You are a nurse in the Emergency Department at Jamestown hospital, just promoted to charge nurse. One of the staff nurses informs you that she suspects Dr. Smith, who just reported for work, is intoxicated. Dr. Smith is an emergency room physician. You have worked with Dr. Smith and respect his skills as a physician and have appreciated the collaborative relationships he establishes with the team and the patients. What do you do?
In your response to this scenario, please research the legal issues surrounding this issue and the steps you would take as you resolve this problem. Please provide your rationale with supporting evidence from the literature.
In your original post, respond to the scenario. In your responses to two peers, consider what the ramifications might be (identify at least one and explain).
You are the charge nurse on a 30-bed acute care unit, when the code alarm sounds. You race to the room of a “stable” post-op patient with other members of the code team and find the assigned nurse performing CPR, crying, “I don’t know what happened; he was fine. He just finished the last dose of his antibiotic.” The team successfully resuscitated the patient, but the patient’s condition is no longer stable, requiring changes to the discharge plan. In the debriefing, it was discovered that the wrong medication was administered, which led to respiratory compromise.
In your initial response, consider the legal liability to the assigned nurse, to you (as the charge nurse), to the physician, and to the hospital, using supporting evidence from the literature.
In your responses to your peers, describe two or more of the ethical/legal considerations in the follow-up of this incident (dealing with family, the nurse, hospital systems, etc.).