The nurse assigned to him made some adjustments to his IV site. While doing that, she propped the bed up high enough so as to be close to waist-height (to avoid straining her back while troubleshooting, most…
I succeeded in hanging the infusion and had it working properly with no hitches or messes. When I was preparing to leave the patient’s bedside, my instructor asked if I had forgotten something. I panicked silently in my head and mentally reenacted all the steps 4 more times. I paused before answering in the negative. The instructor asked me for a second time, and again I replied in the negative.
The dialogue was repeated 2 more times before the patient finally turned to me and politely (and jokingly) quipped , “She’s obviously trying to tell you something”. I still couldn’t put my finger on it. My instructor said, “Well, great work on the IV, but if Mr. Green wants to get out of bed to use the restroom or anything else she will have to jump (and maybe fall).” I stared at the bed, and it was still at waist-height! I had become so engrossed in my task that I forgot that the instructor had raised his bed for the IV troubleshoot.
I knew that something was amiss somewhere, but the dots wouldn’t connect. My instructor was not the type that corrected students just for the sake, so I immediately felt that I had made a mistake somewhere.
The issue at hand was ethical because it was covered in the nursing handbook/code of ethics. As such, I had broken an ethical rule which required that a patient’s bed be lowered to its lowest or most appropriate setting.
My values and beliefs in relation to this event are all related to my practice as a nurse. I believe that a nurse must observe the nursing code of ethics at all times. It is the guiding principle of the practice.
The issue was a very serious one because it is clearly stipulated in the nursing code of ethics that the nurse must always make the patient feel safe and ensure the patient’s safety by doing things like lowering and raising the bed height as is required. In my case, the bed height had been temporarily raised by the instructor and I ...
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