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Short Answer Question/Week 3

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Short answer Question/Week 3
Debra Thompson, R.N.
Nur 478/week 3
September 1, 2015
Marjorie Jessen, DNP, FNP

Short Answer Question
As nursing has become an advanced, specialized and independent field, her role is changing. Every action made, by the nurse, she must maintain accountability and take responsibility for all decision made. Ensure that efficient and effective care is provided to protect the hospital and the patient within her care. Within this realm of her responsibility, she must also function under the law and her nursing code of ethics. To practice within the law, and the code of ethics, decisions are more difficult with the evolving medical technology and expanding autonomy scope of practice.
As the role of nursing changes, there have also been an increasing number of implications in medical malpractice cases, concerning nurses, when in the past most of these cases are, referred to physicians. Some of the causes for the nurses’ implication is because they work long hours, the stressful work environment, and the decreased staffing. With all of these added stressors related to the profession, an indicator that have been a factor and prominent problems for some of the nurses’ malpractice suits is impairment on duty. With this dilemma, what would you do if you discovered a co-worker or very close friend that was impaired by drugs or alcohol? A moral turmoil presents, as what to do with the situation, once you suspected. What would be even harder if the one you suspected was a friend and then confronting him/ her? Estimated that approximately 20% of nurses are chemically dependent and working while impaired. One out of every five nurses have problems with addiction. Narcotic addiction is 30 to 100 times higher for nurses and physician compared to the general population (Monroe, Pearson, & Kenaga, 2008).
The legal and ethical decision is to report the nurse to your supervisor and have her investigate the situation. If the nurse is guilty of impairment on the job, the supervisor will have to report it to the board. Without reporting is a violation of the nurses practice act. The affected nurse could cause ominous injuries or even death to a patient. The supervisor is liable if a patient injured under the care of the incapacitated nurse and she did not report it or intervene. If the nurse is an employee of an institution, the possibility of the business may be liable also.
In conclusion, it would benefit everyone involved in the situation to report the nurse and advocate for the patient. We will be protecting the patient and getting the help for the impaired nurse.

Monroe, T., Pearson, F., & Kenaga, H. (2008). Procedures for handling cases of substance Abuse among nurses: a comparison of disciplinary and alternative programs. Journal of Addiction Nursing ,19, 156-161.…...

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