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Legal Aspects of Nursing - Essay Example

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Legal Aspects of Nursing

Legal aspects of nursing The nurse caring for the patient has exhibited professional negligence. Mrs. M successfully underwent surgery to remove a brain lesion. She had problem with swallowing, and the medical team promptly carried out further investigations to ensure patient comfort and a quick recovery. The X-ray revealed that her lungs showed no signs of infiltration or congestion. However mismanagement and negligence emerged during her transportation. A driver was charged with the care of Mrs. M. The patient was in a critical state after undergoing an intensive surgical procedure. In addition, her recovery was difficult as she had a swallowing problem. It is inappropriate for the hospital management to entrust patient care of critical patients to untrained personnel. All personnel handling patients need to be professional nurses or doctors. Untrained personnel should be closely supervised by nurses. Lack of supervision is tantamount to patient neglect and this is act of gross misconduct. This is evident in the case of Mrs. M during her transport from the hospital room to the X-ray room for a repeat chest film. The untrained patient transporter who was the sole care giver in the course of the transportation allowed the humidifier attached to the oxygen line to lay on its side. ...
Moreover, the untrained transporter needs to understand his/her responsibilities as stipulated in this/her job description. Clearly, it is not his/her responsibility to make decisions on the placement of medical devices. The nurse charged with the care of Mrs. M should have supervised the untrained transporter. Due to patient mismanagement, water accumulated in Mrs. M’s lungs and she developed a bout of aspiration pneumonia. This led to her subsequent readmission in the intensive care unit. It was a major inconvenience for the patient as recovery time was prolonged. Aspiration pneumonia is a serious medical condition as it may lead to lung inflammation, lung abscess (accumulation of pus in the lungs) and chronic pneumonia. Fortunately, Mrs. M recovered well without encountering any complications. The unfortunate incident would have been prevented via proper supervision. The nurse charged with the care of Mrs. M should have fulfilled her responsibility. She should have overseen the transport and handling of Mrs. M. The uptake of oxygen via the oxygen mask should have been checked to avoid any mishaps. The humidifier attached to the oxygen line would have been maintained in the right position and not allowed to lie on the side. All supplemental oxygen that is routinely administered to patients needs to be humidified. According to BTS emergency oxygen guidelines, humidification is necessary for patients who need high flow oxygen for a period exceeding 24 hours especially if they report discomfort of the upper airway as a result of dryness. In the administration of an oxygen mask, the oxygen flow meter is attached to the wall outlet. Secondly, the humidifier is filled with the ...Show more

Summary

Legal aspects of nursing Name Institution Abstract Legal aspects of nursing come into play in cases of patient negligence. In the case study, Mrs. M succumbs to aspiration pneumonia due to faulty handling of the humidifier attached to the oxygen mask. The nurse assigned to care for her abdicated her duties when she left the patient under the sole care of a driver…
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