Negligence of Duty

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“Negligence of Duty” Failing to Follow the Standards of Care By Erica Couture Central Florida Community College Practical Nursing Program Negligence of Duty: Failing to Follow the Standards of Care As nurses, we are expected to practice by a set of standards; standards that are comprised of laws and ethics that require us to practice and behave in a certain manner. When we are entrusted by the state as well as the community and given a license to practice as nurses. We are expected to uphold to those standards and not fall below par or people suffer.

In the case of Loretta Safron, LPN whom was found guilty of negligence of duty – those standards were put to the test. She did not practice by those standards that we are entrusted to uphold and as a result a life was lost. Loretta Safron was charged with neglect because after being told about a change in a patient’s condition by a nursing assistant she did not respond; she did not ASSESS her patient! She had a duty to do so. After realizing that her patient had coded, she did not initiate CPR and this patient died. She then committed a breach of duty!

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After looking through her patients chart, she realized her patient that she was trusted to care for and sworn to protect and “do no harm” was in fact a FULL CODE. So this nurse caused harm to her patient and that harm was related to her breach of duty, which constitutes causation. Therefore, Loretta was charged with “Failure to initiate CPR” otherwise known as Negligence of Duty, or professional malpractice. To understand “Negligence of Duty” we must first examine what the Nurse Practice Act constitutes as “Negligence. ” Negligence is a general term that refers to conduct that does not show care that is due to that person.

It occurs when someone fails to do something that a reasonably prudent person would do in a similar situation. There are four essential characteristics of negligence: Duty, Breach of Duty, Harm, and Causation. Duty is established when the nurse patient relationship is started. Breach of duty is when nursing care falls below acceptable standards (or the nurse is negligent). If something happens to the patient, then you have Harm, and if the nurses Breach of Duty causes harm, then you have Causation. When all those are added up you are guilty of Neglect. Loretta Safron violated Nurse Practice Act 464. 18(d):7 which is stated as: “A violation of chapter 415, relating to protection from abuse, neglect, and exploitation. ” Chapter 415 is the statute regarding adult protective services. Florida statute 415. 102(15) states: “Neglect” means the failure or omission on the part of the caregiver to provide the care, supervision, and services necessary to maintain the physical and mental health of the vulnerable adult, including, but not limited to, food, clothing, medicine, shelter, supervision, and medical services, that a prudent person would consider essential for the well-being of a vulnerable adult.

The term “neglect” also means the failure of a caregiver to make a reasonable effort to protect a vulnerable adult from abuse, neglect, or exploitation by others. “Neglect” is repeated conduct or a single incident of carelessness which produces or could reasonably be expected to result in serious physical or psychological injury or a substantial risk of death. ” As a future practitioner, any act of omission or commission would be a serious violation of the nurse practice act and would be cause for question of my moral and ethical standards as a human being.

I can say at this moment that I will never neglect my patients; although I do realize that mistakes happen and we are only human. I do however consider myself privileged as a nurse because the trust your patients put into you to care for their loved one’s safety and their precious life is no different than the trust that is given to you by your children. We are responsible for the health and wellbeing of others while in our care, and that privilege should never be taken lightly. “The Florence Nightingale Pledge” truly puts the Standards of Care all into perspective.

The commitment you make as you pledge to begin practicing as a nurse is a serious lifelong obligation, and is stated: “I solemnly pledge myself before God and in the presence of this assembly, to pass my life in purity and to practice my profession faithfully. I will abstain from whatever is deleterious and mischievous, and will not take or knowingly administer any harmful drug. I will do all in my power to maintain and elevate the standard of my profession, and will hold in confidence all personal matters committed to my keeping and all family affairs coming to my knowledge in the practice of my calling.

With loyalty will I endeavor to aid the physician, in his work, and devote myself to the welfare of those committed to my care.


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Negligence of Duty. (2018, Feb 03). Retrieved from

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