Nursing Malpractice: When Following Orders is a Bad Idea

Unfortunately, many members of the public believe that nurses simply follow physician orders. While the execution of physician orders is one nursing task, it is far from the main focus of the primary nursing role. Nurses are highly trained professionals who are responsible for assessing patients, identifying problems, recommending solutions, and evaluating interventions and outcomes. When physicians place orders that are inappropriate or questionable, it is the responsibility of the nurse to que


To prevent incidents of nursing malpractice, nurses – particularly the newer ones – need to be educated in risk assessment, role autonomy and responsibility, and patient advocacy. A nurse’s abilities to recognize risk and to speak up when necessary are critical elements of patient safety because nurses are generally present in every single aspect of patient care.”


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