Studies “have shown that the number of malpractice cases against Advanced Practice Nurses (APNs) has been on the rise.” Nurses might fail to deliver quality health care to their patients depending on a number of factors. This fact explains why there are several areas of potential liability for these practitioners. This discussion identifies the common areas of potential liability. It also identifies the best actions toward minimizing liability for managers, facilities, and patients.
Practicing Beyond One’s Scope
APNs should use their competencies to support their patients. However, many practitioners might decide to practice beyond their scope. This practice accounts for over 7 percent of all malpractice lawsuits. Medical facilities should ensure every NP practices within his or her scope. Managers should also monitor and empower their nurses in order to perform the right roles. Patients should also collaborate with their nurses.
The term “triage refers to the rapid assessment of the patient, identification of the targeted problem, determination of acuity, and deployment of equipment to meet needs.” Telephone triage usually occurs in many acute care settings. Medical facilities should “ensure every triage conforms to the best evidence-based standards.” Managers should also use the appropriate clinical protocols. Such protocols should be obtained from accredited medical organizations and health groups.
Many APNs encounter various issues, such as vaginal bleeding. According to Murty, “many pregnancies have bleeding.” The major causes of vaginal bleeding during pregnancy are usually unknown. This fact explains why many nurses do not evaluate the causes of vaginal bleeding accurately. That being the case, medical organizations should educate their nurses in order to monitor this health problem. Patients “should also be aware of their past health situations.”
Many nurses have been delegating their health duties to different unlicensed personnel. This practice has resulted in many medical incidents. Delegation can result in many medical errors that could have been easily avoided. Health Managers (HMs) should use the best standards and protocols in order to govern the roles of different Nurse Practitioners (NPs). Nurses should also be aware of their competencies, weaknesses, and strengths.
Upholding the Relevant Duties
APNs should uphold their duties and responsibilities. Failure to do so can result in different consequences. These practitioners have advanced training in order to offer more health services. However, some APNs might fail to uphold their duties and responsibilities. Healthcare institutions should encourage their APNs to maintain competence in every practice. Such organizations should also assign the right roles to different nurses.
Use of Medical Technologies
The use of modern technologies in healthcare has become more common than ever before. Such technologies present various capabilities and limitations. Nurses should use these devices competently and effectively. The continued use of such technologies results in many medical errors. Managers should ensure their nurses are equipped with the relevant skills in order to use such technologies effectively. Medical facilities should make sure every device and equipment is working effectively.
Every nurse is expected to provide excellent care to his or her patients. Nurses should also focus on the rights of their patients. However, many practitioners “are not aware of the ethical and legal issues associated with different healthcare settings.” Many nurses are not acting as patient advocates. This malpractice has resulted in many legal issues. Nurses should acquaint themselves with the major legal and ethical issues associated with medical practice. HMs should empower their NPs in order to act as patient advocates.