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Ethics in Health
Answer the following discussion prompt. APA format, 250 word minimum.
Consider the following case scenario – Twin Tragedy: The Second Victim Syndrome
Providing healthcare to patients is a complex and uncertain environment where, despite best intentions, errors and catastrophe may occur. When a caregiver experiences, and subsequently suffers negative consequences from, such an event, the resulting trauma has been defined as “the second victim syndrome.”
You are the administrator of General Hills, a large, well-respected teaching hospital. The facility has a state-of-the-art Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU), so the most critically ill infants are often arranged to be delivered in, or immediately transferred to, General Hills. The registered nurses working in the NICU are extraordinary. Nurse Mary is no exception.
Nurse Mary has twenty-two years of nursing service, the majority of which is with General Hills. She is a model employee and the care she delivers has been exemplary.
This morning you were informed that one of the babies who suffered from a severe heart condition passed away in the NICU. You are further saddened by this unfortunate news realizing that this infant was the victim of a serious medical error which occurred four days prior when Nurse Mary unintentionally overdosed the fragile infant with ten times too much medication. Almost instantaneously Nurse Mary realized the mistake, immediately admitted it, and logged the error in the hospital’s electronic reporting system. The infant was so fragile that it will be difficult to prove that the medication error alone caused the infant’s death; however, it is unmistakable that the error endangered the infant and contributed in part to his decline.
Nurse Mary has been devastated since the day of the event in question. She feels horrible, cannot eat or sleep, and appears to be spiraling into a deep depression. Additionally, while she feels terrible even mentioning it given the circumstances, Mary is extremely concerned about her livelihood, specifically her license to practice and continued employment with General Hills. The case has been referred to the state nursing commission where Nurse Mary’s case is pending decision, but it is expected that the commission will place Nurse Mary on probation.
You have a meeting with the other administrative staff tomorrow to decide the fate of Nurse Mary. General Hills does not have any sort of policy dictating what happens to an employee when he/she makes a medication error, as it is a mistake that has a range of possibilities.
General Hills’ mission statement is to provide excellent medical education and patient services, with a responsibility and commitment to quality and compassionate care and collaborative service.
a.Did Nurse Mary’s actions violate or comply with the directives within the Nursing Code of Ethics?
b.Who are the stakeholders?
c.How would you, as healthcare administrator, handle the situation keeping in mind:
i. General Hills’ mission statement; and
ii. The professional codes of ethics that you are obligated to as both a healthcare administrator and health care provider
iii. Remember to include an informed opinion in your answer so you should be explaining how and why your recommendations are supported by ethical theories and principles, and applicable professional codes.