Nursing complaints can be very stressful to deal with. Aside from the emotional trauma caused by accusations of professional misconduct or malpractice, the possibility that you could lose your license can make you feel insecure about your future.
The best way to prevent nursing complaints is to avoid doing things that can land you in trouble. Here are seven nursing complaint prevention tips that can help you safeguard yourself against the risk of malpractice claims and complaints.
1. Do Not Accept Tasks That You Are Not Properly Trained For
This is a golden rule of nursing that you should always keep in mind. Whenever you are assigned a task, make sure you know what it entails and fully understand what you are being asked to do. If you are not trained or feel inadequate for the task, refuse to undertake that action.
2. Do Not Delegate Tasks to Others unless you know they are trained
Delegating your tasks to others can be risky. If they make a mistake, you might have to face potentially career-threatening consequences. If you absolutely have to delegate your task to someone, make sure they have the knowledge, training, and temperament to do it.
3. Pay Attention to Your Patients’ Needs
Nurses always must pay individual attention to patients. It is certainly not easy – especially now that healthcare facilities and nursing homes are under strain due to the COVID-19 pandemic – but you should try your best to pay attention to the individual needs of your patients and foster a positive relationship with them. If the patients feel that you genuinely care about them, they are unlikely to complain against you.
4. Document Everything
Document, document, and then document some more. Failure to document is one of the most common complaints filed against nurses and it can have serious consequences. In the eyes of the nursing board and the court, if a particular task is not documented, it did not happen. So, in the absence of proper documentation, it is easier to accuse a nurse of negligence or malpractice.
Moreover, failing to document your interventions can put patients’ lives at risk. For instance, if you administer a medication to a patient and fail to document it, another nurse might unknowingly administer the same medication to the patient. This, needless to say, is potentially extremely dangerous, as the patient might suffer an injury or even die from an overdose.
5. Always Stay Updated
Take continuing education training courses to stay updated with all the amendments and changes to procedures and guidelines with which you are required to comply.
6. Monitor Patients Constantly
Monitor your patients as often as needed, or as often as ordered, based on their health condition. If a patient exhibits any abnormal symptoms, you should report it to the attending physician immediately.
7. Buy Malpractice Insurance
Make sure you have your own professional liability insurance. If you have never faced any complaints, you might think of it as an unnecessary expense. However, if and when you do get accused of misconduct or malpractice, your employer is may cover the expenses associated with facing the malpractice suit, but there are exceptions to this. Most employers will not cover any expenses associated with a Board complaint. In such cases, professional liability insurance is important to have.
Want to Know How to Deal with Nursing Complaints? Join Nursing Complaint Help Today!
Despite your best efforts, you might have to face nursing complaints in your career. If and when it happens, the information available at Nursing Complaint Help can be immensely helpful for you.
Our website contains everything a nurse needs to know – common nursing complaints, the consequences of such complaints, how to respond to such complaints, how the investigation process works, and many more.
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