Malpractice suites are a large reality in Healthcare. When a person enters into a healthcare facility, they hope for the best. Everyone wishes and hopes for a successful procedure and receive optimum care. Physicians and other healthcare providers also hope to treat a patient successfully without error.
Error does happen and is a reality in the healthcare world. Physicians, surgeons and nurses can all make mistakes. While some healthcare professionals may be innocent, many are liable for the errors they make with a patient. These errors are later legally fought in court with opposing attorneys whose expertise is in healthcare and malpractice law. Legal Nurse Consultants play a large role in aiding legal teams in determining error.
So what is malpractice? According to the American Board of Professional Liability Attorneys there are a variety of errors that constitute malpractice. Some of the errors include failure to comply with standards within the practice or the nature of the injury. Was the injury caused by negligence and was it significant enough? (1)
Here are a few examples of errors; Failure to diagnose or to even misdiagnose, misread lab results, unnecessary surgery, surgical errors, improper medication or dosing, poor after care, premature discharge of patient, reporting improper patient information, improper testing, and failure to recognize symptoms. (2)
These types of errors lead to multiple malpractice cases in the United States. Legal Nurse Consultants play key roles in determining if procedure deviating from standards. Nurses themselves can be become subjects of inquiry if they fail to properly report and observe the patient. It is critical for nurses to report and chart information regarding patient care. When nurses deviate from these safe and proper practices, they can fall under suspicion if a malpractice case does occur. Nurses can make errors but many times they can protect themselves from liability by simply properly charting.
In essence, medical malpractice revolves around the concept of a breach of contract and a failure to comply within a certain standard of care. The history of malpractice goes back to the very beginning of America’s conception. In the case, a man sued due to his wife’s death during a surgery. He was awarded 40 pounds. (3) Today medical malpractice is a a common theme unfortunately in healthcare.
Today in the United States, 225,000 people die from some type of malpractice. A 2002 review showed that 195,000 deaths in hospitals were completely preventable. Another statistic showed that 12,000 deaths occurred due to unnecessary surgeries. (4)
These alarming statistics show the need for individuals to find the help they need. Unfortunately, only 2 percent of those injured due to malpractice ever file a claim. (5) While some cases may not be the healthcare providers error, there are so many cases where patients suffer due to medical error. Attorneys and Legal nurse consultants can play big roles in bringing justice to these patients.
The malpractice firms are able to determine if standards were met and if the patient was wrongfully injured. When this standard of care is not met, an investigation ensures. After determining if there is plausible case that the patient was wrongly injured, an attorney begins to access the financial reward of the case. In these types of cases, the age of the patient, the extent of injury, and the loss of earning are all calculated.
Legal nurse consultants help attorneys in determining the standards of care and if they were met in accessing negligence. Legal Nurse Consultants help in a variety of ways. They can investigate the case, review records and help come to a conclusion if proper care was received. Legal Nurse Consultants can also play a pivotal role in expert testimony of cases. Legal Nurse Consultants are heavily relied upon my numerous malpractice firms.
Nurses looking to diversify their career can become Legal nurse consultants. The statistics for malpractice dictate a huge need for qualified professionals. Nurses can take their medical and procedure knowledge to the court room. This requires some training on the part of the nurse. A good Legal Nurse Consulting Program can transfer a nurse into a legal aide to multiple firms dealing with malpractice cases.
Nurse can fit that need and find a alternate and side career in helping patients find justice. Nurses can also help defend healthcare providers who have been falsely accused.
The American College of Legal Nursing can offer the training and knowledge and needed to make the jump from the hospital floor to the court room. The American College of Legal Nursing offers online courses for nurses. The courses are independent study. The courses are also open enrollment. Each course has an instructor to help aid the student through the certification process. The student can utilize the instructor as much or as little as needed. The student can proceed as quickly as he or she wishes. This enables working professionals the flexibility needed to focus on their careers while they also study through the program.
The four online and independent study courses are designed to help the student understand the basics of legal nurse consulting. The program helps prepare the student to become an efficient and successful Legal Nurse Consultant. The final course culminates the information learned and helps prepare the student for reading and preparing briefs. After completing the four courses, a student can apply for a four year certification. The certification can be renewed after four years. The student is required during that time to accumulate 500 hours of clinical and practical work, as well as 50 hours of continuing education.
The College of Legal Nurse Consulting only accepts nurses into the program. It looks to help nurses make the transition into a successful legal nursing career. Nurses can play a pivotal role in this vital need and their knowledge of floor procedure are valuable assets to any malpractice firm. With a certification from the American College of Legal Nursing, a nurse can confidentially present their skill set to malpractice firms.
If you are interested in becoming a Legal Nurse Consultant and possess the knowledge and desire to enter into this field, then please review the program and see if it matches your academic and professional goals. You could then soon enter into an exciting career of Legal Nurse Consulting.