All Differences in ‘Breach of Care’ and ‘Duty of Care’

Concept of Duty of Care write on sticky notes isolated on Wooden Table.

“Breach of care” and “duty of care” are related concepts in the field of healthcare, specifically in nursing. While they are closely related, they have distinct meanings and implications.

What Is Duty of Care?

Duty of care refers to the legal and ethical obligation of a healthcare professional to provide safe and appropriate care to a patient. It is a fundamental principle of healthcare that requires healthcare professionals to act in the best interests of their patients and to provide care that meets the accepted standards of their profession.

Duty of care is a general term that encompasses all the legal, ethical, and professional obligations of a healthcare professional to their patients.

What Is Breach of Care?

Breach of care refers to a specific instance when a healthcare professional fails to meet their duty of care obligations. It occurs when a healthcare professional fails to provide care that meets the accepted standards of their profession or fails to act in the best interests of their patients.

A breach of care can take many forms, including neglect, medication errors, failure to document or communicate important information, and failure to follow appropriate infection control protocols.

Duty of Care vs. Breach of Care

One important difference between the two is that duty of care is a general principle that applies to all healthcare professionals, while breach of care is a specific instance where a healthcare professional fails to meet their duty of care obligations. Duty of care is an ongoing responsibility, while breach of care is an event that occurs at a specific point in time.

Another important difference is that duty of care is proactive in nature. It requires healthcare professionals to take steps to prevent harm and ensure patient safety, while breach of care is reactive. It occurs as a result of harm caused by a failure to meet duty of care obligations.

In addition, duty of care can be influenced by the organizational culture, policies, and procedures. Breach of care is an individual action or inaction of a healthcare professional.

Nurse Breach of Duty and Litigation

When a healthcare professional breaches their duty of care, they may be held liable for any harm or injury that results. This can include not only physical harm but also emotional or psychological harm.

In some cases, a breach of care may even result in a patient’s death. Patients who believe they have suffered harm as a result of a breach of care can file a complaint with the appropriate regulatory body or take legal action against the healthcare professional or facility. If death occurred, the filing may be done by a family member.

Get Support for Breach of Care Litigation

If you are facing charges of breach of care and you need support in mediation or the courtroom, contact Florida Healthcare Law Firm today to set up a consultation.

What Is Breach of Duty in Nursing?

Medical worker sleeping on the job and smiles

A breach of duty in nursing can take many forms, and it is important for nurses to be aware of the specific standards of care that apply in their practice area.

In general, nurses have a duty to provide safe, competent, and compassionate care to their patients. This includes tasks such as these:

  • Assessing patients’ needs
  • Developing care plans
  • Administering medications and treatments
  • Monitoring patients’ condition
  • Communicating with other healthcare providers

Depending on the level of certification, nurses may only be allowed to work within their scope of practice under the supervision of a nurse with more training or a physician.

Nursing Breach of Duty Examples

A breach of duty in nursing refers to a failure to meet the standard of care that is expected of a nurse in a particular situation. This can occur when a nurse fails to provide appropriate treatment, neglects a patient, or makes a mistake that causes harm to a patient.

Examples of a breach of duty in nursing may include the following:

  • Failing to properly monitor a patient’s vital signs or administer medication on schedule
  • Neglecting to clean and dress a wound properly
  • Failing to recognize and report signs of infection or deterioration in a patient’s condition
  • Making a medication error or administering the wrong dosage
  • Failing to document or communicate important information about a patient’s condition to other healthcare providers

Neglect is one of the most common charges of breach of duty. Neglect is a failure to provide basic care and attention to a patient or providing care that is inadequate or inappropriate. Neglect can also include failing to recognize and address changes in a patient’s condition or failing to take appropriate action when a patient’s condition deteriorates. In some cases, neglect can lead to serious harm or even death.

How to Avoid Nursing Breach of Duty Charges

To avoid breaches of duty, nurses must be well-trained and stay up-to-date with the latest standards of care. They should also be aware of the signs of potential problems and take appropriate action to address them.

Additionally, nurses should be aware of the importance of documentation and ensure that all relevant information is recorded and communicated to other healthcare providers in a timely manner.

