Nursing malpractice is a very serious problem and it can cause a lot of damages to a patient. Since nurses are the front-line care for patients, when they make mistakes they are going to cause other medical professionals, such as doctors and physician assistants, to also make mistakes. This is because a lot of other healthcare professionals rely on nurses and the work they do to be competent, accurate, and within the standard of care.
While experienced nurses can still make mistakes which can result in medical malpractice, new nurses are more likely to make a lot of different mistakes due to the lack of experience they have. This is true of any professional. But as a patient, you can be wary and watch for certain mistakes to ensure you are not injured by a new nurse. The three most common types of medical malpractice mistakes by a new nurse are the following:
Medication Errors - while any professional can easily make medication errors, new nurses are more likely to make medication errors by improperly providing the dosage, giving the wrong medication, confusing medications, and even administering the medication improperly such as too fast (some medications must be slowly introduced into an IV or injection and not just pushed through fast). This is particularly true cross-departments or with rarer medications that a new nurse may not be familiar with.
Documentation or Charting Errors - recording the treatment and vitals of a patient is critical for other healthcare providers. When a nurse fails to properly do this, it can mislead other healthcare professionals. Mistakes here, such as not recording the administration of a drug or medication, can easily result in overdoses. Improperly charting fetal monitoring strips can lead to an OB-GYN determining that a c-section is not necessary when indeed an emergency c-section is required immediately. Charting mistakes kill.
Causing Infections and Failing to Recognize Infections - infections in a hospital are deadly. If caused by the hospital, the bacteria can be resistant to medication and very very difficult to cure. An infection which is left to fester can become irreversible or turn septic, which will kill a patient in the most painful and agonizing way. But if caught normally, an infection can be taken care of rather easily. New nurses commonly fail to appreciate the risks which cause infections and also fail to watch for the signs of an infection in a patient.
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