MN 506 Case study. GroupC. Unit 7-3.docx

Communication and proper documentation errors which

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communication and proper documentation errors which were major contributors to the malpractice observed in this case; leading to the wrongful death of the client. Therefore, it is only natural that legal action be taken on the nurses who provided the subpar care to this client in an investigation that will ensure that the errors committed in this case are definitely not repeated in the future. Liability Issues As far as liability is concerned, there are a number of issues. The first issue has to do with informed consent. The orthopedic surgeon, Dr. Washington reviewed the consent with Mrs. Carpenter prior to surgery with Mr. Carpenter present and Joseph Alsoff LPN as the witness. He states that he does not remember the physician mentioning death as a complication to the procedure. According to Indest (2008), the doctrine of informed consent states that a patient needs to be given sufficient information to be able to give meaningful consent to medical care. The nurses role in informed consent is limited to witnessing the patient’s signature. By signing the consent form Mrs. Carpenter is stating that she understands what the physician explained. If Joseph LPN had any concerns at the time of consent he should have brought it up. The recovery room nurse Elizabeth Adelman RN did not report the hypotensive episode to Kelly Wheeler RN, the post- surgical nurse. In a court of law the plaintiff’s attorney must
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CASE STUDY II 4 demonstrate a departure from an established nursing standard of care. Cartwright- Vanzant (2011) writes that although nursing standards are not laws, allegations of not meeting the standard of care and breach of these standards causing harm is the premise of a nursing malpractice lawsuit. It was also noted in the case study that Susan Post, the risk manager and Amy Green of quality assurance had previous knowledge of the recovery unit not following protocols for the unit and expected standards of care. In this situation the legal theory of respondeat superior can come into play. Thornton (2010) states that an employer can be held directly liable for its employees negligence if some negligent act or omission of the employer was the cause of or led to the negligence of the employee and caused harm to the claimant. This also takes into consideration the fact that the hospital was aware of the use of float nurses to several post- operative units with questionable education and training needed for those units. Finally, although there is conflicting testimony between Kelly Wheeler and Joseph Alsoff LPN regarding who found the patient unresponsive and called the code, it is Kelly RN who is ultimately responsible. First of all Kelly is the registered nurse and according to the (National Council of State Boards of Nursing, n.d.) is aware of the competency of the staff to whom she is delegating care. Also she accepted the assignment on the post- surgical floor regardless of being unfamiliar with that unit. By accepting the assignment she is accepting accountability for her actions during her shift.
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