Litigation Due to Breach of Duty

When a nurse breaches their duty of care, they may be held liable for any harm or injury that results. This can include not only physical harm, but also emotional or psychological harm. In some cases, a breach of duty in nursing may even result in a patient’s death.

If a patient believes that they have suffered harm as a result of a breach of duty by a nurse, they may file a complaint with the appropriate regulatory body, such as the Florida Nursing Board. They may also choose to take legal action against the nurse or healthcare facility.

If you are facing charges of breach of duty, Florida Healthcare Law Firm can help. Contact us today to set up a consultation, and we can help you determine your best path forward.

LPN Scope of Practice in Florida

lpn florida

In Florida, the scope of practice for a licensed practical nurse (LPN) is defined by the Florida Board of Nursing and includes a range of tasks and procedures that LPNs are authorized to perform.

However, it is important to note that the scope of practice for LPNs is limited when compared to that of registered nurses (RNs) and other healthcare professionals. All LPNs in Florida are required to perform the tasks within their scope of practice under the supervision of a registered nurse or doctor.

LPN Scope of Practice in Florida

In Florida, the scope of practice for a licensed practical nurse (LPN) includes performing tasks such as these:

  • Monitoring a patient’s health
  • Administering medication
  • Taking vital signs
  • Performing basic patient care (such as changing bandages) under the supervision of a registered nurse or physician

LPNs in Florida are also authorized to perform specific procedures, such as catheterization, tracheostomy care, and wound care.

Additionally, LPNs can assist with patient education and discharge planning, and they may provide care for patients in a variety of settings, including hospitals, long-term care facilities, and home health agencies.

Outside the LPN Scope of Practice in Florida

However, there are certain tasks and procedures that licensed practical nurses are not authorized to perform in Florida. These include interpreting diagnostic tests and making diagnoses as well as prescribing medication.

Additionally, LPNs are not authorized to practice independently and must always be supervised by a registered nurse or physician. This means that they are not able to make decisions regarding patient care or treatment without the approval of a supervising RN or physician.

How to Determine if a Specific Procedure Is Within the LPN Scope of Practice in Florida

The Florida Board of Nursing recognizes that the boundaries may not always be clear when it comes to determining what does and does not fall within the purview of a licensed practical nurse in Florida.

To help LPNs remain on the right side of the law, there is a process for identifying whether or not a specific treatment or procedure is legal for an LPN to perform. LPNs and other nursing professionals may file a “Petition for Declaratory Statement” with the Florida Department of Health to get a definitive decision on any specific procedure.

Litigation and Scope of Practice

Making a mistake on the job and practicing outside the scope of practice for an LPN is not only a threat to their livelihood, but it can also potentially trigger litigation that can be devastating. If you have received notice that you are facing charges of practicing outside the LPN scope of practice in Florida, know that Florida Healthcare Law Firm can help. Call now to set up a free consultation and get the help you need to respond effectively in a timely manner.

Is NSO a Good Malpractice Insurance?

Female nurse Wearing Scrubs In Hospital Corridor Using Digital Tablet

While no one wants to be in this situation, the right insurance can make all the difference when malpractice complaints are filed.

It is not just doctors who struggle with malpractice claims and the negative impact on their reputation, job status, and bank accounts. Nurses can also get hit with malpractice litigation, and when it happens, the best thing to have in your back pocket is the right malpractice insurance.

NSO is a well-rated insurance option that helps nurses to protect themselves when they need it most.

NSO Malpractice Insurance Benefits

NSO insurance is well respected in the nursing community because it provides comprehensive coverage for nurses dealing with a malpractice claim.

Some benefits include the following:

  • Coverage for a wide range of liability issues: Sexual misconduct, license protection, HIPAA issues, professional liability, personal liability, and more are all included under the policy.
  • Easy process for filing a claim: If you are charged with any malpractice issue, all you have to do to trigger coverage through your NSO malpractice coverage is submit an online contact form or call 1-800-247-1500, between 8 a.m. and 6 p.m. EST.
  • Great customer service and support: Within 48 hours of filing your claim, you will be contacted by a claim consultant who will help you determine your legal options moving forward.
  • Long-lasting coverage and reminders to renew: Your coverage under NSO begins as soon as your application is approved and payment is received, which can take less than 24 hours in some cases. Coverage lasts for a year, and you will receive reminders before it expires, making sure that you are never without malpractice insurance coverage.

