Q What is the next step in determining a nurse’s negligence?

A In our previous discussions of “negligence,” a nurse’s “duty” to the patient is defined within the context of the “”standard of care” that applied to a specific situation. A nurse’s duty applies anytime he or she is “within the scope of employment” and has formed the nurse-patient relationship. The standard of care for nurses can be found in the policies, procedures, and protocols that apply to the specific area of practice.

Once these first 2 elements of negligence have been determined, the next element, which is crucial to the finding of negligence, is whether there was a violation of the nurse’s duty within the applicable standard of care. In other words, did the nurse do something in his or her practice that was below the standard of care.

For example, a common policy is one that states that...

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