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Nursing Malpractice with a Child

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New Jersey Lawyers for Nurse Negligence with Children

Chances are, the first person that you see when you seek medical care is a nurse. These medical professionals generally take down your information, including your symptoms, history, and pain points; take your pulse and blood pressure; and inform you of the physician’s arrival. When you are the patient’s parent, you answer the questions and discuss the reason for your visit, especially if your child is a baby or too young to understand the questions. While nurses can make your doctor or hospital visit more comfortable, with understanding and empathy, as well as more productive, with proper questioning, documentation, and communication with your child’s doctor, they can also be responsible for causing significant pain and injury if they negligently harm your child. When you and your family experience this horrible turn of events, you should know that you have rights and may be entitled to compensation. Obtaining a successful verdict or settlement after nursing malpractice injures your child can provide vital financial support for your child’s necessary future care and services, in addition to compensating you for the often extensive medical costs spent amidst your child’s recovery.

To discuss what occurred in your individual child’s case and if you may have grounds for a pediatric malpractice claim, contact our skilled team of attorneys at (866)-708-8617 today. Our extensive experience in this specialized area can prove invaluable to you when you have more questions than answers and need a dedicated legal advocate on your side. The consultation is free and available anytime.

What Pediatric Nurses Do

A pediatric nurse tends to the healthcare needs, concerns, and problems of children and their families from birth to late teenage years. The specific duties depend on where the nurse works, whether it be a medical office, hospital, clinic or other healthcare facility. Overall however, a nurse’s job duties include recognizing symptoms in children, noticing changes in their health, and then taking necessary measures to alleviate discomfort and associated health problems. This may require pain management, administering medication, or simply offering support to sick or dying children and their families.

Nurses also play a role in child advocacy, watching for signs of abuse in children, analyzing both physical and emotional problems, as well as ensuring privacy and confidentiality exist between nurse and patient. For example, a nurse may be the one who first discovers abnormal physical findings in a child and reports those findings to a medical doctor, since they are often the links in the healthcare chain who provide initial care and monitor the patient’s health. Nurses also explain and collaborate with patients and their families in the care plan by asking the right questions regarding a child’s symptoms, growth needs, and developmental milestones.

Types of Nursing with Children

Since they work wherever doctors practice medicine, nurses may be specialists in various systems of the body such as neonatal care, trauma care, oncology (childhood cancer), or cardiovascular diseases, to name a few.  By working in those areas long enough, they become specialized. In other words, a pediatric nurse may become specialized by working in pediatrics at an office, hospital, or clinic, or by becoming certified. Some nurses continue their general nursing education and become pediatric nurses, pediatric emergency nurses, pediatric primary care mental health specialists, nurse practitioners, pediatric nurse practitioners, or pediatric clinical nurse specialists, after obtaining a graduate degree in pediatric nurse practitioner education or obtaining certification. Certification is issued through the American Nurses Credentialing Center or through the Pediatric Nurse Certification Board in primary or acute care. Regardless of specialty, the nurse’s main job is support to children and their families, addressing their fears, needs, options, and concerns.

Due to the fact that the nurse is often the first person patients come in contact with, a nurse must have good communication skills and a compassionate approach to patients who are not only sick, but may be unable to express themselves clearly. As parents often find, their child may not understand what hurts them or why. And yet, a nurse must be able to ask probing questions to get the answers documented, in order for doctors to make their diagnosis. Not asking the right questions or taking down the wrong information can lead to incorrect diagnoses. Accurate record keeping is also part of the nurse’s job, as is drawing blood, giving vaccinations, monitoring vital signs, and staying up-to-date on the latest developments in pediatric health care.

What are Examples of Nurse Malpractice with a Child?

Nurses are crucial members of any patient’s healthcare team, including infants and children of all ages. They are the watchful eyes in the neonatal intensive care unit for premature babies and other newborns with conditions requiring around-the-clock monitoring and complicated life-saving devices. They are the assisting hands to the obstetrician at childbirth, when healthcare providers must make emergency decisions and respond quickly if a child or mother is in distress. When signs that something may be wrong are present during delivery due to a host of possible reasons, including hemorrhaging, heart problems, hypothermia, oxygen deprivation, instrument-assisted extraction, and cesarean section, doctors and nurses can work together to notice these signs and react as soon as possible.

Ultimately, a nurse must be the extra pair of eyes and hands to assist births and care for sick babies, toddlers, and adolescents. When they make mistakes that injure patients, they are liable for malpractice just as a doctor would be for failing to practice medicine at the level expected of healthcare professionals with their license, experience, and education. As such, a certified pediatric nurse specialist is held to the standard of a nurse with those same qualifications for the purposes of assessing negligence. So when a nurse fails to administer medication to a baby with the prescribed dose and method of administering it, fails to monitor a hospital patient on schedule, improperly documents a child’s symptoms for the doctor, or is otherwise negligent, they are open to a potential malpractice claim.

Can Nurses be Liable for Pediatric Negligence Like Doctors?

If nursing malpractice occurs and the newborn or pediatric patient becomes sicker, is injured, or dies, the nurse may be liable independently of the doctor. Often however, a nurse is under the direction of a doctor, which poses further questions as to liability. For instance, if the nurse fulfills the doctor’s orders correctly and the child is injured, they may not be liable to the patient. The hospital, the doctor, or both may be the responsible parties, as long as the nurse performed their duties according to the accepted standards of the profession and state licensing board. If not, they may be liable for a pediatric or infant patient’s injuries, their undue pain and suffering, and their parents’ financial damages.

Call NJ Pediatric Nursing Malpractice Lawyers to Discuss Your Child’s Case

If your child or baby suffered at the hands of a negligent nurse, you undoubtedly suffered emotional pain and financial loss tending to your child’s injuries. Seek counsel from an experienced New Jersey pediatric nursing malpractice lawyer on our team and discuss the details of your potential claim. The right attorney can make the legal process as seamless as possible and ensure that you are properly compensated for all of your losses. That’s where we come in. Contact (866)-708-8617 for a free consultation.

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  • How do I know if my child has a pediatric malpractice case?

    If your child suffered an injury, complications, or a medical condition resulting from medical negligence, you may have grounds for a pediatric malpractice or birth injury lawsuit. Learn more.

  • How can I get help to pay for my child's medical bills?

    If a doctor, nurse, hospital, or other healthcare provider failed to provide adequate care for your child and they suffered harm, you can pursue compensation for medical expenses, pain and suffering, and more. Find out about damages.

  • How long do I have to file a pediatric malpractice claim?

    The statute of limitations to file a medical malpractice lawsuit varies from state to state. The time limits may begin when your child's condition is identified, not necessarily when it occurred. Contact us for information that applies to your child's specific case.

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