Today, caring for a patient is no longer an option but an affair that must be handled with extra caution. Medical negligence has been on the rise and that is why nurses are trying their best to avoid any negligence lawsuit levelled
against them. Generally, negligence is typically a situation whereby a person (nurse) fails to give a degree of care to a
patient. A claim of negligence can only be brought forward when a person who was supposed to accomplish did not and the same duty was certainly breached and also that the situation led to an injury and that is where a claim can be made. To be on the safe side as a medical practitioner, the following tips should help you avoid liabilities;
Know Your Responsibility (Strength and Weaknesses)
Nurses are advised NEVER to handle any medical task that they are not familiar with. In the rule of law, ignorance can
never set you free. If you know that you are conversant with the medical attention, go ahead with it or otherwise let
another person do it.
When you are supposed to do a procedure but you opt to delegate it to another person like a subordinate, you should do it safely. When something happens like medical negligence thereafter, you may be held responsible. If you notice any person who is incompetent, you should use the right procedure to report them. Always ensure that all machines and other equipment at the place of your work are operating correctly.
Avoid What You Can’t Perform
You should also avoid handling assignments you are not certain about. Even when other medical personnel force you, never do it. When you are working in a specific unit and your senior assumes that you have a know how, always come out clean and state where you are competent to avoid overall responsibility.
Never Offer Opinions
What you tell your patients should be nothing but facts. When they ask you about your personal thinking about the disease / condition, you should not give unclear answers.
Don’t Intimidate Patient
There have been cases where nurses lose the case simply because they were rude to the patient at the trial. Discretion and sensitivity should be the order of the day during trial. The prosecutors can easily catch up with you if you testify carelessly.
Always Read before Signing
There comes a time when you can fall victim to medical negligence especially when you decided to be a witness to a
colleague. Don’t accept to sign in your name to become a witness before reading the terms and condition to avoid
Follow the Orders
Don’t take charge of any patient before his/her personal doctor orders you to do so. You may only need to attend to such a patient when there is an emergency. Your expertise should solely guide you.
Follow Procedures and Policies
The policies and procedure of the institution you are working for should guide you. They have a high chance of
safeguarding you against a lawsuit.
When you are able to follow the above ways of safeguarding oneself against medical negligence, then your career as a
medical practitioner will go on smoothly without any major obstacles.
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