Analyze the case using the 8-Step Model for Ethical Analysis; Gather the facts, Define the ethical issues, Identify the affected parties, Identify the consequences, Identify the obligations, Consider your character and integrity, Think creatively about potential actions, Check your gut.
Case Information: Sarah O’Shaun was a supervisory nurse in the pediatric unit of Hope Children’s Hospital in Fairfield, Connecticut. This morning, her calendar included an observation of three probation nurses and an informal conference with each of them. As she turned the corner into the third-floor unit, she saw Debbie Franz standing outside of a patient’s door and texting. Since this was not the first time that Debbie was cautioned about the no-texting policy, Sarah knew that she had to deal with this situation. Sarah, trying to remain patient, asked Debbie to follow her to her office. Because she did not want to break continuity of care, she also asked another nurse to cover Debbie’s responsibilities for a few minutes. When they reached her office, Sarah asked Debbie to sit down. She reminded her that she attended an orientation session to review the
policy that prohibited texting while on duty. In addition, Debbie signed a document affirming that she understood this policy. However, she repeatedly violated the policy and today she did so right at the patient’s door. Sarah also reminded Debbie that she was in her probationary period and could be released from her job anytime during that period. Sarah waited for Debbie to speak, but she did not expect what happened next. Debbie said, “Who do you think you are? You do not have any right to embarrass me in front of the nurses and threaten me! I am a competent nurse who graduated from Fairfield University, one of the best nursing schools in Connecticut. My grades were excellent and I had no complaints from the faculty about my texting or any other behaviors.”
Debbie continued, “You are just an old, washed up nurse who cannot do real patient care. That is why they made you a supervisor. All you do is snoop and report. I’m sick of you and you need to retire. You know what, I’m going to go to HR and report you for discrimination against me because I’m a millennial!” Sarah, quite shocked by the vehemence of Debbie’s response, took a deep breath to control her emotions. She then responded, “Perhaps it is a good idea for you to discuss this with our HR department. I will have one of the nurses continue to cover your shift while you discuss your concerns with them.” Debbie stood up and said, “Fine! You’re going to be fired over this and I think that this will be the best thing HR ever did.” As soon as Debbie left the office, Sarah telephoned the human resources department director and told her to expect Debbie. She had documentation of Debbie’s infractions through the recent conversation and records of the violations placed in Debbie’s employee file. She hoped that human resources could resolve the situation without Debbie losing her job. But she also knew that while she might be a great technical nurse, Debbie needed more training in interpersonal communication and maybe a dose of humility. A few days later, Sarah received an email regarding the Debbie situation. Apparently, she calmed down on her way to HR and was able to give her side of the story. The reason that she was texting outside the patient’s door was that she was following up on a previous text (answered on her break). Her boyfriend was arrested for drunk driving and she was checking on the situation. Debbie felt that this was a good reason for an exemption to the no-texting policy. However, she did admit that she did not explain any of this to Sarah. The HR email stated that Debbie acknowledged her violation of the no-texting policy and realized that she should have handled the situation differently. She stated that she should have notified the supervisory nurse (Sarah) that there was a family emergency. Given adequate coverage, she could have been granted emergency leave to deal with the situation. Debbie also regretted her outburst against Sarah; she was just angry about everything. The email from HR informed Sarah that Debbie would receive a Step 3 notification on her employee record, which documented all of her violations of the no-texting policy. She was also required to attend training on effective interpersonal communication offered by Hope Hospital. In addition, she was required to apologize to Debbie for her insensitive and inaccurate statements. Sarah read the email with fixed emotions. Debbie clearly violated the policy in a most public way. However, she also understood that Debbie was still learning and was pleased that she was given another chance. Sarah hoped that the training and her supervision would be enough to influence Debbie to become an excellent nurse on all levels of nursing. Sarah waited for Debbie’s apology.
#. 8 Step model for ethical analysis :-
identify the problem or dilemma
identify personal issues involved
review the relevant ethics code
know the applicable laws and regulations
consider possible and probable courses of action
enumerate the consequences of various decisions
choose what appears to be the best course of action
#. The facts :-
- Debbie violated the policy that prohibits texting.
- Debbie misbehaved with and used insensitive statements for Sarrah
- Debbie does not have good communication skills
#. The ethical issue is how Debbie backanwsered and misbehaved to her supervisor who is most senior even after violating the policy she signed .
#. The affected parties are :-
- Sarrah from the behaviour of Debbie
- Debbie from her own behaviour she has been warned by HR department for prohibiting policy and misbehaving with Sarrah
#. The consequences are :-
Debbie would receive a Step 3 notification on her employee record, which documented all of her violations of the no-texting policy.
Debbie is required to attend training on effective interpersonal communication offered by Hope Hospital.
Debbie is required to apologize to Sarrah for her insensitive and inaccurate statements.
#. The obligations are :-
Debbie should apologise for her behaviour and should attend a interpersonal communication class to enhance her communication skills and should respect her seniors
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