West Coast University Nursing Discussion

West Coast University Nursing Discussion


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Nicole D1: Medical malpractice is a term used to describe when a healthcare professional fails to act within the standards of practice, and as a result, their patient is injured. This means that even if the care they provided were not negligent, it would still be considered medical malpractice if they failed to meet any one of the universal standards of care. Medical malpractice occurs when a medical professional deviates from the standards of practice, providing substandard care that results in injury or death to their patient. Medical negligence is a mistake that occurs when a healthcare professional unintentionally causes injury or harm to a patient. Unlike medical malpractice, negligence doesn’t require that the professional violate any standards of care. An example of medical negligence would be if a nurse failed to properly monitor a patient’s vital signs and as a result, the patient goes into cardiac arrest. Even if the nurse followed all of the standards of care procedures, if they were not monitoring the patient’s vitals closely enough they could be considered negligent.

Amanda D1: Malpractice is improper or unethical conduct or unreasonable lack of skill by a nurse or other professional that results in damages” (Butts, p. 81, 2015). Malpractice would be when a nurse does not follow the standard of care. Malpractice isn’t always with malicious intent, it can be from carelessness. An example would be not verifying the patient before giving medication and administering the medication to the wrong patient and the error least to injury. Negligence is failure of the nurse to give care as a reasonably prudent and careful person would give under similar circumstances” (Butts, p. 81, 2015). Negligence can happen even if they followed the standard of care and is mostly considered unintentional harm. An example would be a nurse not prioritizing her care well and does not respond to a patient’s call which results in a patient going into cardiac arrest of some other type of harm.

Tatyana D2: According to both the article, For Colorado mom, story of daughter’s hospital death is key to others’ safety, and the video, Alyssa’s Story, the outcome of this case was the result of multiple errors on the hospital’s part. According to Carole Hemmelgarn, Alyssa’s mother and patient and family advisory council member, the errors made during Alyssa’s hospital stay were a hospital-acquired infection, failure to rescue, sepsis, fear of hierarchy, and anchoring the diagnosis. This story can be used as an illustration of maintaining patient safety and providing safe and effective care by hospitals making changes to policies and protocols. “She [Carole Hemmelgarn] said the hospital has since made significant changes: new protocols, pediatric early warning systems, a rapid response line, and teams that can be activated by a patient’s loved ones (Daley, 2019). Some possible barriers nurses face when acting on what they believe to be the morally correct action are “Shortages in the numbers of clinicians to deliver patient care, inadequate staffing levels, cost containment measures, consolidation of healthcare organizations, and ineffective leadership” (Murray, 2010). In this particular case as Hemmelgarn puts it; fear of hierarchy, failure to initiate proper treatment, and anchoring the diagnosis.

Scott D2: In this week’s discussion about patient safety I was disturbed to learn how pervasive it is for medical professionals to conceal medical mistakes. Healthcare professionals protected institutions by covering up medical errors. This activity perpetuates mistakes and can lead to severe injury or death. Non-disclosure places the interest of the professional above the interest of the patient. This practice of non-disclosure is an egregious violation of ethical principles and is never justified. These unethical cover ups not only harms the current patient but allows injuries to future patients. As advocates, nurses have a moral duty to protect the patient at all costs. The biggest barrier to nurses ensuring mistakes get reported are the physicians and institutions. I also believe that this is just another example of why physicians safeguard power and place limits advanced practice nurses. Physicians and hospitals protect each other to the detriment of the patient. Hiding the truth about the risk to a patient is a violation of full disclosure. The negative financial ramifications of full disclosure motivates institutions to deceive the patient about elevated risks. This deception is in the form of underreporting medical errors. With people having access to statistics and hospital rankings we can be assured that hospitals will continue to deceive the public about patient safety. Withholding information is unethical, hospitals should work harder to design better ways to reward people for acknowledging medical mistakes and reporting it. A case regarding a well respected gynecologist practicing at UCLA was an example of a gross coverup. This physician would have never got away with his crimes if it were not for the nurses protecting him.

In the sad case of Alyssa, I was left scratching my head about the circumstances surrounding her death. As they describe the case in the article she died of septic shock. She was a cancer patient who was immunocompromised and developed C-diff. We see this in hospitals frequently. Severe diarrhea is hard to ignore and usually takes time to deplete the body to the point of death. How Ativan was involved in misdiagnosing her condition is beyond me. I just can’t imagine a physician misdiagnosing C-diff for anxiety. Also, people carry C-diff and become overwhelmed when sick. I fail to see how the hospital was responsible for her cancer and subsequent C-diff infection. Nevertheless, her mother should be commended for championing patient safety.