Nursing Leadership Discussion 2
Medical errors have serious impacts on patients, healthcare givers, and healthcare facilities. The most pronounced impacts include emotional, legal, and financial consequences. The government requires that grievous medical errors be reported for investigations and analysis. For nurses who make a medical error, consequences range from dismissal from a job, disciplinary action, possible criminal or civil lawsuits, and mental anguish. This paper is based on case studies 9-2 about a nurse who committed a grievous medical error leading to the death of a patient.
Steps To Take With the Nursing Staff to Stabilize their Emotions about the Situation
Causing the death of a patient accidentally causes tremendous mental anguish to nurses that find themselves in such situations. From the case study, the nurse is an emotional wreck and deeply regrets the incident. As her supervisor, I would get her to calm down by assuring her of the support from the facility. In the short term, the nurse would need to calm down and take control of her emotions. However, in the long term, the nurse would require professional counseling to deal with her emotional and mental anguish and trauma from the event. Judy also needs to stabilize the emotions of other nurses in the unit because they are devastated to see their senior colleague that they look up to go through so much pain. The nurses know that the mistake could have happened to any one of them which is the reason their share deep emotional pain with the nurse that committed the error. Consequently, it is essential to also get other nurses from the unit to control their emotions.
Steps to Heal the Brokenness on the Unit and to Prevent a Reoccurrence
Being one of the best nurses in the unit that committed the fatal medical error, the mental anguish and emotional pain run deep throughout the unit. To begin with, the nurse has always maintained an impeccable ethical record and is also one of the best and senior nurses in the hospital. Her track record makes her a role model for the other nurses in the unit as they look up to her. All the nurses in the unit are affected by this mishap because of the feeling that it could have happened to any one of them. Even more distressing to the unit is that the incidence happened to one of the best nurses among them.
As the manager, I would call for professional counseling for all members of the unit to help them deal with the emotional and mental trauma (Kellog et al., 2018).Concerning preventing future occurrences of such errors, I would organize a retraining session with all nurses to remind them of the common mistakes that lead to medical errors. For example, I would stress to the nurses that consulting a patient’s armband is a mandatory practice that must happen each time a nurse visits a patient. Additionally, I would stress the importance of reading a patient’s records to know their status and the course of action needed.
Steps to take on the Nurse
This situation is a difficult one for everyone involved which makes it even more difficult to decide on the steps to take on the nurse. On the one hand, the nurse is one of the best with a sterling performance and observance of ethics. On the other hand, the family of the deceased need to see a firm decision made since they lost their loved one due to the nurse’s error. Additionally, the error has prompted a serious investigation of the facility by the health department. Matters are exacerbated by the fact that the media has already made public the news of the unfortunate incident. Like Judy, I would advocate for some form of compensation for the grieving family to help ease their pain (Lee, 2018). For the nurse, I recommend some form of punishment such as some time off from work with half pay and mandatory therapy sessions. It is my view that the nurse should not face the rest of her life paying for the mistake. This is not in any way meaning that the error is to be downgraded.
What to Do To Help the Hospital Recover from the Incidence
The facility’s management must work tirelessly to reclaim the hospital’s dented image through active public relations. The hospital must convince the public they have put in place measures to ensure that another regrettable incidence of the same nature never occurs (Robertson, & Long, 2018). One of the best ways to engage the public is to show them the changes that have been introduced to curb medical errors at the facility. Additionally, the hospital can engage in social corporate responsibility activities to win their trust.
From the case study, the healthcare facility and everyone involved is devastated by the incident. The hospital risks bad reputation and public relations as well as possible litigation. On the other hand, the nurse at the center of the error risks losing her license amid the mental trauma she suffers from the ordeal. As the manager, I would advocate for some form of compensation for the grieving family to help ease their pain. For the nurse, I recommend some form of punishment such as some time off from work with half pay and mandatory therapy sessions.
- Kellogg, M., Knight, M., Dowling, J., & Crawford, S. (2018). Secondary Traumatic Stress in Pediatric Nurses. Journal Of Pediatric Nursing, 43, 97-103. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.pedn.2018.08.016
- Lee, E., 2017. Reporting of medication administration errors by nurses in South Korean hospitals. International Journal for Quality in Health Care, 29(5), pp.728-734.
- Robertson, J. and Long, B., 2018. Suffering in Silence: Medical Error and its Impact on Health Care Providers. The Journal of Emergency Medicine, 54(4), pp.402-409