Week 1 Discussion 1
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Reflect upon the survey you took. In your initial response, address some of the following questions. Explain your answers.
Did you find it easy to make confident and decisive decisions with several strongly agree or strongly disagree answers, or did you select mostly moderate responses?
Did any subject areas trigger personal emotions or issues? If so, do you feel you were able to remain objective?
Were any of the decisions especially difficult to make?
Did you employ any critical thinking or resolution strategies to determine a response?
Did you rely on policy or legal parameters to make your decisions?
Would you be comfortable making your answers to the survey public, or do you prefer anonymity?
Have you dealt with similar situations and could you perceive similar situations occurring in your clinical practice?
How might a moral inventory such as this survey impact your clinical practice?
Survey that I took
Physician assisted suicide (PAS) remains a controversial practice in terminal illness cases, and has been railroaded in most states. Only three states allow PAS at this time. Consider your role in counseling a patient seeking PAS services. Your patient is under 30 years old and believes that quality of life comes first over compromising medical treatments. The patient has therefore made a clear decision to forgo traditional medical treatment due to poor prognosis and the likelihood that medical treatment will only give an additional three to six months to live. Do you remain supportive of the patient’s decision to pursue PAS
Although cases of eugenic sterilization are now relatively rare, sterilization without consent was performed with some regularity decades ago amongst state institutionalized patients with extreme cases of mental illness or retardation. Sterilizations were also performed on patients who were poor, of color, or who signed consents for sterilization procedures when they did not understand what they were signing. In unethical situations such as these, does the nurse have the responsibility to be the whistleblower, even if it means personal scrutiny or loss of livelihood?
A police officer brings an intoxicated patient to your addiction recovery center. As a nurse at the detox unit, you are used to dealing with belligerent and intoxicated patients. In this case you are concerned because of the length of time it took for the police officer to bring the patient into detox relative to the time the person was picked up, per the police report. In examining the patient, you see a number of bruises and lacerations over the person’s arms, neck, and trunk, but when you question the patient about how the injuries occurred, the patient says he doesn’t remember. You suspect that the police officer may have assaulted and abused the person. You are unsure how to pursue your suspicions, and you regularly interface with this particular officer. You decide that you don’t have enough evidence to make a report and say nothing about your suspicions to your supervisor or coworkers. Have you violated the ANA Code of Ethics by remaining silent?
You are a nurse in an OR and have noticed that patients are not achieving adequate pain relief intraoperatively and postoperatively. You are very concerned. Procedurally, you can see nothing different in how the anesthesia or narcotics are being administered. However, time and again, patients are complaining of inadequate pain relief. You know the certified nurse anesthetist (CRNA) almost lost his license last year when it was suspected that he was abusing fentanyl, and you worry that he may be stealing fentanyl and covering it up, but you cannot be sure since the ampules of fentanyl that are pulled from the Pyxis appear to be intact. You speak with your supervisor and it comes to light that the employee under investigation is someone other than the CRNA. Are you obligated to share your concerns about the CRNA with the state board of nursing?
Week 1 Discussion 1