Nurses should be very careful with how they handle the patients and should be concerned
with malpractices because they will be held responsible for all the acts that they do. They should,
therefore, be careful to safeguard the health of the patients properly. According to the Annual
Report of the Data Bank 2004, approximately 5001 malpractices have been observed since the
inception of this body in the year 1990 through to the year 2004 (Croke 2006). This paper aims
at establishing the causes of such malpractices in whatever manner they occurred and to identify
the role that the nurse played in the process of such a malpractice and what they did wrong.
The main primary cause of the malpractices was as a result of the No specialized
practitioners and the majority of the claims were based on monitoring, treatment and medication
problems and also surgery-related problems. Liability risks are also a major contributor to the
malpractices against nurses (Croke 2006). These liability risks include; improper supervision/
delegation, early patient discharge, nursing shortage, hospital downsizing, increased autonomy,
advanced technology and better-informed customers.
The nurses have the responsibility to take care of the patients. This is their primary duty.
A breach of duty occurs when the nurses’ care falls short of the standard of care owed to the
patient. This can happen as a result of omission or commission and hence classified as a
malpractice (Iyer 2002). For instance, if the nurse omits to give an ordered insulin dosage to a
diabetic patient and the patient gets to a comma or the nurse gives the ordered insulin dosage to a
diabetic patient and then fails to monitor the resulting lack of oral intake and the patient suffers
from a debilitating hypoglycemic reaction.
Nurses are also tasked to foresee the state of the patients and take the necessary actions.
If the nurse does not act promptly to handle a known danger then that can be considered a
malpractice. In the case of the diabetic patient, if the nurse does not admit the oral dosage of
insulin and the patient is overwhelmed then that would be a mistake on the side of the nurse.
Causation is another malpractice suit that is closely related to the aspect of foreseeability (Iyer
2002). An example, in this case, is when the nurse administers a wrong dosage of drug to a
patient thereby breaching the standard of care.
An injury is a malpractice suit where the proximate cause must claim a significant injury.
Injuries can be classified as physical, financial, or emotional. In any of these aspects, the nurse is
responsible for the injury (Recommendation 2010). Damages are caused by injuries and the
patients are given monetary awards to compensate for the negligent actions of the nurse.
Damages range from General, Special, Emotional and Punitive Damages (Croke 2006). In
conclusion, nurses should be very careful to avoid being involved in unnecessary malpractices.
Croke, E. M. (2006). Nursing malpractice: Determining liability elements for negligent
acts. Journal of Legal Nurse Consulting, 17(3), 3-7.
Iyer, P. W. (Ed.). (2002). Legal nurse consulting: Principles and practice. CRC Press.
Recommendation, A., & Pain, L. B. (2010). Legal Nurse Consulting.