Negligence and Professional Standards in Nursing


Negligence, nursing code of ethics, professional negligence, Non-maleficence, IV cannulation, harmful microorganisms, self-prescribed medication, nursing care, Australian Nursing & Midwifery Council


Essay 2000 words. Scenario: Mrs Grant is 82 years old. She has a history of cardiacproblems and these are treated with medications. She is on Warfarin twice daily asanticoagulant. Three days ago she was admitted to hospital. A long standing venousulcer on her left lower leg was unresponsive to treatment and is infected. Now sheneeds hospitalisation for twice daily dressings and intra venous antibiotics. Mrs Grantneeds assisatance for all hygiene and mobilisation. Her daughter is a recently retiredregistered nurse who has been providing care for her mother. The daughter reported ina written complaint: there was confusion with Mrs Grant's medication on admission. Theward RN stated she could not locate the hospital medication order. Hospital staffrefused to allow her to take her own prescribed medications that she had brought in.The nurse who attended the wound did not, during the entire 5 day admission, file anyphoto or measurement or description of the wound in the patient notes. This nurse wasobserved to treat this infected wound without any gloves or other personal protectiveequipment. Procedurally, the daughter felt the wound care lacked attention to painmanagement and good prractice. Nor did the nurse wash her hands on completion ofthe dressing. The IV cannulation was achieved. The nurse who flushed the IV wasnoted to be using sterile water; the daughter immediately stopped her stating it wasunsafe and a hypotonic solution and that only normal saline should be used. The nursestated "that is how we do it here". After the antibiotic regime was complete Mrs Grantwas discharged home. Mrs Grant had lost weight, had two skin tears and was nowoccassionally incontinent. While the wound appreared to be no longer infected therewas no reduction in its size or pain experienced. There were no discharge orders orpatient/family education given for her ongoing care. On arrival home Mrs Grantcollapsed. She was taken by ambulance to another facility at the daughter's insistence.The daughter wants to sue those involved in that first admission. Apply the elements ofnegligence to this scenario. Use the ANMC competencies to determine the standardsexpected. You are notrequired to explore clinical and physiological aspects, rather youare to concentrate on demonstrating relationships of care to need in light of the rules ofnegligence and professional standards.


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