Conditions for Medical Practice and Nursing Essay

Nurses like other medical practitioners have the obligation to safeguard life. For medical personnel the duty to safeguard life comes first. This is in accordance with the oath taken during qualification for medical practices. Negligence that leads to the loss of life or worsening of a patients condition must face the perils as stipulated in the law. A registered nurse accused of neglect must undergo the judicial processes so as to avoid similar occurrences in the future. This may also help in establishing the truth about allegations of negligence as charged. The medication error resulted from the lack of provision of the necessary environment for the patient by the hospital. The nursing practitioner had the obligation to safeguard life, but failed to take her duty as expected and blamed the hospital.

The nurse had been serving at the hospital and made no personal efforts to inform the hospital management about the need for a favorable environment for patients prior to the occurrence. Therefore we may deduce that there was negligence demonstrated by the nurse in the case. The work environment determines efficiency that includes the duration of work, as nurses are subjected to fatigue during work (Wahlberg 2006). That is why there is a need to have enough rest prior to work. Giving wrong medications to a patient is negligence and should be handled as a criminal case. The nurse was negligent and that was the reason for her to face the law. The loss of the promising athletes life could have been avoided through adherence to medical ethics and standards of practice.

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Background information
Jasmine Gant was on with her other than being a promising athlete when she died at St. Marys Hospital in 2006 (Gordon 2006). A nurse unknowingly gave her the wrong medication. She had an intravenous line of epidural yet she was to take penicillin for a strep infection during labor. This resulted in a cardiac arrest of the patient. The patient then died hours later but her child was delivered through cesarean section and survived. Julie Thao, the nurse in question had been practicing nursing when she volunteered to work for extra hours. She slept at the hospital preceding two shifts of work then. On the second shift, she made the error that resulted in a patients death and her being judged in court. She gave medications contrary to the prescriptions. This error was preventable according to nursing practices. The patient aught to have identification tag on the wrist. She never made use of the bar coding that had been in use for the past three weeks prior to the incident.

The five rights of administration in medicine were also neglected. This resulted from the voluntary job she did for twenty hours. Working for more than 12 hours predisposes individuals to errors. This calls for rest after 12 hours of work in a day. Thao was then charged with a felony as a result of negligence that resulted in the . She had her practicing license suspended by the board. There are other nursing bodies that opposed the errors. The act of negligence occurred when the accused nurse took several drugs from a store yet the doctor had not ordered for them (Tucker & Derelian 1997). She then placed the medication on the same lotion where another nurse placed some penicillin that had been ordered from the pharmacy. The medications were contained in . Each bag had the name of the medication it contained. The epidural had a pink label. The nurse picked it confusing it for penicillin in a IV line. This drug is always administered through the spine, not intravenously. This resulted in seizures and other adverse reactions eventually leading to death. Attempts to reverse the situation failed. The patient died.

Supporting evidence or facts
The circumstances in the case make the criminal charges against the practicing nurse fit for the case. The safety of patients visiting a hospital relies on the hands of nurses and other nursing practitioners present. The hospital was partly to be blamed for letting the nurse work for extra hours and get fatigued to the extent of endangering lives. The nurse had been performing excellently for fifteen years as per the records. Through delivering a powerful painkiller, the role of her experience remains questionable. This is with consideration of the fact that she had been working in the delivery section for this number of years. The hospital staff did a remarkable job to save the baby. The babys life was also endangered by the drug injected by the nurse.

Medical errors may be as a result of system failures. In this case, the error was individual and could be blamed on personal conduct contrary to system failures. The system errors evident in this case include insufficient training in computer, the lack of knowledge on the importance of bar coding and working overtime.

The nurse volunteered to work for extra hours. This means that she had an option to rest. By having taken no rest then causing an error that led to the loss of life, she may be seen as a negligent practitioner. From research, it is evident that the lack of sufficient sleep results in poor performance of nurses. There are no limits for overtime that the hospital ensures. There are no complains or suggestions made by practicing nurses including Julie to regulate the extra hours. There also lacks a procedure for recording complains on the use of computers and bar coding in the process of issuing medication.

The day prior to the error, she made back-to-back shifts at work. She then chose to stay at the hospital for some rest instead of going home. The provided medication led to the death of Grant as a result of the nurses error. Further, the injection could have been made through the spine rather than the method adopted by the nurse. The method of administration is another error that the nurse made in handling the patient. Lack of using the barcode system also counts as another aspect of negligence. The hospital had the entire requirement for recommending drug administration, which was not used by the nurse.

Nursing associations support the nurse with the argument that the charges may not have positive impacts on future cases. The associations believe that there are better methods that can be adopted in solving the case despite the loss. They believe that safety of patients does not only rely on blames on individuals, rather system failures could be highlighted in the bid to find an amicable solution. This is for the fact that other practicing nurses, as well as medical practitioners have the feeling that no individual is capable of predicting errors. Accepting that the error occurred reflects self confession of habitual errors. This may result in stiffer conditions for medical practice and nursing. Loss of jobs, imprisonment and financial implications may be the results of acceptance of errors.

The nurse faced the charges as a result of an action she could avoid through adhering to the nursing standards. This includes observing that she had sufficient rest prior to work. This includes having a limited number of hours taken to work overtime. The institution could have had the limits stipulated in the overtime policies. Another possible action includes adherence to the procedures during administration of drugs. This includes using the barcodes for confirmation of the prescriptions prior to administration. The nurse could have used the correct administration route incase she was using the drug correctly. Carefully reading the label could have helped in preventing the death of the patient.

The possible solution in this case is adherence to justice system so as to have justice served for both sides. The court had the rights to imprison the nurse following the loss of life of a patient since the loss was out of negligence. This could also act as a lesson to other practicing nurses to be more careful when handling patients. The orphaned baby also requires justice since he lost his mother at the time of delivery and will never see her for the rest of his life (Axelrod & Cooper 1993). The nurse may view the case from the point of system failure, but this does not rule out the act of negligence that led to the death. In a nutshell, the patients death could have been prevented by observing standards of work. Both the system failure and negligence resulted in the patients death.

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