Ethical and Legal Management
An alliance between a patient’s cultural identity and a clinician’s cultural competency can improve nurse-patient communication and ultimately reduce health disparities in an oncology unit. However, health disparities in a cancer care setting can be increased by communication barriers between the nurse and patients. In most cases, nurses are often unaware of their level of communication skills and biases and do believe that their skills may not require improvement. Nurses should strive to improve their communication skill level to aid in their communication with cancer patients who are from different cultures or backgrounds (Munhall, 2012). Based on the case study, Susan is guided by the belief that all cancer patients have different expectations and responses to information about diagnosis and cancer treatment. Thus, there is a need to understand their expectations before engaging them in any form of treatment. However, the Chief Nursing Officer and the medical-surgical unit supervisor are guided by the belief that cancer patients have the same expectations just as other patients. Hence, they propose that the oncology and medical-surgical unit be merged. Any other patient expects to engage in a treatment procedure that cures their disease or condition, but a cancer patient expects to engage in a treatment procedure that palliates the chronic condition.
As per the case study, the appropriate plan of action for Susan is to try and convince both the chief nursing officer and the medical-surgical unit supervisor that cancer patients have different treatment expectations from other patients. Therefore, she needs to collect relevant cancer-related studies to support her opinion. A nursing service philosophy impacts the actions of a unit’s management and employees by helping nurses to think more critically and reflect on how they can incorporate their values to provide better care to cancer patients (Meehan, 2012). Susan’s argument might be that to manage the chronic condition of cancer patients, there is a need to apply the use of different nursing interventions such as managing a patient’s low self-esteem. Cancer patients often have low self-esteem and management of such a situation requires nurses’ incorporation of their own values and beliefs.
Meehan, T. C. (2012). The Careful Nursing philosophy and professional practice model. Journal of clinical nursing, 21(19pt20), 2905-2916. Retrieved from http://www.fenf.unicamp.br/sites/default/files/paganex/meehan-2012-journal_of_clinical_nursing.pdf
Munhall, P. L. (2011). Nursing research: A qualitative perspective. Sudbury, MA: Jones & Bartlett Learning.