Reflection on the Poor Judgment
Clinical judgment is critical in the medical profession, as it evaluates the performance of the medical care providers, as well as the generation of information necessary for the medical care managers. With the rapid rise in modern research technology, the mythical aspects of clinical judgment have to be minimized to enhance quality care. Medical caregivers are expected to facilitate in enhancing patient engagement, reducing diagnostic errors, medication errors, and teaching patients on hand hygiene. When medical caregivers opt to abandon patients who are distressed, they risk losing their credibility, ethics, and professionalism in their practices. Medical caregivers’ poor judgment may result to discontent and frustration among patients, which can consequently affect the quality of health care, as well as patient recovery.
Importance of Keeping the Patient Safe
The contemporary healthcare systems offer numerous benefits to patients, although they also create a number of risks if the personnel involved fail to make appropriate decisions in patient safety. Patient safety involves preventing patients from harm within the care environment or at their homes. Patient safety emphasizes on the prevention of error, minimizing cases of harm and injuries, enhancing freedom with the care system, and facilitating patient confidentiality. Some patients may have experienced fall during their stay in the health care facilities, hence, they require proper handling to prevent such incidents. Depending on individuals’ perception of harm, medical caregivers have the capacity to minimize cases of falls and other injuries among patients.
Medical caregivers should be involved in the facilitation of patient safety because they spend most of their time with patients, who trust believe that such adept personnel can transform their lives. Medical caregivers are also close to family members who cater for physical needs of patients while at home. Caregivers are likely to enhance their responsibilities if they sense that they are appreciated for the services they offer, but they may also feel angry if the family members expect a lot from them (Heru, 2013). Sometimes, family caregivers may feel burdened by the responsibility of attending to patients owing to their own poor health status; thus, medical caregivers should ensure that they understand the family caregivers’ situations in order to boost their support.
Medical care givers should not allow emotions to direct their actions, particularly when they are frightened by agitated patients. Dealing with an agitated patient necessitates medical care givers exercise non-coercive approach to avoid frustrating such patients. Agitated patients exhibit repetitive thoughts that vary from anxiety to aggression, based on their current situations (Richmond, et al., 2012). Although agitation is handled clinically using medication, medical care givers should ensure that patients are in a safe physical environment, and should exercise tolerance in dealing with such patients. Medical care givers should restrain themselves from offering false assurance concerning patients’ condition. Instead, they should offer non-verbal assurance to indicate that they are listening to them. They should strive to listen to patients and then adapt to what suits the patients without arguing with them.
Practicing patient safety enable the medical caregivers to plan on risky interventions. Within an open system that encourage interactions, unpredictable events are likely to occur, and the more the caregivers are exposed to unpredictable events, the more they become skilful in enhancing patient safety through designing safety systems. Such systems encourage use of procedures, training other health care professionals on new tactics, and instilling culture within the health care environment. Medical care givers should undergo training on de-escalation techniques in order to learn tactics of handling agitated patients (Richmond, et al., 2012). Patient safety should be a collaborative effort, thus, medical care givers should not be burdened with such responsibility.
Reflection on the Ethics of the Medical Caregivers’ Actions
Patient safety practices can elicit ethical issues in the process of determining the best criteria to undertake a given activity. The ethics behind patient safety is that individuals are bound to make mistakes, but caregivers should strive to eliminate incidences of errors during their practices. All health care professionals are guided by the code of ethics, which explain the moral obligations of each professional. The code of ethics contributes in the promotion, as well as facilitation for health, safety, as well as patient rights. Thus, medical caregivers are bound by the code to exercise ethics in their practices. They are required to honor medical confidentiality to enhance patient safety.
The outcomes of patients are determined by the capacity of the medical caregivers to offer physical and emotional support to them. Patients are likely to recover faster when they are attended by ethical and skillful caregivers. Good care is possible if the medical caregivers are willing to undertake their role of care, and have adequate resources to undertake patient care. Medical caregivers undertake diagnosis, treatment, as well as rehabilitation, in a manner that emphasize on humanity, even as they exploit the technical aspects, which are also vital in care-giving (Kleinman, 2012). They ensure that patients and families understand the processes involved in the delivery of medical services.
Ethical issues emerge when a particular situation is viewed in numerous angles, which are sometimes not exhaustively disclosed or resolved, hence, leading to predicaments and moral distress (Dalmolin, Lunardi, Barlem & Silveira, 2012). Medical caregivers may experience emotional symptoms, which include anxiety, frustration, guilt, and anger. Some of the physical indications of emotional sufferings include headache, sweating, and trembling. Such symptoms interfere with their profession, leading to breakdown in ethical characters. Experience of exhaustion, disappointment, as well as loss of interest, may make medical caregivers fail to exhibit their ethical characteristics of dealing with patients.
Consequences of Abandoning a Patient in Distress
Improving patient safety necessitates change in various levels of the healthcare structures. First, patient interactions with their caregivers should be reviewed to boost their experience. Second, the functions of sub-departments within care delivery systems should be changed to accommodate extra information concerning patient needs. Third, health care administrators should transform the practices involved the sub-systems, such as implementation of new culture in the diagnosis section. Fourth, systems of payments, accreditations, and regulations in each sub-system should correspond with the patient rights. Failure to make changes within the sub-systems could result in poor handling of patients.
Medical caregivers may make poor judgment if they lack support from other team members. Working with divergent employees can increase anxiety among patients, which consequently restrict collaborative efforts, such as disclosure of personal issues and sharing essential information (Salas & Frush, 2015). Relationship between patients and their caregivers may become fragile if patients realize that their caregivers are not trustworthy, or are experiencing personal problems. Withdrawal by the medical caregivers may lead to escalation of patients’ conditions.
Medical caregivers may lose their jobs if they are sued for abandoning patients when undertaking the responsibility within the legal scope of medicine. However, medical caregivers can decline to undertake a responsibility of care giving if such practice falls outside the legal extent of their profession, as professional liability insurance does not cover for penalties that cause harm to patients. Poor judgment from the medical caregivers can only be evaluated based on the legal scope of actions.
Patient safety is paramount in ensuring that patients are recovering well within the hospital environment or at home. Patients feel comfortable when being taken care of by medical caregivers, but poor judgment among medical caregivers may create doubts concerning their profession. Sometimes, it becomes difficult for medical care givers to handle agitated patients, who are anxious about their situations, which may lead to distress among patients. Medical caregivers are perceived to breach medical ethics if they chose to abandon patients due to distress or lack of cooperation. Consequences of abandoning patients in their distress can land medical caregivers into prison for violating patient rights.
Dalmolin, G. D. L., Lunardi, V. L., Barlem, E. L. D., & Silveira, R. S. D. (2012). Implications of moral distress on nurses and its similarities with Burnout. Texto & Contexto-Enfermagem, 21(1), 200-208.
Heru, A. M. (2013). Working with families in medical settings: A multidisciplinary guide for psychiatrists and other health professionals. New York, NY: Routledge, Taylor & Francis Group.
Kleinman, A. (2012). Caregiving as moral experience. The Lancet, 380(9853), 1550-1551.
Richmond, J. S., Berlin, J. S., Fishkind, A. B., Holloman, G. H., Zeller, S. L., Wilson, M. P., Rifal, M.A., & Ng, A. T. (2012). Verbal de-escalation of the agitated patient: consensus statement of the American Association for Emergency Psychiatry Project BETA De-escalation Workgroup. Western Journal of Emergency Medicine, 13(1), 17-25.