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Digital Seminar

Anticipate Post Operative Complications & Avoid Legal Ramifications

Diane Elizabeth Sheffield, CRNA, JD
2 Hours 04 Minutes
Audio and Video
Jun 22, 2023
Product Code:
Media Type:
Digital Seminar


What is Due Care? Due Care is the legal term for what a reasonable nurse would do in the same circumstance. How you react to post-operative complications will be judged against how a reasonable nurse in the same situation would react. With the increase in patient acuity, most nurses will experience untoward post-operative events in their career. Whether these complications occur is not the issue, but rather how the complications are handled may be the difference as to whether you are involved in a legal action. The medical-surgical nurse must understand and anticipate post-operative problems quickly before they become insurmountable events. In addition to anticipating possible complications, reviewing adjudicated (completed) legal cases illustrates the ramifications for failure to identify and act on post-operative complications.


Planning Committee Disclosure - No relevant relationships

All members of the PESI, Inc. planning committee have provided disclosures of financial relationships with ineligible organizations and any relevant non-financial relationships prior to planning content for this activity. None of the committee members had relevant financial relationships with ineligible companies or other potentially biasing relationships to disclose to learners.  For speaker disclosures, please see the faculty biography.

* Credit Note - **

NOTE: Tuition includes one free CE Certificate (participant will be able to print the certificate of completion after passing the online post-test (80% passing score) and completing the evaluation). Instructional methods will include PowerPoint, didactic lecture, and others.

Continuing Education Information:  Listed below are the continuing education credit(s) currently available for this non-interactive self-study package. Program content is reviewed periodically per accrediting board rules for currency and appropriateness for credit. Credit approvals are subject to change. Please note, your state licensing board dictates whether self-study is an acceptable form of continuing education, as well as which credit types are acceptable for continuing education hours. Please refer to your state rules and regulations. If your profession is not listed, please contact your licensing board to determine your continuing education requirements and check for reciprocal approval. 
For other credit inquiries not specified below, please contact or 800-844-8260 before purchase.

Materials that are included in this course may include interventions and modalities that are beyond the authorized practice of your profession.  As a licensed professional, you are responsible for reviewing the scope of practice, including activities that are defined in law as beyond the boundaries of practice in accordance with and in compliance with your profession's standards.  

For Planning Committee disclosures, please see the statement above.  For speaker disclosures, please see the faculty biography.

* Credit Note - ---

Earn up to 2.0 CE hours. Please see below, for more details, as credit amounts vary by state and profession. 

Nurses - Nurses, Nurse Practitioners, and Clinical Nurse Specialists - ANCC

PESI, Inc. is accredited as a provider of nursing continuing professional development by the American Nurses Credentialing Center’s Commission on Accreditation. Nurses completing these self-study materials will earn 2.0 contact hours. Expires: 06/02/2026.

Nurses - California Nurses

PESI, Inc. is a provider approved by the California Board of  Registered Nursing, Provider #: 17118 for 2.0 self-study contact hours. 

** You will need to provide your license number to PESI. PESI must have this number on file in order for your hours to be valid.

Nurses - Florida Nurses

PESI, Inc. is an approved provider by the Florida Board of  Nursing. Provider #: FBN2858. These materials qualify for 2.0 self-study contact hours.

CE Broker

Nurses - Iowa Nurses

PESI, Inc. is an approved provider by the Iowa Board of Nursing. Provider #: 346. Nurses successfully completing these self-study materials will earn 2.0 self-study contact hours. Please email with your license number, include the title, speaker name and date. PESI must have this number on file in order for your hours to be valid.

Other Professions

This self-study activity qualifies for 2.0 continuing education clock hours as required by many national, state and local licensing boards and professional organizations. Save your activity advertisement and certificate of completion, and contact your own board or organization for specific requirements.



Diane Elizabeth Sheffield, CRNA, JD's Profile

Diane Elizabeth Sheffield, CRNA, JD Related seminars and products

Diane Elizabeth Sheffield, CRNA, JD

Elizabeth started her healthcare career with a degree in respiratory therapy. She continued her education with her nursing degree, a master’s degree and a doctorate of nurse anesthesia practice (DNAP) from Virginia Commonwealth University. Her clinical experiences range from critical care, emergency department, PACU and work as a Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist.

Early in her nursing career, Elizabeth developed an interest in legal and ethical issues in nursing. She furthered her education and pursued a Doctor of Jurisprudence and a MA in clinical bioethics. As a practicing attorney, Elizabeth specialized in medical malpractice, defending both healthcare organizations and physicians. She also has experience as both a testifying and consulting expert witness. As a consummate educator, she lectures nationally on medico-legal issues and has authored several articles on legal and ethical issues.


Speaker Disclosures:
Financial: Diane Sheffield has an employment relationship with American River College. She receives a speaking honorarium from PESI, Inc. She has no relevant financial relationships with ineligible organizations.
Non-financial: Diane Sheffield is a member the American Association of Nurse Attorneys, the American Society for Bioethics and Humanities, the American Society of Healthcare Risk Management, and the California Association of Nurse Anesthetists.


Additional Info

Access for Self-Study (Non-Interactive)

Access never expires for this product.


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  1. Distinguish between negligence and malpractice.
  2. List the four elements of malpractice.
  3. Name common post-operative complications.
  4. Show awareness and knowledge surrounding the impact of adjudicated legal actions.


Anesthetics Modes
  • Local
  • MAC
  • SAB
  • Blocks/Exparel
  • General
  • Laryngeal Mask Airway (LMA)
  • Endotracheal Intubation
    • Narcotics
    • Hypnotics
    • Benzodiazepines
    • Paralytics
  • Airway Emergencies
    • Mechanical – Difficult Airway?
    • Sleep Apnea
    • Oxygen Devices
    • Case
Cardiac and Pulmonary Emergencies
  • PaCO2 Retention
    • Co-Morbidities
    • Narcotics
  • Pulmonary Embolism
    • Fat Embolism
  • Pneumothorax
    • Iatrogenic
Specific Surgeries
  • Robotic
  • Laparoscopic
  • Endocrine
  • Head & Neck
  • Orthospine/Neurosurgical
Common Legal and Ethical Concerns
  • Lack of Communication or Miscommunication
  • Failure to Diagnose (Nursing)
  • Lack of Situational Awareness
  • Falls
  • Cases

Target Audience

  • Nurses
  • Nurse Practitioners
  • Clinical Nurse Specialists
  • Physician Assistants


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ADA Needs
We would be happy to accommodate your ADA needs; please call our Customer Service Department for more information at 1-800-844-8260.

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