Doctors are often the face of medical malpractice. When something goes wrong, we seldom think of nurses. However, as they are an integral part of healthcare, it can be assumed that many of these mistakes can be attributed to nursing practice.
Whether you are enrolled in a bachelor’s nursing degree or are undertaking a master’s course, you must strive to learn everything you can about nursing malpractice and how you can avoid it. The first step is to make sure that you are enrolled in a renowned institution that offers accredited courses.
The University of Indianapolis is one such institution. Its courses are fully accredited and taught by highly competent faculty. The courses are part-time, online and designed to accommodate professional nurses. Students get clinical placement to cover the practical part of their course.
A nursing degree in the right institution will teach you about medical errors and how they can best be avoided. Below is a quick background on why it is important to put patient safety first at all times and how to avoid mistakes that endanger patients’ lives.
Why is patient safety important?
There are two reasons why you must always put the safety of your patients at the forefront.
The first is that errors can cause deterioration in a patient’s condition, often leading to death.
You are sworn to provide the highest level of care at all times, so it is your duty as a nurse to ensure you do not do anything that puts your patients in danger. If you make mistakes that affect a patient’s well-being, you are not practicing your craft as required.
The other reason you should be careful about nursing errors is that they can often be quite costly for healthcare institutions. Some of the biggest legal payouts in America are due to medical malpractice.
If you are the sort of nurse who is careless, you may have a hard time securing employment because you will be viewed as a financial risk.
How can nurses reduce medical errors?
- Be a good communicator
Many errors occur because the treatment team doesn’t communicate as it should. Be clear and concise in your communication, and always check to make sure that you have been understood.
- Practice follow-up
Be the sort of nurse who goes over their work to ensure it has been done properly. Check that medications have been administered properly, tests are done, and the doctor’s recommendations are followed accordingly.
- Know your pharmacology
A lot of medical malpractice can be attributed to wrong dosages. As a nurse, one of your primary duties is to administer drugs to patients. You should be well-versed in pharmacology so that you never administer the wrong medication or dosage. If you aren’t sure, you should double-check.
Medical malpractice is something every nurse should take seriously. It has the potential not just to harm patients but affect the nurse’s career as well. It is also very costly for healthcare institutions.