When a preventable medical error leaves a patient injured or in a worse condition than when he or she first sought treatment, the patient may file a medical malpractice claim to see monetary compensation for his or her resulting damages. These can include the costs of corrective treatment, his or her lost wages, and any intangible damages related to the injury like reduced quality of life or the need to undergo psychological counseling to work through the emotional trauma of an injury.

Although many people think of doctors’ errors when they think of medical malpractice, the truth is that any medical professional can act in a negligent manner that results in a patient’s injury. Nurses often have a significant amount of contact with patients, putting them in positions where harmful errors can occur.

What is a Nurse Practitioner Qualified to Do?

A nurse practitioner is a registered nurse who has advanced training to diagnose and treat acute conditions. Officially, they are known as Advanced Practice Registered Nurses (APRNs).

Nurse practitioners can do the following:

  • Perform examinations;

  • Diagnose illnesses;

  • Prescribe medication; and

  • Provide medical treatment.

Although a nurse practitioner can perform these tasks, he or she is not a doctor. In 24 states and Washington, D.C., nurse practitioners have what is known as “full practice authority,” which means that they do not have to work under a doctor’s supervision. In the remaining states, including Illinois, nurse practitioners do need to have doctors sign off on certain medical decisions they make.

As you can see from the list above, there are many types of medical error a nurse practitioner can make, such as an erroneous diagnosis, an incorrect prescription, and failure to obtain a patient’s informed consent before performing a medical procedure. Like doctors, nurse practitioners generally carry malpractice insurance because they are liable for any damages that result from their medical errors. If you suffer an injury or worsened health condition because of a nurse practitioner’s negligence, work with a lawyer to file a medical malpractice claim with his or her malpractice insurance provider.

Work with an Experienced Chicago Medical Malpractice Lawyer

If you have been injured by a medical professional’s negligence, whether that professional was a doctor, a nurse at any level, hospital administration staff, or even a drug or medical device manufacturer, you have the right to file a medical malpractice claim to seek compensation for your resulting damages. To learn more, contact our team of experienced medical malpractice lawyers at Baizer Kolar, P.C. to set up your initial consultation with us.