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401007 Death Due To Poor Health Services: Essay With Personal Reflection Assessment 1 Answer

School of Nursing and Midwifery

401007 Approaches to Professional Nursing Practice Spring 2020

Assessment Information

Unit Learning Outcomes

This unit will contribute to completion of course level outcomes, Western Sydney University graduate attributes and the Nursing and Midwifery Board of Australia Registered Nurse Standards for Practice. Course level learning outcomes can be accessed on your Unit vUWS Home Page. The Approaches to Professional Nursing Practice unit is part of the Bachelor of Nursing and Bachelor of Nursing (Adv) courses. The unit provides the foundation for developing comprehensive, coherent and connected knowledge in the nursing discipline and introduces and develops interaction skills which will be required by graduates in their work environments. Learning outcomes for the unit are outlined below.

Discuss how evidence based practice, lifelong learning and critical thinking contribute to personal and professional development within the discipline of nursing.
Discuss the professional, media and public image of nursing.
Explain how systematic care planning is central to the role of the nursing professional.
Discuss the expected standards for practice and boundaries of practice for the registered nurse, enrolled nurse and assistant, Aboriginal health workers (unregulated) and practitioners in nursing.
Differentiate between the legal and ethical responsibilities of the nurse.
Explain the relationship of nursing and collaborative health care.
Discuss how nurses engage in transformational nursing practice.
Outline the responsibilities of the registered nurse related to scope of practice, delegation and the supervision framework.

Assessment Details

Essay including a personal reflection

Type of Collaboration:
Monday 17th August, 2020 at midnight
Essay including a personal reflection
1,000 words
Curriculum Mode:

Aim of assessment

Standard 1 of the NMBA Registered Nurse Standards for Practice outlines the requirement for nurses to use best available evidence for safe, quality practice and to develop practice through reflection on experiences, knowledge, actions, feelings and beliefs (NMBA, 2016).

The aim of this essay is for students to describe, and reflect on, a nursing related event reported in the media and using the National Safety and Quality Health Service (NSQHS) standards developed by ACSQHC (Australian Commission for Safety and Quality in Healthcare) identify what nurses might do to improve their practice and reduce the risk of a similar error.


Students will write an appropriately structured essay that includes and/or addresses the following points. A guide to the number of words you may wish to use for each section is provided in brackets after each point.

  • A concise introduction that identifies the incident to be discussed with background information, a thesis state- ment (a statement that tells the reader what you believe about the topic), and outline of the main ideas to be discussed in the essay (Approximately 150 words)
  • A comprehensive description of the nursing incident including an explanation of the nurse’s role in the incident (Approximately 150 words)
  • Identify and explain the consequences of this incident for the nurse and the health consumer (patient and their family) (Approximately 150 words)
  • Through the development of a nursing action plan, identify and describe the nursing actions that demonstrates how the nurses can improve their practice in a way that prevents the incident reoccurring (Approximately 250 words)
  • A brief reflection of the incident using the points below from Rolfe et al’s (2001) reflective model (1 or 2 sentences on each point below). (Approximately 150 words)
  • What? What feelings did this event evoke (suggest) for you?
  • So What? So what does this tell you about the nurse’s actions in this incident (were they appropriate, were they correct, was it best practice?). What do you think the nurse might have been thinking when the mistake occurred?
  • Now What? Now what knowledge could the nurse have remembered and applied to ensure the incident didn’t occur. Is there additional information the nurse needs in order to be safe?
  • A conclusion that concisely summarises the main ideas raised in the essay, restates the thesis statement and concludes with a final statement (Approximately 150 words)

Appropriate use of language and conventions, and appropriate support of relevant academic resources, including appropriate NMBA and ACSQHC standards throughout the essay

  • Your introduction, main body and conclusion paragraphs in this essay must use 3rd person. However, your reflection paragraph may use 1st or 3rd person
  • Applies appropriate, academic resources and uses correct APA 7th style referencing both in text and on a complete reference list

There is a word limit of 1000 words. Use your computer to total the number of words used in your assignment. However, do not include the reference list at the end of your assignment in the word count. In-text citations will be included in the additional 10% word count. If you exceed the word limit by more than 10% the marker will stop marking at 1000 words plus 10%.

Important Note: The marking criteria add up to a mark of 60. The assessment is weighted at 30%. Therefore, your mark out of 60 will be converted to a mark out of 30% for your final grade.


Essay with Personal Reflection

An ill person needs emotional support as much as he needs medical treatment, probably that’s the reason Nursing came into existence. As per the National Safety and Quality Health Service Standards and, the Nursing codes are specially designed to define the roles and responsibilities that nurses do need to adhere to while practising. (Australian Commission on Safety and Quality in Health Care, 2017) The purpose of this essay is to learn about nursing standards as per NMBA and explore how excellent services can be offered in the sphere. However, some unfortunate incidents that take place in intervals of time raise a concern and require high alertness as to if these codes are diligently followed or not. Regarding same, we shall discuss an incident that shook us, as poor health service led a man to die and necessary actions that must be taken in order to prevent such incidents.

