Students are required to analyse a problem within the given case study and demonstrate their understanding of ethical and legal frameworks in order to provide proficient care. Sound judgement is critical to this task and requires students to give time and effort to reading and reflecting on the Nurses and Midwifery Board Australia code of ethics and code of conduct.
Benefits of the assessment: This exercise is designed to help you develop your own capacity for making an informed, analytical and appropriate critical appraisal of the ethical texture of nursing practice. You develop these skills by building on your own current views through pre-class activities, reading, classroom discussion and reflection. It is important to use the readings (evidence) to SHAPE your thinking, however it is YOUR thinking about the situation that is important and how you apply the evidence to support your thinking. We want you to be a credible participant in the argument and not merely a reporter of what others have said.
Read the following scenario carefully and provide an analysis of the case by answering the questions that follow.
Jessica Wilson, fifteen years old, has been brought into the Emergency Department by ambulance after fainting during a cross-country event at school. Jessica’s mother has been notified by the school and is on her way from work.
On assessment, Jessica’s haemoglobin level is in the low-normal range, therefore, the Registered Nurse (Sam) asks Jessica several questions to help determine why this may be and to determine why Jessica might have fainted. These questions include whether Jessica has eaten breakfast, whether she eats iron-rich food, whether she is menstruating and whether she is sexually active.
During this time, Jessica becomes upset and confides to Sam that she thinks she might be pregnant but that she does not want anyone else to know, especially her mother. After further questioning, it becomes clear to Sam that Jessica has no clear idea of what she is going to do about the suspected pregnancy.
Before Sam could begin to think the situation through, Mrs Wilson arrives at Jessica’s bedside and is concerned for her daughter. Mrs Wilson informs Sam that Jessica has been very tired lately and has had an upset stomach the last few days. Mrs Wilson asks Sam ‘Do you have any idea what could have caused this?
As Sam prepared to respond to Mrs Wilson, Jessica remained silent and glared at he
1. Clearly define the problem - Objectively note the ethical issue
2. Examine the ethical and legal principles that apply to the case study
3. Identify 2 options available to Sam in addressing the ethical problem identified in question 1 as they apply to the International Council of Nurses (ICN) Code of Ethics for Nurses (2012).
4. Reflect on the options identified in question 3 and present a rationale as to which one of the options you would follow if you were in Sam’s position.
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