1.Intentional torts share three common elements as described in the text on page 113: There must be a volitional or willful act by the defendant.The person so acting must intend to bring about the consequences or appear to have intended to bring about the consequences.There must be causation. The act must be a substantial factor in bringing about the injury or consequences.
Examples of intentional tort include: assault, battery, false imprisonment, conversion of property, trespass to land, and intentional infliction of emotional distress. Threatening a patient with an injection or with starting an IV line is an example of assault. Quasi intentional torts differ from intentional torts because with quasi intentional torts the intent is lacking but there is still a volitional act and direct causation. Examples of quasi intentional torts include invasion of privacy and defamation. An example of defamation is when a nurse makes false chart entries about a patient’s lifestyle or diagnoses.
2. All five RN’s that I interviewed regarding their understanding of torts were mostly confused. All five of them were asked if they could tell me the difference between intentional and quasi intentional torts. The first nurse stated that she had no clue as to what I was talking about. The second nurse said, “I think it has something to do with how nurses treat their patients.” The third nurse just looked at me in a very confused manor, as if she were waiting for me to give her more information. The fourth nurse said, “I kind of remember learning about that in nursing school, but that was many, many years ago, and I don’t recall exactly what it is. The final nurse knew a little bit more than the others and stated, “Aren’t they laws that nurses should abide by?” Although, her response was in the form of a question, at least she knew it had something to do with the law.
3. After interviewing these five nurses if became clear to me that nurses need to be reminded or re-educated often about the laws that could affect their practice. An employer providing mandatory continuing education units on torts is one good way of increasing nurses understanding of torts. Another idea could be to place posters in the elevators that nurses might use frequently.
These posters should be eye-catching with graphs, diagrams and illustrations showing the differences in torts. Implementing a short video during the orientation process could be another way to increase nurses understanding of torts. Finally, with all the mobile devices that are available these days, I think it would be great if someone created an app that could be downloaded by nurses to their own personal smart phones or tablets explaining the differences between intentional and quasi intentional torts.