Medical mistakes can occur at all levels of care in a New York hospital or other medical setting. Mistakes can cause serious harm or even death to a patient.

Experience is often what makes the difference for nurses. The National Council of State Boards of Nursing found that experienced RNs were considerably less likely to make mistakes compared to new RNs. Of these errors, improper medication was the most common. One of a nurse's primary jobs is typically handling medication according to a doctor's order. Common errors include administering the wrong medication, giving it at the wrong time or giving the wrong dose. These mistakes are often avoidable if the nurse is carefully checking records and equipment before administering medication. Other common mistakes include a failure to follow policy or procedure when handling patients, records or equipment.

How a nurse handles the situation when an error does occur is important can could dramatically effect a malpractice lawsuit. It is the expectation that every effort be made to correct any errors that does occur. This could include seeking consultation with a doctor or supervisor. There must also be proper documentation of the incident, and there may be other hospital-specific procedures the nurse is expected to follow. All nurses may face disciplinary action for mistakes and answer to a State Board of Nursing during renewal and licensure.

Many nursing errors are not discovered by a nurse or medical professional and are instead discovered later by the patient or family. If a family member or patient discovers that a mistake was made or suffers negative side-effects, it is important to take action. Records, investigation and legal counsel are all critical parts of a malpractice lawsuit. A lawyer may be able to do help a victim of medical malpractice by advising them on which documents to gather and by aiding them in filing a lawsuit against a negligent health care professional or entity.


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