    Continuation of coverage is easy. No reapplication is required. You will only need to update the policy if there have been any changes since you signed up.

Do I Need Malpractice Insurance for Nurses if My Employer Has Coverage?

If your employer is sued for malpractice or if you are personally sued by a patient while working for your employer, their malpractice insurance will extend to you. However, it may not be enough to cover the costs of all legal fees, all claims, and all other costs that can arise as a result of the case.

When you have personal nurse liability insurance malpractice insurance, you can make sure that your costs are minimal, and you can more quickly resume work as normal.

Get Support for Nurse Malpractice Claims

If you have NSO malpractice insurance, your legal costs will be considerably less than they would be otherwise, especially if you ultimately need an attorney and end up in court.

At Florida Healthcare Law Firm, we accept NSO malpractice insurance and can help you on your journey through this difficult process. Call now to set up a consultation and connect with the legal team that is dedicated to helping healthcare professionals manage their legal issues quickly and efficiently.

Nurse Patient Abandonment

PHI Breach

To a nurse who simply needs to handle a personal emergency or leave her current position for a new job, severing a relationship with a patient may seem like a small part of the process.

To a patient who is left suddenly without care, however, the situation can be life-threatening. Many who suffer harm as a result will often respond by bringing a complaint to the Florida State Nursing Board or filing a medical malpractice lawsuit.

Though it is not illegal to stop providing medical care to a patient for any reason, how that process is done is an important detail. If done improperly, a nurse could potentially lose their license to practice.

What Is Nursing Patient Abandonment?

Patient abandonment in nursing is defined by the abrupt cutting of ties with a patient that results in them having a lack of medical care.

This may happen because a nurse leaves her job suddenly or has to attend to a family emergency, and she is unable to show up to work without providing notice or compensatory care. It could also happen because she leaves her position but does not do the due diligence to ensure that a patient who cannot advocate for themselves has the care they need to stay healthy and safe.

In most cases when this occurs, the case is focused on the damages. That is, if medical harm comes to the patient as a result of being without care, that will likely be the focus of the lawsuit. In many cases, it is the patient’s family bringing the complaint.

Is Patient Abandonment Illegal?

It is not illegal to sever a professional relationship between a patient and a nurse for any reason, but it is illegal to do so without providing enough notice so the patient can connect with another nurse or medical care provider.

How Do I Avoid Patient Abandonment?

If you work for a medical organization, giving notice to your employer and ensuring that they pass your case to the care of another nurse is an easy way to make sure that there are no holes in their medical care.

If you work independently and/or they are unable to find their own medical care, you will need to provide notice to a family member in charge or to a state organization that can ensure the patient will be cared for when you move on.

Do I Need a Patient Abandonment Lawyer?

Patient abandonment law is designed to protect the patients from losing contact with medical care that is lifesaving, especially if they are not necessarily able to facilitate their own connection to another medical care provider.

Not knowing about or not fully understanding the law will not protect a nurse from the consequences of patient abandonment claims in court. It is possible to have to pay fines or face suspension and to even lose one’s license and ability to work as a nurse in the state of Florida.

Contact Florida Healthcare Law Firm today to set up a consultation and respond to complaints proactively while also working to make sure that the situation is not repeated in the future.

CNA License Renewal Florida

nurse practitioner practice

Every two years, a Certified Nurse Assistant, or CNA, renews their license in order to maintain compliance with state law in Florida.

As long as they have provided CNA-related services for monetary compensation within the last 24 months, they are eligible to renew their license online and remain in the CNA registry.

Is it time for your certified nursing assistant license renewal?

Florida CNA License Renewal

It is easy to complete the CNA license renewal process entirely online in the state of Florida as long as you have a credit card or debit card to pay the fees associated with renewal.

