While under hospital care, patients can be treated by a number of medical professionals. Besides doctors, patients are also seen by nurses and other support staff. In certain instances a patient may suffer from medical damages, which can occur as a result of negligent care. This negligence can come from a hospital assistant, nurse, or another member of the medical staff in addition to primary medical staff. When negligence or malpractice occurs, patients have legal rights.
Duty of Care
All hospital staff members, even support staff, are required to act in a professional manner and are held to a standard of care. Duty of care is the level of professional standards that all medical staff must follow. In order to provide duty of care, medical professionals must tend to their patients at or above the universally agreed upon standard level of treatment. If a hospital assistant breaches this standard of care, then his or her actions can be considered negligent. There are a number of actions that may constitute negligence.
A patient who received medical care that was below the standard level for their particular illness or condition must prove that there was a breach of standard care. Patients usually do so by demonstrating that another hospital assistant would have acted in a different manner when placed in the same situation as the assistant in question.
Hospital Negligence and Proximate Cause of Damages
Patients and their legal counsel must also prove that real damages were incurred due to assistant’s negligent care. Individual cases can involve different forms and severity of damage, and each patient’s lawsuit is different. When a hospital assistant acts negligently, the claims usually include the following:
• The patient acquired an infection from the hospital
• Prescription drug errors were made including allergic reactions and dosage errors to name a few
• A patient had specific medical needs, yet the hospital assistant failed to monitor the patient’s condition
• The hospital assistant did not notify the proper medical professionals when the patient was showing signs of distress
• Patients were neglected or abandoned when treatment was necessary
Seeking Legal Assistance
In order for patients to ascertain if they have a viable claim, they are encouraged to consult a lawyer knowledgeable concerning medical malpractice lawsuits. Individual states vary on their malpractice laws and statute of limitations so it is important to consult an attorney experienced with their state’s specific provisions. Cases that involve hospital assistant negligence typically hold the entire facility liable.