- Buppert, C. (2021). Nurse practitionerâ€™s business practice and legal guide (7th ed.). Jones and Bartlett Publishers.
- Joel, L. A. (2022). Advanced practice nursing: Essentials for role development (5th ed). F. A. Davis Company.
- Health Resources & Services Administration. (n.d.). Federal Tort Claims Act (FTCA) and malpractice. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
- Balestra, M. (2018). Telehealth and legal implications for nurse practitioners. The Journal for Nurse Practitioners, 14(1), 33â€“39.
- Ward, B. (2020). 20 years after To Err Is Human. Patient Safety Monitor Journal, 21(1), 1â€“4
Value: 100 pointsâ€”This assignment is worth 8% of the total grade.
Due: Day 7
Grading Category: Assignments
In this assignment, you are required to complete only one case study from the following six case studies based on your Nurse Practitioner specialty track.
- If you are a Pediatric NP student, you must complete the Pedi NP Legal Case Study.
- If you are an Adult Gerontology Primary Care student, you must complete the Adult-Geriatric NP Legal Case Study.
- If you are a Psych/Mental Health student, you must complete the PMHNP Legal Case Study.
- If you are a Women’s Health student, you must complete the Legal Case Womanâ€™s Health Study.
- If you are a Family student, you must complete the Legal Case Family NP Study.
- If you are an Adult Gerontology Acute Care student, you must complete the AGACNP Legal Case Study.
Purpose: The purpose of this paper is to foster your synthesis of course content relevant to medical liability concepts. You should complete the learning materials before completing the case because important background information is included in these resources.
Process: A rubric is provided to assist in communicating the expectations for this assignment. The questions in each case study are designed to direct the focus of your paper. Reference the case study where appropriate, especially in the discussion about the standard of care.
Case Navigation: Begin by clicking the About the Patient tab on the main page. Read the information on that page, then click the Next link in the bottom-right corner of the page. Click each tab on the left side of the screen and read the revealed information. When you have finished reading the patient’s situation, select the Review the Case tab, which provides you with the questions you must respond to for this assignment. Please answer the questions listed, because they relate to the case and the learning material related to malpractice and standard of care.
About the Patient
Other details: Hispanic
Adapted from Medical Malpractice Verdicts, Settlements & Experts; Lewis Laska, Editor, 901 Church St., Nashville, TN 37203-3411
Lucia was seen in an emergency room two days earlier for nausea, abdominal pain and vomiting. She was then seen at the outpatient mental health clinic by the psychiatric nurse practitioner, who worked under the supervision of the off site psychiatrist. The clinic received federal funding.
The psychiatric nurse practitioner was informed of the recent emergency room visit during the review of the intake paperwork completed by Luciaâ€™s mother. The psychiatric nurse practitioner prescribed Zofran 4 mg by mouth every 4 hours prn for nausea and Prozac 40 mg by mouth every morning on a prescription pad which had been pre-signed by the supervising psychiatrist. The psychiatric nurse practitionerâ€™s notes indicated that the Prozac was prescribed for depression, but an in depth screening and safety risk assessment was not documented.
The patient was instructed to return in one month. Three weeks later Lucia hung herself in her bedroom closet with a belt. She was found by her mother and brother and was transported to a nearby hospital. The patient suffered a catastrophic brain injury and died three years later. She required around-the-clock care during those three years.
The family claimed that Prozac should not have been prescribed due to a lack of signs of clinical depression and claimed that the FDA had issued a warning regarding the use of Prozac in adolescents, specifically that Prozac use in adolescents increased the risk of suicidal thinking and behavior.
The psychiatric nurse practitioner claimed that the clinical evaluation for depression supported the diagnosis. The psychiatric nurse practitioner also claimed that the suicide attempt followed a breakup with her boyfriend and a fight with her father and that the medication played no part in the incident.
Review the Case
Please review the listed questions.
- Identify the defendants and the areas of negligence in this case.
- Identify and describe appropriate screening measures and safety risk assessment procedures in adolescents with depression.
- Reflect on this case and identify what you would have done differently as a psychiatric mental health nurse practitioner.
- Review the risks that NPs face associated with practice identified in Buppert (2021) p. 299 and identify which of these apply to the case. What strategies might have reduced the risk of the outcome presented in this case? Refer to Buppert (2021) Chapter 8: Risk Management.
- What do you think the verdict was and why?