Legal Risks in Nursing Practice

April 2, 2012 — 1,162 views  
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Nursing is a branch of the medical field that can be an ideal career choice for many. Those who have recently entered this sector or are considering doing so will want to carefully consider a number of issues related to proper practice. Particularly significant among these is the possibility of certain legal risks that come with the territory.

According to research prepared by Schreiner University, malpractice is, of course, a major legal risk, if not necessarily the biggest that those in the profession may encounter. Statutory penalties may be a more common legal pitfall in this instance. Such problems may arise from violations of federal anti-fraud legislation intended to put a stop to falsifications in the health care sector.

As a result, any mistake on a care plan, medical cost report or in a patient's medical records, even an accidental error, will most likely be rigorously investigated, and serious criminal penalties could result.

Another major issue is reporting laws. These require nurses to report cases of suspected child or elder abuse, as well as gunshot wounds, stabbings and suspected or known incidents of rape.

Nurses can help to ensure that these issues will not affect their work by adhering to all reporting and anti-fraud regulations to the letter, including by being incredibly careful in all patient-related documentation.