Doctors are not the only ones that have to face malpractice suits and being sued. Sometimes, a nurse needs a lawyer to. Needing an attorney for nurses is not going to be as often or maybe as career threatening but it’s definitely just as important. Advanced Practice Registered Nurses find them themselves the common target for med mal lawsuits. In the span of 10 years there were 1458 adverse actions that were taken against these nurses. There were 2791 med mal payments doled out, on top of that. Florida ranked highest when it came to the number of malpractice payments for healthcare professionals; they came in at 382. During that same time there were less than 50,000 licensed practical nurses and more than 65,000 cases against them. Not all claims go through and nursing licenses can be reinstated, especially if you have a good attorney for nurses. Here are some other reasons a nurse might want to retain the counsel of a lawyer.
There are state laws in place regarding over time. These laws forbid employers from requiring mandatory overtime. however, most nurses work two to four hours mandatory overtime past the end time of their scheduled shift on a regular basis. If a nurse is unsure about the laws that prohibit mandatory overtime, they should employ an attorney. Especially if they are fearing for their job and being charged with patient abandonment if they do not stay longer. A good lawyer will be able to inform the nurse whether he or she is right or wrong and whether they qualify for the prohibited mandatory overtime laws.
If the hospital is failing to act when a dangerous physician has been complained about by several members of staff, it’s time for the nurses to get an attorney, especially if they fear for patients’ lives. Sometimes, nurses can be denied promotions because of speaking out against a dangerous doctor, although this will never be admitted, of course. There are laws regarding whistle blowers that a good attorney for nurses will be able to advise them on. If they choose to go through with the process, the lawyer can guide them and represent them if the claim goes to court.
Supervisors should never put themselves in a place where they are found to be inappropriate or derogatory. A specific nurse can feel singled out and treated differently and suspect it is because of their race. If the supervisor has ever referred to the nurse’s race, this is a good time to get a lawyer. They’ll need a lawyer that is trained in discrimination and has encountered cases like these before in order to determine whether or not this is cause for action. Either way, a lawyer will be able to advise the nurse on which course of action she should take in order for the derogatory comments and treatment to stop happening.
There are times when a nurse might feel they need a lawyer but the hospital’s actions are not actually against the law. These are examples of those situations:
Although inadequate staffing can be very frustrating and cause a lot more stress and work on the working nurses, it is not illegal, yet. This is something that can be brought to the board of nursing.
If the hospital has fired a nurse with reason then there is no court case necessary. However, if the nurse feels that his or her termination was not law abiding, they might consult with an attorney to find out if this is something worth pursuing.
While a racist or inappropriate supervisor is cause for lawyers for nurses, a critical or mean supervisor is not. Many supervisors take it to far when reprimanding nurses for tardiness or lack of work quality and may even do it in front of the other nurses but again, this is not illegal. However, if any comment is made regarding race, gender, age or other defining insults, an attorney should be informed.
Overall, getting a consultation from an attorney for nurses is never a bad idea and at that point, he or she can advise you if you need to pursue a claim or file a suit. If your professional licensing is in danger, do everything you can to prevent that.