Let’s say you are eating dinner at your favorite restaurant and suddenly you see a commotion at the nearest table. You hear someone ask for a physician or a nurse and, you, as a certified nurse, immediately respond to this emergency. You notice the obvious symptoms of a cardiac arrest and quickly go into action, applying the standard procedures. This patient, however, doesn’t respond to your actions and is declared deceased by the paramedics. Afterward, the family of the deceased files multiple lawsuits, including against you. Even though you acted as a Good Samaritan, and you were acting as a fully certified nurse, the lawsuit will go on and you may have to pay damages to the family.
This scenario is just fiction and, thankfully, stories like this happen very rarely. They do, however, occur from time to time, and if you are working in the medical field, you need to have malpractice insurance. No matter if you are a doctor, a nurse, a medical technician, a midwife or a counselor, you need to be protected in any situation. The legal fees, medical costs, and other retributions can rise to huge numbers, most common estimates hovering around $1 million per case and up to $3 million per year.
Licensed nurses have far more responsibilities in the medical field than previously thought. Although many of these responsibilities are associated with doctors and other technicians, nurses are often taking part in increasingly complex medical cases. Small hospitals, low-cost clinics, and nursing homes hire nurses to do more tasks than it is normally expected, so the responsibilities are bigger than ever. Consequently, because the medical and legal risks are higher, having a medical malpractice insurance is critical for nurse practitioners.
Therapists work beside nurses and doctors in major or medium hospitals, as well as nursing homes. They diagnose certain cases, work directly with patients and help them recover after trauma and other illnesses. Also, physical therapists create recovery schedules for patients, based on information provided by the patient and the doctor. Consequently, their responsibility is high and having a medical malpractice insurance may help them cover legal and medical fees in case a lawsuit occurs.
Massage therapists work directly on the patient, providing recovery massages which diminish pain, alleviate stress and improves blood circulation. There are, however, some situations when things can go terribly wrong. For instance, a patient with a knee injury comes into your salon for several recovery massage sessions. After several sessions, he claims that your massage therapy caused him more pain and made the injury worse. He can file a lawsuit and hold you liable for his injuries. You will have to pay legal fees, medical recovery bills, and various other expenses. This can easily amount to tens of thousands of dollars. This is why having a medical malpractice insurance is crucial for massage therapists.
Midwives are often employed as an alternative to delivery in a hospital. There are thousands of licensed midwives in the United States and, unfortunately, some of them are not covered by medical malpractice insurance. Unlike fully licensed gynecologists, midwives do not have the expertise to detect complications, birth defects, and other medical issues during childbirth. Because of this, many midwives can be sued by parents and other family members. It is, therefore, critical for midwives to get medical malpractice insurance.
The rising medical and legal fees mean that working in the medical field without malpractice insurance is extremely risky. Many companies, such as Oros Risk, offer this type of service, so considering that there are more medical malpractice lawsuits than ever, and every worker can be held liable in court, it’s best that you look into getting covered. This is why having malpractice insurance is the most important thing to do. Keep in mind that nothing can prepare you for everything that can go wrong in your career, but you can prepare for the worst, while hoping for the best.
Flaviu Mircea, a professional med student and freelance writer enjoys sharing his journey and tips for surviving school. If you would like to learn more about Flaviu, you can check out his google+ profile.