Nursing Malpractice by Charles C. Sharpe

By Charles C. Sharpe

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They can be based on the nature of care to be provided, the setting for and the level of that care, and the competencies and required credentials of the subject caregivers. Standards can be very general and couched in language and provisions that apply to a very broad group, or they can be quite specific and applicable primarily to a defined group or subgroup within a profession and thus "profes- 36 Nursing Malpractice sion specific". There are two basic sources of standards of care and the criteria upon which compliance will be evaluated.

THE PATIENT MOST LIKELY TO SUE There are several traits or behaviors that have been consistently identified in the litigious patient.

The plaintiff will be obliged to demonstrate that: • published standards of care were in existence, disseminated, and readily available to the defendant: • the standards that the plaintiff presents to the court were applicable and appropriate to the circumstances; • the defendant should have known those standards; • the defendant should have applied them; • the defendant failed to apply them: • the nature and extent of the defendant's breach of duty is evident; and • the defendant's breach of duty caused the plaintiff's injuries.

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