Nurses are some of the many professionals who need malpractice insurance. Many patients claim malpractice against their attending medical professionals. As a nurse, you are not exempt from malpractice lawsuits, so you should work hard to avoid them altogether. Here are the easiest ways for nurses to avoid malpractice.
Explain Consent and Health Information Clearly
Patients often level malpractice claims against nurses due to uninformed consent. When a patient undergoes a treatment or procedure of any kind, they must know the basics of the operation. Without this knowledge, doctors and nurses could harm the patient or disregard their wishes. Informed consent is a cornerstone of responsible healthcare and a right for every patient. If you treat it as such, you will have fewer negative patient experiences. When someone understands their health-related problems clearly, you know you have done your job thoroughly.
Prioritize Patient Documentation
As a nurse, you craft patient charts and update information for their medical records. Though this is a tedious job, it’s incredibly important. The more accurate the information, the better it will reflect the quality of care you provide. When patients start malpractice lawsuits, their medical records usually support their case. If you put it all on the table from the start, they will have less to work with. Avoid malpractice with attention to detail.
Advocate for Your Patients
People need advocates to take a stand for them in unfamiliar circumstances, like at a hospital. Nurses may not be the ultimate authority on medical decisions, but their opinions matter. You should not blatantly disrespect or take medical action against the express direction of a doctor, but you can voice your concerns. Patients will remember when you stood up for them and file a complaint against the doctor, not you. Advocacy will only improve your relationship with the patient and establish your credibility as an empathetic medical professional.
Remember these ways for nurses to avoid malpractice and incorporate them into your daily routine. When you have the right mindset, you can prevent complacency or absentmindedness that results in harm to a patient.