Nurses are entrusted with a considerable amount of responsibility in the healthcare system, particularly in hospitals. Nurses often are expected to handle numerous patients and quickly respond to emergencies. In fact, when a person is in the hospital, the nurses are far more likely than anyone else to provide care to a patient. Nurses are often crucial to a patient’s recovery time and overall wellbeing.
However, when a nurse is distracted, does not communicate a patient’s condition properly, or is inadequately trained, it can lead to injuries or even death. Nurses can be held accountable by a claim filed with the help of experienced lawyers when their negligence results in harm or injury to a patient.
Unfortunately, nursing errors are not uncommon and when a nurse does not follow protocols, or fails to provide a patient with proper care, patient’s can be injured. A West Palm Beach nursing error lawyer can help those who have been injured because of a nurse’s negligence recover for their injuries.
Important Medical Role of Nurses
Nurses owe their patients a duty to provide competent care to each of their patients. Any nurse who falls short of that duty and commits a nursing error may be liable for a medical malpractice claim. It does not matter how long a nurse has been working in the healthcare field; unfortunately, nursing errors are part of the profession.
However, while some nursing errors may be administrative errors, such as when a nurse fails to properly close a patient’s case, other nursing errors are far more serious and can include a nurse improperly administering drugs to a patient resulting in a serious injury.
Nurses often serve as a critical link between a patient and their doctor, and many nursing errors can be attributed to a breakdown in communication between a nurse and other members of a patient’s healthcare team. When a nurse does not properly communicate with a doctor or other member of a patient’s healthcare team it can mean that the patient does not receive the proper care, or that they do not receive care at all.
Types of Nursing Errors
Nurses provide critical healthcare services to patients and are crucial to a person’s recovery. Nurses often work long shifts and work with many patients throughout the day. In addition, many hospitals and healthcare centers are often short-staffed which stretches nursing units to their limits.
Unfortunately, this means that nurses are often tired, provided with little oversight, may not be properly trained, and can make careless and negligent errors. Some of the most common nursing errors include:
- Administering the wrong medication to a patient
- Administering the wrong dosage of a medication to a patient
- Failing to monitor a patient’s condition
- Failing to respond to a critical warning alarm
- Failing to properly follow a doctor’s instructions
- Misinterpreting a physician’s handwriting and orders
One of the most common and potentially disastrous errors a nurse can make is administering the wrong medication or the wrong dosage of a medication to a patient. According to the National Council of State Boards of Nursing, medication errors lead to nearly $2 billion of increased costs for patients every year.
If a person is given the wrong medication or the wrong dosage of a medication and has suffered an injury as a result, a West Palm Beach nursing error lawyer may be able to help.
Consequences of Nursing Errors
Because of the crucial role that a nurse plays in a patient’s overall health, if a nurse commits an error, it can result in improperly treating a person, and can result in serious and sometimes fatal consequences. Some of the consequences of a nursing error include:
- Brain damage
- Respiratory distress and failure
- Cardiac distress and failure
Because nurses are often on the front-line of patient care, any mistake a nurse makes can be extremely detrimental to a patient.
Contact a West Palm Beach Nursing Error Attorney
Nurses are often the healthcare providers that families turn to for care and information about their loved ones who are in the hospital. While nurses are crucial to helping a patient heal and recover, when they commit an error, it can result in that patient suffering an injury.
A West Palm Beach nursing error lawyer can help determine if a nurse committed an error resulting in a preventable injury and then move the case forward from there.