1. Identify four common areas of nursing liability and give an example of a deviation from the standard of care for each.
2. Identify two types of patients who are at a high risk of falling and discuss
nursing interventions that are appropriate to minimize the risk.
3. If a patient falls and is injured, discuss the liability issues involving the nurse
who is assigned to that patient. What should be documented?
4. If a physician writes an order for a medication and mistakenly orders a
dangerously high and very unusual dose, is the nurse automatically protected
legally? What should the nurse do?
5. Many types of equipment are used in patient care today. Discuss the types of
injuries that can result from not knowing how to use the following types of
6. Operating room instrument and sponge count policies are very important
evidence in a trial involving retained foreign objects. Discuss how such a
policy can help in the defense of a nurse.
7. If a suicidal patient is ordered to have “10-minute checks” and the nurse does
in fact check that patient every 10 minutes, is it necessary that each check be
documented? Why or why not?
8. If a nurse administers a medication and the patient suffers an allergic reaction, can the nurse be found negligent? Discuss.
9. How do you determine if an action or inaction is a breach of the standard of
10. What are the elements of negligence? Apply and discuss the elements of a
case you find on the Web or in a law library or journal.
11. List two common breaches for five nursing specialties.
12. Discuss two cases or scenarios involving breaches of the standards in two
nursing specialty areas.
13. Obtain a case from any of the areas mentioned and discuss the elements of
14. Watch a medical television program and discuss the sections of the show
involving the following:
a. Policies and procedures
b. Breaches of the standards of care
15. Poll your class and determine what they think are the most common areas of
nursing liability and why