Ethics Case Study
When working in health care it offers many rewards, but it also can be risky. Combining medical technology and the human touch, the healthcare industry diagnoses, treats, and administers care around the clock, responding to the needs of millions of people.
Jerry McCall is an office assistant for Dr. William’s. Jerry has received training as both a medical assistant and Licensed practical nurses (LPN). During the time the receptionist is out to lunch Jerry is covering for her. Jerry is faced with a common problem in the health care field today. Jerry has been asked to call in a refill for Valium to a pharmacy for a patient. This paper will address why Jerry is not qualified to refill any prescription medication. If Jerry is protected if a lawsuit is filled. Jerry’s decision is a tough one, legal and ethical issues and advice will be provided for Jerry’s use.
Jerry has received training as a medical assistant and a LPN and has gained acquired knowledge about prescription refills and who is authorized to fill them. Jerry knows that in his position he is not authorized to fill the prescription because he knows that Valium is a very addictive drug. Jerry should know that he needs to get the doctors approval before he can authorize the refill. When dealing with medication refills the Med. Assistant or the LPN cannot refill a prescription with the giving consent from the provider, because they are not protected under the law in case something happens after they authorized the script. Jerry either has to contact the physician or tell the patient they have to get a new script no matter if it’s a high blood pressure pill or a multivitamin refill. Jerry should explain things to the patient and let them know why they will have to wait. Even though the patient is in a rush and needs it filled before he leaves he must know that the refill has to authorized so maybe the patient should plan ahead next time. The doctrine of respondent superior is defined that the employer is liable for the employee’s actions ("Respondeat Superior ", 2011). If a lawsuit is filled Jerry may possibly be protected. The reading did not state if Jerry carried his own malpractice insurance or just relayed on his employer’s insurance. If Jerry does have his own malpractice insurance he would know that his insurance will pay an attorney to represent him before the Board of Nursing ("Medical Malpractice", 2012). Jerry could have a lawsuit filed on him if he does refill the Valium and possible even if he does not refill it. It depends on what malpractice insurance coverage the office and provider are covered under. After completing the call Jerry should try to reach the physician so he can try to get approval and if he cannot reach the provider he needs to call and let the patient know the outcome.
When working under a physician as a Medical Assistant or a LPN, you are a multi skilled practitioners who assume a wide range of roles in physicians' offices and other health care settings, and are viewed by physicians as vital partners in increasing medical office productivity. The assistant will perform administrative and clinical tasks to keep the offices of physicians, podiatrists, chiropractors, and other health practitioners running smoothly. The duties of medical assistants vary from office to office, depending on the location and size of…