Nurses obviously play an integral role in the level of care a patient receives when in the hospital or a different medical facility. They are responsible for admitting the patient, making sure the right medication is administered, and monitoring their overall health. When a nurse is either negligent, distracted, or has not received adequate training, the end result could be devastating. Many nurses are given an overwhelming workload, which is often the reason for errors occurring. However, many of the most common nursing errors are preventable, especially if nurses do their best to take the necessary precautions. In many cases, nursing errors revolve around patient falls, infections, documentation errors, and equipment injuries. When nurses fail to collaborate with other healthcare team members, properly communicate information to patients and families, or are not adequately staffed, errors are more likely to occur. As a leading California and Texas medical malpractice law firm, attorneys at Rad Law Firm have the knowledge and experience necessary to represent those affected by nursing errors. Our lawyers have your best interests in mind and will do everything in our power to ensure the medical professional whose negligence was the reason you were injured is held accountable.
Now, here is a look at the most common nursing errors that we see take place throughout the country:
- Medication Errors. Medication errors are the most common mistake that nurses commit. According to the National Medication Errors Reporting Program, medication errors are responsible for killing one person in the United States every single day. Medication errors often occur because of improper training, distraction, or the failure to follow instructions. In order to avoid these types of mistakes, it is imperative that nurses are educated about the drugs they are giving, becoming familiar with the proper dosage and always double-checking everything before administering medication to a patient.
- Patient Falls. Another common nursing error is patient falls. Nurses can help prevent patient falls by encouraging patients to ask for help when they get out of bed, verifying activity orders, assessing a patient’s overall physical ability, being aware of any medications that may cause drowsiness, dizziness, or impaired judgment, and performing hourly rounding. By taking the time to utilize proper protective measures and keep a close eye on any at-risk patients, errors that lead to serious accidents and patient injuries are far less likely to occur.
- Documentation Errors. When it comes to the healthcare industry, if it wasn’t written down, it never happened. This is why clear and competent documentation is so critical. Proper documentation takes practice and time before it becomes automatic, which is why there is an expected learning curve with new nurses. However, documentation errors could be fatal to patients. To prevent documentation errors, it is important that nurses take the time to monitor patients regularly and document every intervention that has been performed.
- Failure to Prioritize. Through experience, nurses learn how to prioritize certain tasks. Nursing should always be done in collaboration and all members of a nursing staff should openly communicate with one another. Tasks should be delegated and a support system should be in place in order to ensure patients are properly cared for and no steps are missed. If a nurse fails to prioritize certain tasks, it could result in serious injury or harm to a patient.
These are a few of the most common nursing errors that we see take place throughout the United States on a daily basis. If you or a loved one has been injured as the result of one of these nursing errors – or an error not mentioned – contact an attorney at Rad Law Firm today.