Nursing Errors

nursing-errors

Nursing errors include a wide variety of blunders, such as assessment errors, medication errors, and failing to communicate changes in a patient’s condition. Nurses are supposed to be patient advocates. They are viewed as the eyes and ears of the patient’s managing physicians. Their place at the bedside means that are in the best position to detect an abnormality and report it to the physician before it turns into a disaster.

Severe injury and death is often caused by the failure of nurses to communicate with each other or with the patient’s physician.

Nursing errors may be attributed to a host of things, including carelessness, improper training, distraction, impairment, or incompetence.

Examples of Nursing Errors

Some of the more common nursing errors include:

  • Medication errors
    • The five rights of medication administration is the right time, right patient, right drug, right route and right dose. Failure in any one of those categories can be catastrophic for the patient.
    • Administration of a medication to which the patient is allergic is a form of medication error.
    • Failure to appropriately administer and monitor Oxygen is a form of medication error.
  • Assessment errors
    • Every facility has a policy on how frequently a head to toe nursing assessment is to occur. In a hospital, this is to occur every shift and is to include an assessment of every body system. If this does not occur, changes in patient condition will be missed and abnormal assessment data that should be reported to the patient’s physician will not be detected.
    • IV infiltrations and extravasations are often the result of an assessment error.
    • Pressure ulcers are often the result of an assessment error.
    • Patient falls are often the result of an assessment error.
  • Failure to communicate
    • This includes forgetting to report abnormal patient assessment data, or abnormal signs or symptoms to the oncoming shift or to the patient’s physician.
    • Misreading physician orders also falls into this category.
  • Failure to accurately document
    • The Texas Nurse Practice Act requires a nurse to accurately and completely document in the medical record. Often, crucial patient data is not entered into the record. This can result in treatment delays, duplicate treatment and can be the cause of real harm to a patient.
    • Misreading physician orders also falls into this category.
  • Failure to follow physician orders
    • Patient care is directed by physician orders. Unless the order is dangerous for the patient, a nurse has no discretion. The nurse must follow the order. Often, the nursing staff do not update themselves on the patient’s current orders. Failure to follow physician orders can cause devastating harm to a patient.

If you or a loved one has suffered an injury that required medical treatment as a result of a nursing error, contact Wormington & Bollinger today. We serve those who have suffered preventable medical complications throughout the State of Texas. Our experienced lawyers have been successful in getting our clients the compensation they deserve in cities like Dallas, Fort Worth, Arlington and Plano. We are committed to helping you investigate the cause of this injury, to determine who is responsible, and to lessen the financial burden it has imposed on you and your family.