Approaches to Ethical Dilemmas
July 5, 2015
Approaches to Ethical Dilemmas
When trying to apply different approaches to ethical dilemmas there are several different steps that need to be taken. Understanding the case study, providing answers to difficult questions, determining an approach to take that would best suit the ethical dilemma, and identifying the ethical issues encountered along with providing an approach method will be the first few steps taken. These steps are important to recognize before proceeding in any way.
In case number five we are introduced to a woman named Janet Lewis who is a registered nurse. The case study describes her as a motivated worker that has a child with special needs that she raises on her own. Other important information about Janet is the fact that she volunteers to pick up extra shifts to help her employer cover available hours. The case study describes the hours leading up to the situation that happens one day with Janet. On one particular day Janet had covered so many hours that she worked without getting any sleep and was exhausted. Later in her shift because of her exhaustion she misreads a label of medication and proceeds to give the wrong medication to the doctor to be administered. This mistake proves to be fatal and the patient dies. Janet tells the doctor about her mistake and is overheard by the patient’s family. An incident report is filed shortly after and mistakenly documented into the patients chart by an employee who is unfamiliar with the hospital’s policies documents. Later that same chart is given to the patient’s family who intends to file a malpractice suit. Employee issues lead the same employee to deliver the documents that contain misfiled documentation to that family.
1. Identify actions that could have been taken by each individual, who could have reduced the risk for Hillside Community Hospital.
Although there are many different individuals that are involved in this case I believe that the major three people that have room for improvement of their actions in order to reduce the risk of Hillside Community Hospital. The first individual is Janet. I believe that if Janet had recognized herself as being too tired to be competent in her duties and asked to be relieved the situation could have been prevented all together. The second individual that could have reduced the risk for Hillside Community Hospital is Carla the new assembly and analysis clerk. I believe Carla’s major action that could have been taken would have been to state that she did not understand the documentation of the hospital. It is important to understand when to ask questions and when to clearly state when you do not understand or are not competent. Finally, Jose the Director of Health Information Services also had a vital role in increasing the risk to Hillside Community Hospital. The major thing that Jose could have done was to insure that he was correctly staffed in the Healthy Information Services department. The lack of supervision and proper training by a qualified supervisor or trainee of Carla definitely affected the situation.
2. What internal and external forces impact this case?
There are definitely internal and external forces that impacted this case. Internally the biggest force that interferes with this situation is the lack of qualified able employees at Hillside Community Hospital. Janet endures long hours of work because she tries to assist her employer by picking up hours when needed. This leads to Janet being too tired to be competent in providing care for her patients. Carla struggles with understanding the documentation and having to provide action that should be done by her supervisor. The lack of employees in her department leads to mistakes happening on her end. The major external force that impacts this case is the family’s actions towards the hospital. Their malpractice lawsuit externally