This assignment is based around a 79-year-old lady who had been admitted to the ward following her tripping over and falling down the stairs at home, whilst getting ready to attend her own birthday party. She had a fractured neck of femur. This lady (Norma, for the sake of confidentiality) had previously been of outstandingly good health, full of energy, rarely ill and always kept herself busy with looking after her house and visiting family.
From her mumblings, I could tell she was suffering from confusion.
When I mentioned the poor condition of this lady, the SHO said, within earshot of the patient's family, ''well, at her age, we can't force her to drink, can we If she doesn't want to drink that's up to her''.
I thought how insensitive this comment was and later on (in a private area, away from prying eyes and ears), I told him about how unnecessary and unprofessional he had been. The SHO then tried to defend his actions/words in a combative manner and became quite aggressive towards me. I stated that hydration could be given intravenously, avoiding actual 'drinking' anyway.
It is well documented that critical incidents are stressful, possibly traumatic, for all involved: Health care professionals, patients, the patient's loved ones and casual observers. When a critical incident occurs it is necessary to engage in immediate action in a professional manner. What is more desired is the prevention of critical incidents in hospitals through better assessment and diagnostics, care, communication and support.
The purpose of this essay is to examine the mentioned critical incident from a more holistic standpoint rather than strictly technical. ...