To complete your CNA license Florida renewal, do the following:

  • Find your way to www.flhealthsource.gov and then click the button that says, “Renew a License.”
  • When prompted, enter your Personal Identifying Information to log in.
  • You will be prompted to confirm that your MQA services account email address is correct. If it’s not, update it. If it is, confirm and continue.
  • Once you are in the dashboard, you will see a button that says Renew My License ONLY if your license is set to expire within the next 90 days. If you do not see this button, come back in a few days.
  • If you see the button, click it. Follow the prompts to pay your fees and update your information. If you are late and the processing option is still available, you will be charged a delinquency fee on top of the usual fees.

If you do not have a debit card or credit card, you can complete the renewal process online and then print out the form and mail it in with a check or money order to:

Division of Medical Quality Assurance

P.O. Box 6320

Tallahassee, FL 32314-6320

Once processed, it may take up to 10 days for your request to be processed, your license to be printed, and everything to be mailed to you.

Note: Make sure to complete the renewal process by midnight on the night of the expiration of your CNA license in order to maintain licensure without interruption. If the deadline is missed, the license is placed into delinquent status. If it is not remedied, it will ultimately become null and void.

What if I Have Not Worked as a CNA in the Last 24 Months?

Florida nursing assistants who have not been actively working in the last two years will still have a license on file, but it will be marked as inactive. Should two biennial renewal cycles pass without the CNA taking steps to bring the license back into active status, it will likely be necessary to sit for a competency exam or reapply for their license and follow the current rules and regulations for gaining licensure in the state of Florida.

Need help renewing your CNA license or addressing any incorrect information attached to your licensure status? Contact us at Florida Healthcare Law Firm today.

All You Need to Know About Florida Nursing License Lookup

nurse practitioner practice

In the state of Florida, you can easily look up, verify, and/or monitor your nursing license online. This means you can look up your license, obtain verification to send out of state or anywhere that requires proof of your license in order to get a job, and check in to make sure that there are no issues with your license.

If you need assistance with any part of this process or find a legal issue connected to your license that you need help managing, Florida Healthcare Law Firm can help.

How Do I Use the Florida Nursing License Lookup?

In order to look up your license, simply go to Nursys and click on the button that says “Look up license.”

There will be other options available, such as registering your nursing license for automatic status updates on things like expiration or changes to your license status and requesting a verification as a requirement for working in another state, but the button for looking up a license will be right there on the home page.

Once you click on the button, you will be asked to agree to their terms and conditions, and then prompted to enter your information. You can search by name, license number, or NCSBN ID.

If you choose to search by name, for example, you will be asked to enter this information:

  • First and last name
  • License type (e.g., PN, RN, APRN-CNP, APRN-CRNA, APRN-CNS, or APRN-CNM)
  • State

At any point in this process, you can also sign up for free license status updates, which is recommended.

How Do I Find My Nursing License Number?

If you don’t know your nursing license number, you can still look up your nursing license in Florida via the Nursys website.

Simply choose the option to search by name only, and you will not be prompted to enter your license number. When you find your license number, make a note of it and keep it in a safe place for future reference.

What if I Got My Nursing License Outside of Florida?

If you got your nursing license outside of Florida, you can still use this service to find your license unless you got your nursing license in Michigan or, in some cases, want to look up an advanced practice license. Almost all states are included in this database, and many boards of nursing for advanced practice also utilize this service.

Need Help With the Florida Board of Nursing License Lookup?

If in the process of looking up your nursing license you find there are issues you were unaware of, it is important to take immediate action. If the information is incorrect, fixing it quickly is essential. If there are legal issues, it is important that you take action and pay fines or address the problem proactively.

If you have any questions during this process, reach out to us at Florida Healthcare Law Firm for assistance.

What Is Patient Abandonment?

care transition doctor patient

Patient abandonment is a serious issue for patients who require continued medical support as they navigate chronic illnesses or seek a diagnosis.

When they are suddenly without treatment, they may make mistakes with their care or otherwise harm themselves inadvertently by not getting the help they need quickly enough. When the worst possible outcome results from a loss of care, it is not uncommon for their family members to litigate, indicating that patient abandonment is the reason that their loved one suffered and/or passed away.

What Is Considered Patient Abandonment?

It may be termed patient abandonment when a doctor terminates their relationship with a patient without giving them enough time and continued care to allow them to find a new doctor. In order for patient abandonment to occur, a relationship between the medical care provider and the patient must have been established.

