Like when a doctor commits medical malpractice, nursing malpractice occurs when a nurse does not fulfill his or her duties as a competent nurse would and that failure harms the patient. Since the role of nurses has been expanded, and more demands have been placed on them, they are more likely to be liable for medical malpractice.
Nursing malpractice can occur in a variety of ways. A nurse can administer the wrong drug or not notify the doctor when there is a serious problem. However, when there is an issue of nursing malpractice there is the question of who is liable for the nurse’s mistake, the doctor or the hospital. The answer to this question will determine who is responsible for compensating the patient.
The hospital may be responsible for nursing malpractice if the nurse was employed by the hospital, was fulfilling a job duty when the injury occurred, and when a doctor not employed by the hospital was not in control of the nurse. The attending doctor rather than the hospital is liable if the nurse was under the supervision of the doctor when the incident that caused the injury occurred. This depends on whether the doctor was present and whether the doctor had enough control that could have prevented the nurse’s negligence.
To determine New York nursing medical malpractice the patient must establish the existence of a nurse-patient relationship. Out of this relationship the nurse’s duty to the patient arises. This relationship is satisfied by relying on hospital records documenting the nurse’s involvement with the patient’s care. After a duty has been established, the patient must then establish the scope of the duty the nurse owed. Usually an expert witness will testify about the care that was required.
Next, the patient needs to establish that the nurse departed from the care provided by an ordinary prudent nurse practicing in similar circumstances. The care needs to be consistent with an accepted practice. Lastly, there must exist a link between the nurse’s actions and the patient’s injury.
There are many situations where nursing malpractice can occur. The most common are doing or saying nothing when action is required, injuring a patient with equipment, and improperly administering medication. Should a patient have a sudden emergency, the nurse needs to take the appropriate steps immediately. Additionally, a nurse has a duty to monitor a patient’s condition. If the nurse notices something or should have noticed something they need notify the attending doctor. As with doctors, nurses can be negligent too and should a patient be injured due to nursing malpractice they can commence a lawsuit for medical malpractice.
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