Although they may not be quite so much on the front line of medical care as registered nurses or doctors, CNAs, or certified nurse assistants can often find themselves in situations where the decisions they make have life or death consequences for the patients in their care. Even in situations where the decisions are not so critical, the actions of CNAs can have a dramatic effect on the quality of care a patient receives. As a consequence, it is highly advised that everyone practicing as a CNA have a good level of professional liability cover in the form of CNA insurance.
Most CNAs who are employed by a major hospital or nursing home will be covered by an employers’ policy which covers all medical and support staff working in the hospital or home. In the event of a claim being made against the employee by a patient or family member of a patient, the hospital’s insurer and legal department will assess the claim and settle with the claimant, with the CNA not being involved very much in the process. However, for CNAs who work for an agency, or who work for companies who regularly change hands, the situation may not be so clear cut. Employers may not cover their staff at all, or the levels of cover provided are not sufficient to ensure that the employee is not out of pocket should an action be raised against them. It is therefore wise in these situations to investigate whether it is a good idea to take out personal insurance to cover being sued for malpractice while at work. Even if your employer offers a policy, it may be that for additional security you opt to top this up with a policy which covers you individually.
What does the CNA insurance cover against?
Professional liability cover is the name of the type of cover taken out by most health professionals, including nurses and certified nursing assistants. The main thing which is covered by these policies is malpractice. Even nurses who are very good at their jobs and would never do anything to put their patients in danger could be sued, and even paying for legal representation at an initial tribunal can cost many thousands of dollars. Having insurance will also compensate a CNA for having to take time off work to prepare their case. The way the legal system works can mean that even if a nurse or nursing assistant is found not to be liable for damages, they may still have to pay the other side’s legal costs such as attorney fees. Again, this can prove very expensive. Having a good level of insurance cover will mean peace of mind for the nurse assistant and for her family if she gets into a malpractice suit. There is a common misconception among health professionals that good nurses don’t get sued, and that if you are doing your job properly then you have nothing to worry about, but as discussed above this is not always the case. Insurance is highly recommended for all registered nurses and CNAs.