Leadership for Beginning Practice: Ethical Dilemma of Nurses in Australia Assessment Task 2 Answer
Leadership for Beginning Practice 92448 Spring 2020
Assessment 2: Online Discussion
Write your posts in the boxes below and then cut/paste into the discussion forum. Rename this document with your name and assessment number and upload when completed to Turnitin by the due date.
Discussion Post 1:
The given case scenario given is about how the nurses in Australia are being harassed for wearing scrubs in public, mostly because of the fear that they may spread coronavirus.
This article addresses the instances like, anxious patients spitting on nurses at the Sydney Hospital and the “minority of abusers” that assaulted and misbehaved with the nurses, who are in scrubs outside their clinical settings.
The ethical dilemma nurses face here, is to work as per the code of ethics that states they have a duty of care towards their patients by rising above their conflicts and interests. In contrast, they are the most susceptible to the infection themselves (Association, 2015). The code of ethics also states that they have to promote their health and safety. In this situation, it is hard for them to balance their health and their duty of care (Jackson, 2020). At the cost of their health, it is very unfair on their part to receive such responses from the general public. Given these issues, the NSW government policies, the nurses registered under their domain have access and the right to work in a safe environment free from violence and abuse (Policy Directive NSW Health Code of Conduct Space, 2019). There are many approaches and de-escalation techniques that the nurses can opt for if their safety and health have the potential to be at risk or unprotected.
At the same time, it is essential to consider the patient’s safety. COVID droplets are observed to find their way into the scrubs and tend to stick to the material for almost a week or so (Coronavirus Resource Center, 2020). A few years ago, the Committee to Reduce Infection Death, which is a campaign that works to stop the spread and transmission of Hospital Acquired Infections have taken steps to curb the spread of pathogens by the health care workers and professionals. They had established a rule for all the hospital and clinical settings to not only give their employees clean uniforms but also to make sure they do not wear them outside the hospital building (Hostiuc, S., Moldoveanu, A., & Molina, A., 2018).
It becomes the organization’s responsibility to protect the safety of its nurses and patient. A leader can thus arrange for debriefing sessions, an induction session where the nurses are educated about the approaches, legal issues and ways to deal with any abuse (Price, 2016). There are other approaches the leader can use to protect, preserve the health and safety of the nurses under him or her. There are aggression management training courses, timely evaluation, and reflection tables to be filled (Hurskainen, T., & Katainen, M, 2016). Few studies show the effectiveness of teamwork too in situations of assault and violence.
Thus the current pandemic scenario imposes ethical as well as moral obligations on nurses.
Discussion Post 2:
Identify One modern dilemma that the healthcare worker/nurse may be facing in this scenario and discuss.
Ans.: I agree with you on this matter. To think, the public is harassing the very people who work day and night to keep us safe and take care of us when we are sick. That behaviour is absolutely unacceptable and it is so not the way Australians behave (ABC Net, 2020). Perhaps to add on to you, health workers can also come up with some safe systems for themselves that has a certain code of conduct, reporting and response procedures? (Safe Work Australia, 2020). I really like how you brought to light how both the parties should be sensitive to each other!
Discussion Post 3:
Responded to (name of student):
What factors impact patient safety in this scenario?
I can totally understand what you are trying to say over here. Isn’t it an absolute shame that while they are working so hard to save our lives, they have to face such hardships? You are absolutely right about them feeling psychologically distressed and depressed from all the bullying and harassment (Safe Work Australia, 2020). When you mentioned how this regular bullying might prevent health workers from going to work completely, I realised how their mental state will affect their work! They will be so disturbed, they will perform poorly and the patients will be affected (The Conversation, 2018).
Discussion Post 4:
Responded to (name of student):
As a nursing leader, how would you handle this situation?
I thoroughly appreciate how you brought up the fact that spitting, harassing and screaming at the nurses will simply cause them to be tensed which will lead to medical errors and will impact the patient’s own health! This is something that needs to be created awareness about and did you know that the Australian Health Minister, Greg Hunt, recently declared that anyone who threatens to infect them with the virus or harasses them will face imprisonment or some legal repercussions (McCauley, 2020)? I like your views as a potential leader. I believe there should be mutual sensitisation, education and care for both the public and workers (Mondaq, 2020).
Do not post your refection on the discussion board.
Scrubs are uniforms worn by healthcare professionals for a reason. They are also educated about the do’s and don’ts of things while they are on duty with the scrubs on. The article says that nurses and healthcare workers were harassed in different ways like nurses were being spitted at the Sydney hospital, spat on or being assaulted by the general public. The medical authorities have labelled these abusers as the "small minority" who fail to understand that the health care workers are entirely educated in by themselves not to come out in public that way. My opinion is that there should be a consideration from both the sides, one, on the health care worker part where they should be cautious enough not to wear scrubs in public and second even if they are spotted in scrubs outside their clinical setting, a lawful offence can be levied but not abuse.