Nursing as a profession has its code of ethics that guides nursing practicing as a profession. Nearly all ethical ground rules are challenging although in my own bit of perspective, the utmost challenging for me is nurses and patients, the autonomy of self-determination of the patients.
The nurse/care giver is supposed to respect the autonomy of self- determination of the patients and, also assist to the patients to take independent decisions by providing suitable information. Here comes the situation whereby the patient’s decision may not be excellent for its health condition, but according to the ethical ground rules, the nurse is to regard the patient’s decision, without nurse imposing its own decisions above the patients. During such stages, health care providers find selves in difficult positions by having conflicting thoughts and ethical dilemma, thus regarding patient autonomy verses protecting the patients’ health condition.
A typical case study is the situation where a patient who is suffering from a chronic lung disease and is under monitory, yet the patient demands smoking. Meanwhile, the patient is fully informed of the after-effects of smoking on its health and is not willing to let the nurses disclose the issue to any of its relatives.
The health care provider realizes that, smoking could damage the patients’ health conditions, although the position is that, the health care provider is to regard the patient’s autonomy. This position for example becomes very difficult as the nurse is also presumed to assist and protect the good health of patients.
Finally, the most challenging form of this ethical ground rules “Nurse and patient-the autonomy and self-determination of patient” is when the patient’s opinion is conflicting with the health care providers treatment, and decision need to be made either-or patients significant order or by the nurse. This may delay the utilization of the health care plan due to delay in reaching consensus.
WHAT CAN HAPPEN TO A NURSE WHO IS GUILTY OF ERROR OR NEGLECT
Medical negligence occurs when a doctor /nurse performs their job in a manner that deviates against the accepted medical approval of care (Goguen n.d.).
If nurse administers care that is bad in terms of accepted medical norms/ethical under the circumstances, then the nurse has failed to perform his/her duty, and this is also said to be negligence (Goguen n.d.).
The National Authority of Medicolegal Affairs are responsible for the national guidance and supervision of health care professionals. That is, they are responsible for overseeing, giving the rules and guidelines conducting the profession. They also pass verdict to those that are found culpable of their offense in medical profession such as suspicion of medical malpractice.
Supposing a nurse is established culpable of his or her error or neglect during practice, the National Authority for Medicolegal Affairs have the order to issue appropriate measures to discipline the nurse. The National Authority for Medicolegal Affairs is a body responsible for nursing professional guidance and supervision that is they provide the guideline, code of ethics and rules which governs the practice of the nursing profession. They also grant the right to practice as a licensed professional. Therefore, if a nurse is guilty of error or neglect, the nurse will be sanctioned according to the acts of this body.
According to National Authority for Medicolegal Affairs, act of health care professionals’ section 26(1030/2000) sanctions for misconduct (Act on Health Care Professionals, 1994), the National Authority for Medicolegal Affairs may issue specific regulations and instructions to the nurse as to how the nurse should go about his/her professional activities. Depending on the type of neglect, the National Authority for Medicolegal Affairs may impose restrictions on the right to practice professional activity for a fixed period or until further notice. Thus, the nurse may not be able to exercise his/her full right to practice as a nurse, and there may be some restraint.
In other words, the right of practice as a licensed professional maybe retrieved for a fixed period or until further notice. In this case, the nurse loses his/her right as a licensed professional during or within that stipulated time. In some cases, the National Authority for Medicolegal Affairs may interdict a professional with a protected title to use the occupational title of a health care profession as prescribed by Decree for a fixed period or until further notice. In this sense, the nurse may be prohibited from using the professional title. For instance, if the neglect was performed by a superior nurse, she may lose the title as a senior nurse.
Which depends on the gravity of the offence performed, the nurse’s sole right of a professional to practice can be cancelled out rightly. Unlike the alternative sanctions where the nurse can be called back to profession or a sanction can be uplifted, here in this case, the nurse may never have the chance to practice the profession again.
WHAT TO DO AFTER MEDICATION ERROR
If a medication error has been committed and the nurse as noticed it for instance, he/she has giving antibiotics to a wrong patient: Firstly, the care giver/nurse should stop the drug administration after which the patient would be examined for any adverse effects and treated accordingly. (Scrubs 2012).
Furthermore, the care giver/ nurse should reach the physician soon enough and explain fully the misdeed to the physician, to assess if the patient requires an antidote to reverse the potential harmful effects of the dosage/medications. Also, the nurse should notify the rest of the care-team which may end in considerable adjustment that would determine the patience’s care plan.
As soon as the situation has been resolved, the nurse is expected to document and make an incident report in full, detailing the circumstances of the error to examine the problem and implement better practice so that similar mistakes may not occur in future.