They are an agent of the hospital and working to benefit the hospital. The hospital agrees to hire a traveling nurse based on the experience, interview, and resume. The hospital can evaluate the traveling nurse, and many hospitals do give traveling nurses tests or evaluations to complete prior to hiring. This is a very important consideration because it can establish liability.
Well it can establish liability in two manners. First, is the vicarious liability for an agent that is hired by the master for its benefit. Second, this can expose a hospital to negligent hiring. If a traveling nurse is not qualified but the hospital hires anyway, it can result in liability.
Furthermore, this can also lead to a negligent training case. A traveling nurse is not initially familiar with the new hospital. If this nurse is an emergency nurse, he or she will need to learn the lay of the land very quickly or it can result in serious personal injuries to a victim of medical malpractice. If the hospital does not help the traveling nurse learn how to perform his or her tasks at the new hospitals, it can result in serious medical malpractice.
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