DUE: Please see the Instructional Plan for due dates.
Reflecting on an ethical issue that you experienced either directly or indirectly (as a healthcare student or clinician), answer the following questions:
- Summarize the salient points of the scenario including:
- The Situation,
- Why is this an ethical dilemma?
- What occurred to bring this situation to light?
- How did it become an issue? What was the outcome of the ethical dilemma?
- Were there any legal issues that arose? Why or why not?
- Did you feel that your contribution was valued by other stakeholders? Why or why not?
- If you were in a position of authority (or were in a position of authority in this scenario) describe:
- what you would have done differently, and
- what would you have done the same.
- Are there any take-away lessons to be learned from this case?
Expert Solution Preview
Ethical issues are a common occurrence in the medical field, and as healthcare students and clinicians, we often come face to face with these dilemmas. This individual assignment aims to reflect upon an ethical issue experienced either directly or indirectly and provide a comprehensive analysis of the scenario, stakeholders involved, the ethical dilemma itself, any legal issues that arose, personal contributions, and lessons learned.
The Situation: During a clinical rotation at a hospital, a healthcare student witnesses a nurse administering the wrong medication to a patient.
Context: The hospital’s busy environment and high patient load contribute to the fast-paced nature of the healthcare setting, potentially increasing the likelihood of errors.
Stakeholders: The patient, the nurse, the healthcare student, other healthcare professionals, the hospital administration, and the patient’s family.
Why is this an ethical dilemma?
Administering the wrong medication goes against the principle of patient safety and quality care. It creates a situation where harm may occur, raising moral and ethical concerns.
What occurred to bring this situation to light?
The student noticed the discrepancy between the prescribed medication and the one being administered. The potential harm to the patient and an ethical obligation to ensure patient safety led the student to address the issue.
How did it become an issue? What was the outcome of the ethical dilemma?
The student immediately informed the nurse about the error and requested the correct medication be given to the patient. The nurse acknowledged the mistake and rectified it promptly, ensuring no harm came to the patient. The outcome was averted harm, leading to a positive resolution of the ethical dilemma.
Were there any legal issues that arose? Why or why not?
Although an error occurred, resulting in a potential breach of duty, the nurse’s prompt response in rectifying the mistake prevented any legal consequences. Adherence to hospital policies and reporting mechanisms, along with timely correction, mitigated potential legal issues.
Did you feel that your contribution was valued by other stakeholders? Why or why not?
As the student, my contribution was valued by the nurse, who acknowledged the error and corrected it. However, it is essential to involve other stakeholders, such as the hospital administration and the patient’s family, to determine the full extent of their perception and valuation of my contribution.
If you were in a position of authority (or were in a position of authority in this scenario), describe:
What you would have done differently: As a healthcare professional in a position of authority, I would proactively educate and train the staff on medication administration protocols, highlighting the importance of double-checking medications and fostering a culture of patient safety.
What you would have done the same: I would still prioritize addressing the issue promptly and directly informing the nurse about the medication error to ensure patient safety.
Are there any take-away lessons to be learned from this case?
– The importance of adhering to and promoting patient safety protocols.
– The significance of prompt identification and rectification of errors.
– The necessity of effective communication and collaboration among healthcare professionals.
– The role of personal responsibility in advocating for patient well-being.
By analyzing and reflecting upon this ethical issue, we can enhance our ethical decision-making skills, improve patient care, and contribute positively to the healthcare profession.