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Ten Ways To Avoid Getting Sued: What Every School Nurse Needs To Know

By Elizabeth Rudolph, MSN, J.D posted 04-25-2023 12:02


Have you ever thought about your liability as a school nurse? Let’s explore these issues as we talk about potential ways to avoid getting sued.

Ten Ways to Avoid Getting Sued
These are not foolproof, but the goal is to reduce your liability to the extent you can and enjoy your school nursing practice.

  1. Be nice to all students and their families. Know that it’s usually the parents who decide whether or not to bring a lawsuit.
  2. Leave a paper or digital trail. The first piece of evidence a person who is thinking about suing in a nursing malpractice lawsuit will often get is the medical record.
  3. Use terms you know. This applies to both medical and legal terms.
  4. Follow the standard of care. This is critical!
  5. Use acceptable medical abbreviations. Know your school’s policy on standard abbreviations.
  6. Go up the chain of command. This often comes up in lawsuits.
  7. Incident reports may be used as evidence. Appropriately document events.
  8. Document all patient complaints. This reflects on your credibility.
  9. Do a thorough assessment of every patient. Your assessments skills are important.
  10. Use of anecdotal notes can be hazardous. They could be made public.

In a nutshell, these ten ways could help you in your school nursing practice. Join me at Virtual NASN2023 on July 12, 2023 at 11:00 AM Eastern for my session on this topic!

1 comment



05-01-2023 16:04

Excellent & useful reminder. Thank you!

CSS, Nurse Manager Patricia Tolson