Nursing Mistakes and Preventable Complications
Nurses have a lot of responsibility and often act as gatekeepers between the patient and the doctors. They spend the most time with patients and should be able to identify complications and health issues that arise and report them to the proper healthcare professional. When this does not happen, serious complications, including injury and death, can occur.
Nursing Mistakes from Communication Errors
Communication among healthcare providers is essential for proper patient care, and it encompasses a wide area. Reading and correctly understanding the doctors’ orders is a big part, as this is a major factor in patients’ care. Nurses must also communicate any changes to the physician so that they can be handled in a timely manner. With shift changes, it is very important that nurses talk with each other and that everyone is on the same page so that proper care continues.
Nursing Mistakes and Evaluation Errors
Patients must be evaluated on a regular basis so that changes are caught right away. In many facilities, nurses must assess every system of each patient during every shift. Errors that may occur if this is not done properly include
- Poor breathing
- Leakage of IV fluid into the surrounding tissue
- Movement of the IV needle from the vessel to the tissues
Nursing Mistakes Involving Improper Documentation
Documentation is related to proper communication among all parties. Nurses must document everything in the patient’s record in an accurate manner. When this is not done, an incorrect treatment may be performed, health concerns may be overlooked, treatment may be delayed, or other complications may arise.
Nursing Mistakes Involving Medication Errors
Administering medication is an important job of nurses and it comes with a lot of responsibility. Five things need to be followed in regards to giving medication.
- The medication must be for the right patient
- The medication must be given at the right time
- The right drug must be used
- The right dose must be given
- Each drug must be correctly administered
If any of these are not followed, the patient may suffer needless harm. Nurses must also be aware of patient allergies and ensure that the medication is appropriate. The proper administration of oxygen and its monitoring is also an important part of delivering medication correctly.
Failure to Comply with Doctors’ Orders
One of the jobs of nurses is to follow the doctors’ orders. The only exception is if the order would cause harm to the patient, and then proper communication must occur. If failing to follow current orders results in injury to the patient, this could be an example of medical malpractice due to nursing mistakes.
We Can Help
McGehee ☆ Chang, Barnes, Landgraf specializes in medical malpractice and has the experience, expertise, and resources it takes to advocate for clients who are victims of nursing mistakes. Contact us for a free consultation so that we can discuss your legal options and help you get the compensation you deserve. 713-864-4000.