The hospital Port Pirie is in the news, not for a good reason, unfortunately. As per the reports by State Coroner Mr Mark Johns, it is alleged that the hospital staff could not provide essential healthcare services to an 86 year-old man, who lost his life due to bedsores. He has pointed out various failures of nursing protocols. First, the medical notes of the patient were not adequately maintained lately and did not have any mention of sores like wounds. Second, the patient was given unnecessary drugs like catheter and sedative ones. Third, three different practitioners treated the patient, and they all did not communicate well regarding his health conditions. However, the Director of Hospital refused to accept the allegations and said that patient was treated by different staff members, which made it difficult for them to identify who was at fault. (Martin, P., & Corvo, S., 2018) The leading roles of a nurse here should have been to identify the deterioration of a patient’s health and observe the case carefully and as per notes maintained, and inform the practitioner.

 “It’s very sad. I’ve lost a wonderful husband and father. I miss him terribly.” The wife of the deceased patient wept in pain. She hopes that the findings of this case would help prevent such incidents. Apart from this, the nurses are going to live with the guilt that their misconduct resulted in such an event. In this incident, it can be identified that fundamental responsibilities to prevent illness and alleviate suffering has been wholly ignored. The ACSQHC & NMBA standards define the fundamental responsibilities of nurses include a set of standards like planning care and engaging the patients, evaluating outcomes, etc. were not followed. 

The nurses can face legal actions as per laws defined under Health Practitioner Regulation National Law. (Secretary, A, 2020)The incident will surely put an impact on nurses in Australia. They will be more cautious while performing their duties.

The nursing profession is considered as one that respects human and cultural rights. It is more than just treating the patients. The nurses are required to follow the code of ethics, the standards that are specifically designed for their practice. (DeLaune, S. C., McTier, L., Tollefson, J., Lawrence, J., & Ladner, P. K., 2019) The Nursing and Midwifery Board of Australia (NMBA) lays down specific standards that have to be mandatorily adhered by the nurses. As we saw in the incident, where unnecessary drugs were given to the patient, in such cases, nurses should follow Standard 1: Think critically and analyses nursing practice. Under which they must have due knowledge of the health condition of the patient and report it to the practitioner so that appropriate drugs can be given. (Jacob, E., Duffield, C., & Jacob, D, 2018) If the nurses would have followed the Standard 5: Develop plan for nursing practice, there are chances that patient would have been treated well. Here the nurses should have interacted with practitioners and discussed the condition of the patient. It would have spread awareness regarding his status, and a mutual consideration would have prevailed. (Nursing and Midwifery Board of Australia, 2016) The standard 2: Engage in therapeutic and professional relationships, clearly defines that the patient should be regularly updated with his condition, which was certainly missing in the incident discussed above, allegedly and shows non-professional attitude of nurses. The nurses should inform the patient about his health and periodically update him with the recoveries that he makes, the precautions that he needs to take, etc. (Heidke, P., Howie, V., & Ferdous, T, 2018) As per incident, the evaluation of the patient’s condition was not done as not proper records/notes were maintained. Here the Standard 7: Evaluate outcomes to inform nursing practice. The nurses should note down the daily observation made by them, and accordingly, the evaluation shall be discussed with the practitioner so that correct medication/treatment shall be delivered. (Nursing and Midwifery Board of Australia, 2016)

The incident had a profound impact on me. The pain faced by the family is unimaginable. The nurse’s action in this incident is questionable. The standards and codes clearly describe the do/don’ts and the misconduct like giving unnecessary drugs, not keeping proper records, no treatment of sores, is not justifiable. It can be said that nurses, along with practitioners, were ignorant of the patient’s condition, as per my thought. The nurses must strictly follow the code of ethics and standards as laid down by NMBA and ACSQHC, and they must also adhere to NSQHS guidelines. More than anything, the nurses must be compassionate enough to help a patient. (Nursing and Midwifery Board of Australia. 2016) In the nursing profession, understanding and living the pain of the patient and trying to make him comfortable is the essential service that nurses can deliver.

This assignment was all about learning the healthcare practices, the codes of ethics and standards that nurses are bound to follow to deliver excellent services to humanity. The unfortunate incident had a profound impact on my mind, and it raised significant concerns for all of us. We discussed how ignorance and misconduct could result in adverse events. The incident at hospital Port Pirie raised questions over the ignorance of nurses regarding the deceased patient. The consequences like legal issues that nurses might face as per laws were discussed, and most importantly, how such events can be prevented, were understood. I would like to end this assignment by saying that if nurses follow the standards and codes with diligence, along with having compassion in heart, such unfortunate events can be eliminated. There is hope that with findings of the case, the people responsible for misconduct will be punished and this will work as an example of how important it is, to abide by the standards of NMBA.

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