Case Commentary—Bass v. Barksdale: Implications for Public Health and Home Care Nurses


  • Susan Westrick Killion R.N., B.S.N., M.S., J.D.

    1. The author is Professor of Nursing, Southern Connecticut State University, 501 Crescent Street, New Haven, CT 06515.
    Search for more papers by this author


Abstract A recent malpractice case involved public health nurses. Given the legal issues based on this case, recommendations can be made to help ensure legal accountability, improve practice, and minimize liability risk. Areas of concern include doctor's orders and communication relating to telephone orders, the nurse's accountability to the client, documentation and patient teaching, the physician's duty to supervise the nurse, and corporate negligence. The court's analysis of the facts in finding areas of liability can guide nurses in avoiding malpractice litigation.