The principle of beneficence advocates that a patient should be given the best care to avert any harm (Rancich, Pérez, Morales, & Gelpi, 2005, p. 211). In this case, medical mistakes that harmed Mrs. Kelly…
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Consequent to this, the patient’s illness worsened, leading to her death.
In my opinion, Joanna’s actions were not sufficient. Given that she sensed that Mrs. Kelly was seriously ill, when she was on night duty, she should have taken additional steps to ensure the best interest of the patient in the morning.
The structure of the organization posed an institutional constraint in this case. It required a doctor to examine the patient, before any serious care could be given to a patient. The nurse on duty, hence reported the case to the resident doctor, who declined to examine the patient. The nurse did not have the ability to examine the patient further, thus exposing the patient to great pain.
Following the biomedical definition of health, medical practitioners tend to concentrate on attending to a patient who depicts the corresponding symptoms of an illness. Patients who do not display any vital signs tend to be ignored. Therefore, when the nurse examined the patient, and found the vital signs to be within the normal range, the resident doctor assumed that the patient did not require urgent medical attention. Therefore, Mrs. Kelly’s health was threatened by the hidden symptoms, which were not diagnosed in time (Denny & Guido, 2012, pp. 801-802).
Following her assessment, Joanna realized that Mrs. Kelly was seriously ill. Consequently, she should have ensured that patient saw a doctor urgently in the morning for an assessment. Instead of following up on the critical case, she delegated the issue to another nurse, who may have taken time to act, as well, leading to the demise of Mrs. Kelly. Following this incident, Joanna should ensure to follow up on cases with a high probability of harm to the patient in future, to promote the principle of beneficence.
To avoid the occurrence of such an incidence in the future, nurses should be encouraged to take a pain management course. This
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