There are a lot of requirements that nurses must abide by lest they face discipline, license suspension, license revocation, or job loss. This can be unnerving to say the lease, which is why it’s important that nurses know how to defend themselves when their actions or inactions come into question. This is especially true when dealing with standard of care violations.
Standards of Care in Nursing
So, what are standards of care? In short, these standards are guidelines, regulations, and ethical responsibilities that help guide nurses so that they know how to appropriately act when caring for patients. As a result, these standards of care help ensure that patients receive safe, effective, and quality treatment, and they also give the state an objective standard by which to hold errant nurses accountable. Much of the nursing standard of care requirements can be found in state statutes, including the Nursing Practice Act.
What is a standard of care violation?
A standard of care violation, then, is any violation of applicable laws, regulations, or ethical responsibilities that draw a nurse’s actions into question. Generally speaking, these violations are broken down into categories, including gross negligence, simple negligence, incompetence, and unprofessional conduct. Each of these categories, though, has many identified actions that may lead to formal administrative proceedings, including practicing medicine without a license, obtaining a criminal conviction for a felony that interferes with the nurse’s duties or functions, and providing false information on a license application.
Speak with an attorney to learn more about what constitutes a standard of care violation
There are a lot of actions or inactions that could land you accused of violating the standards of care. That’s why you may find it beneficial to discuss your concerns with an attorney of your choosing. In Part II of our post on this topic, we’ll look at the complaint and disciplinary process, as well as what you can do to defend yourself in these proceedings. We hope that you’ll join us there.