October 17, 2016
Here at Cuming & Gillespie, one of Calgary's premier personal injury and medical malpractice law firms, we feel it is important to ensure everyone in Calgary knows their rights when they have been seriously injured by someone else's negligence. As discussed in Part 1 of this article, negligence occurs in medical situations when a medical professional—a doctor, a nurse, a home healthcare worker, etc.—fails to live up to the standards of their profession and commits a serious error. When that error causes a serious injury or prolonged illness and debilitation to their patient, that patient is entitled to compensation for their injuries and the disruption to their life.
Due to the highly-trained and careful, caring medical professionals in our community, medical malpractice is thankfully rare in the Greater Calgary Area. It does occur, however, and the consequences can be quite serious. As Calgary's population ages and as medical care is increasingly provided by home healthcare workers, many Calgary citizens may wonder about their rights should medical malpractice cause them an injury outside a hospital, doctor's office, or other medical facility. We're here to let you know that you still have rights, and all medical professionals can be held accountable for their actions.
Calgary's Home Healthcare Workers Must Follow Medical, Legal, and Ethical Guidelines
There are many types of healthcare workers who might assist Calgary residents who are still able to live largely on their own, but who through a variety of conditions and infirmities may need extra care from time to time. All licensed healthcare workers receive some type of training, and they are responsible for adhering to that training and treating all patients in accordance with established guidelines.
For those with extensive medical training such as in-home nurses, this includes a responsibility to recommend adjustments to medical care based on observations and certain diagnostic criteria. Failing to appropriately adjust care or recommend adjustments to a physician could rise to the level of negligence in some cases.
Not all home healthcare workers in Calgary have extensive medical training, however. These professionals might assist with various duties and tasks around the house, and may even help administer medication and simple at-home blood tests, breathing exercises, and so on. The lower level of training and knowledge these professional have means they are not expected to diagnose conditions or recommend treatment changes, and in fact it could be considered negligence and potentially even a criminal act if they adjust medication or other treatments without a physician's orders.
The people we trust to protect our health can be held accountable for their mistakes, no matter what setting they're providing healthcare in. There are expectations for home healthcare workers, and limits on what they should do as well, and when they fail to live up to professional standards or act beyond their limitations, you have a right to be compensated for any resulting serious injuries.
Contact a Calgary Medical Malpractice Lawyer Today
If you or a family member has been seriously injured by a Calgary medical professional, no matter what the setting, please contact our office to schedule a free initial consultation today.
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