Nurses are one of the most foundational staff members in a medical operation. They administer baseline care and establish meaningful connections with patients. However, this increased level of interaction leads to a higher risk of a malpractice suit. Whether you are a nurse or any other kind of medical professional, legal problems can mean the end of your career. If you want to escape these perilous problems, follow these best practices for avoiding a malpractice lawsuit.
Most patients seek medical help when they need professional diagnosis and treatment. They don’t want someone who blows them off or distances themselves. Instead of treating patients as facts on a sheet, get to know the person as they sit before you. Establish trust by offering a level of personal connection and make sure they feel heard. Without these foundational aspects, you cannot hope to secure the confidence you so deeply need. A trusting patient is more likely to believe that any medical mistake or negligence resulted from ignorance or something innocent rather than turn around and attack you for malpractice.
Communicate Openly and Honestly
Communication is critical, especially when it concerns another person’s body. You want to provide the best care in a timely and precise manner. However, people will always have questions about their condition and want to know more. Sometimes, you don’t have the time to explain every single detail about their problems or treatment; however, the more you communicate, the better. Open and honest conversation allows patients to understand their situation and feel like you’re doing all you can. Instead of vaguely hinting at your next steps, tell the patient exactly what you will do next and how they can expect you to follow up.
In any legal process, you must recreate the past with evidence. Meticulous recordkeeping is challenging to maintain in a medical setting, and it requires a team of detail-oriented individuals. However, it is possible to fill out patient information, differential diagnosis processes, and treatment plans for every person. Take the time to document every interaction and strategy now, so you needn’t worry about it later—especially in a legal setting. It would also help if you learned as much as you can about malpractice law, including the essential insurance terms and jargon. This way, you prepared yourself for every eventuality.
When you utilize these best practices for avoiding a malpractice lawsuit, you can rest assured that your career is safe. The way you conduct yourself matters, and when patients see that you care, you can make a bigger impact with less legal risk.
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