Q Did the nurse’s violation of his or her duty or standard of care cause an injury to the patient?

A In our previous discussions about “negligence,” we illustrated a nurse’s “violation of his or her duty” to the patient within the context of the “standard of care” that applied. This was illustrated by the common policy that states that “bed rails must be in the up position at all times.” This policy defines the standard of care that the nurse must meet. When a nurse is on duty and has formed the nurse-patient relationship, this standard applies to his or her practice.

In our last column, we discussed that violation of the nurse’s duty occurs when the nurse drops the bed rail while standing directly next to the patient, who is in bed, and then leaves the bedside without bringing the rail up. The bed rail remains down while...

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