Thu 9 Mar, 2006 09:37 am
I have recently left a position at a hospital and have moved on to a company that does outpatient dialysis. I never had malpractice insurance in the hospital as I was advised that the hospital covered me and that if you do carry it you are more likely to be a target in malpractice if you carry insurance. But now in the company that obviously isnt as large as a hospital, I am wondering if it is prudent to now carry it - dialysis is a high risk area and just wondering what others would do or are doing in a situation like mine...thanks
jschrantz, The debate over whether or not to carry your own personal malpractice insurance has been going on forever. I'm sure that everyone has a story of a nurse who did or didn't have it. I have carried my own personal malpractice insurance for many years and this is why...
You are a nurse 24/7. That means you can be held legally liable for nursing decisions you make when you are NOT IN THE HOSPITAL. When you make a nursing decision outside of the hospital that someone questions; that's when you need your own malpractice insurance.
There are many stories of a hospital nurse being dragged through a lawsuit because "the prosecution wanted that money", but I believe that the reality is that there are many more instances when someone questions a nurses judgement for something done outside of the hospital.
Wouldn't you want the piece of mind that you were covered? I know that I do....
I think the old axiom works best. Carry it, but don't say a word. I do, but to find out you would have to sue me. That way I am covered but am not making myself a target. Not even my coworkers know, and neither does my boss. As for decisions outside the hospital, or work, if I stop and just help someone, number one in my state I can't be sued, even a medical profesional, Still I refuse to give my name or profession. I tell them flat out if your greatfull you won't ask. What ever you do, DONT ever take any rewards of any kind. There is always some do gooder waiting to turn you in. They think it is their civic duty. I have seen it happen. Even if it's their family member dieing or bleeding. Do good then run from the money they try to hand you for it. Remmeber before you start to look right at someone and point and say, "you call the ambulance". As soon as it arrives disappear as quickly and quietly as possable. If your doing work as an independant contractor, I put in PICC lines for a short time, most companies require it. I gotta think you need it, if for no other reason what you will be doing is out of site of other professionals so if someone wanted to they could claim anything. In FL it was cheap to by the way $150 for the year as I recall, and covered all kinds of stuff, bought it on line, but some states let your home owners cover it too. So check that out.
If you feel that you have to even ask the question, you need to get the insurance.
personal liability insurance
Ihave been nursing 32 years. I have always carried my own insurance. I have never had to use it. If you do get it, dont tell others you have it. Some try to divert suits to others with insurance. I knew a nurse who told me she was involved in 7 suits because she carried her own insurance.