In some cases, it is clear that there is a long and ongoing relationship between a doctor and patient, but other times, it may be implied, such as when a patient receives care in an emergency room, in a prison, or from a doctor at the request of their usual doctor who may be unavailable. Any independent medical exam may imply that there is a medical relationship between a doctor and patient as well.

What Is Patient Abandonment in Nursing?

It is possible for nurses to commit patient abandonment as well, even though they are not providing diagnostic care. If they neglect a patient or otherwise stop providing for them and do not make arrangements for another nurse to take over, they are abandoning the patient, according to the legal definition.

This is just as severe as patient abandonment committed by a physician since nurses attend to the acute needs of the patient, providing management of their treatment. If they are not there to maintain medication levels, notice when problems begin to develop, or assist patients with their basic needs, patients will suffer.

What Are the Consequences of Patient Abandonment?

The consequences of patient abandonment at best can mean frustration and fear as the patient seeks to find alternative medical care quickly. At worst, however, patient abandonment can result in the death of the patient or life-altering consequences that make it impossible for them to work or live without pain, or otherwise decrease their quality of life.

Get Help With a Patient Abandonment Lawsuit

If you need help handling a patient abandonment lawsuit, we’re here to help. At Florida Healthcare Law Firm, we are focused solely on healthcare law. We can help you work through the often emotionally difficult process of navigating the legal system with a patient abandonment lawsuit.

Call now to schedule a consultation. Find out what your options are and how we can help.

What Is the Florida Board of Nursing?

nurse practitioner practice

The Florida Board of Nursing plays a number of roles in the state of Florida, but all of them have one goal in common: to protect patients from receiving substandard medical care.

For nurses, this can be a positive support system, but it can also mean a lot of unexpected hurdles, paperwork, and stress.

At Florida Healthcare Law Firm, we can help you navigate the system, address issues that may threaten your employment status, and allow you to spend more time focusing on doing your job rather than managing licensure updates or disciplinary requirements.

Here’s what you need to know.

What Does the Florida Board of Nursing Do?

The Florida Board of Nursing does a few things when it comes to ensuring that working nurses are fully qualified to do their jobs. They:

  • Manage the details of licensing and require all Florida nurses to update and maintain their licenses as needed.
  • Monitor nurses who are currently employed in Florida and address any issues that may arise with employers or patients.
  • Discipline nurses as needed if there are measures needed to address wrong action on the job.
  • Educate nurses on what is expected of them on the job and in terms of managing their documentation, ongoing education, and licensure.
  • Rehabilitate nurses who need help getting back to work after disciplinary action.

What Do I Do If I Need a Florida Board of Nursing Re-Examination Application?

If the board of nursing in Florida has determined that you have fallen below the minimum competency level, you may need to apply again for proper licensure, so you can legally be employed as a nurse in the state of Florida.

If you are having difficulties in maintaining licensure and you need help working with the Florida Board of Nursing, we can help.

At the Florida Healthcare Law Firm, we can assist you in determining what documentation and actions are necessary on your part as you work to gain or regain nursing licensure in the state of Florida. We can also assist you in appealing any denials you face.

Contact us today to set up your first consultation.

Medical Spa Industry Is Booming But is Regulation Keeping Up?

medical spa law

medical spa lawMedical Spas nationwide, but specifically in Florida, have been opening up at a staggering pace. For many reasons, including new services, technological advances, and lax regulations, the opportunities for medical spa businesses are endless.

In 2010, there were about 1,600 medspas operating in the United States generating about $1.1 billion in revenue (about $700,000 per medspa on average). By 2018, these numbers increased to over 5,000 medspas generating about $7 billion-$8 billion in revenue (about $1.4 million per medspa on average). The number is expected to grow to over 10,000 medspas by 2023 with about $18 billion-$20.7 billion in revenue.

While medical spa owners have taken advantage of these opportunities, state authorities have yet to keep up. The medical spa industry is largely unregulated, whether that be due to the nature of the services provided, or the explosive growth in this alternative type of medical clinic. On top of that, there’s been a expansion in scope of practice and supervision requirements for certain providers, including nurse practitioners.Continue reading