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Patient Safety in Nursing

Module 1: The Louise Batz Story

Louise Batz lost her life due to a preventable medical error, that was made during her knee surgery. Such a phenomenon can be attributed to incomplete, or inaccurate diagnosis or treatment plan. In Louise’s case, the medical team gave her Pepto-Bismol and intravenous morphine, which sent her into a respiratory depression, and consequently, a traumatic brain injury. This is a conspicuous medical error that can be traced to the medical team’s incompetency, which allowed the healthcare team to ignore the patient’s response to the drug. Please note that you can get 5 Best Nursing Essay Writing Services today.

The primary causes of death include there being an error in the diagnosis, where the doctor attributes the patient’s symptoms to the same illness. Other causes include the design of the healthcare system, which can be corrected by incorporating the patient’s family into the treatment protocol, ensuring a free flow of information about the patients, as proposed by Louise Batz’s daughter, thus preventing the occurrence of a medical error as a result of inadequate information (Townsend, 2018). Therefore, it is normal for patients and their families to expect a safe patient care as these medical errors can be traced to particular factor, which can be eliminated from the healthcare system.

Patient Safety in Nursing

Module 1: What is Patient Safety?

The Leapfrog Group (2016) relays hospital as complex organizations, whose efficiency and patient safety efforts can only be effective if there is proper coordination within the healthcare teams, the patient and their family. It was therefore not a surprise, learning of the challenges faced by the healthcare providers in ensuring patient safety. The key to improving of patient safety would involve understanding that a hospital is an organization made of multiple individuals and whole effectiveness depend on the amount of information and resources at their disposal.

The free flow of information among these people is very essential to ensuring that the patients are safe. Teamwork is an important aspect of these dynamic as various aspects of the patient’s information or reaction to the treatment may be picked up by individual healthcare professionals. The patient and their family are also of essence in this case as they can provide information that would help improve the healthcare professionals understanding of the patient and their illness. The improvement of patient’s safety therefore begins with their inclusion as well as their family in the healthcare process.

Module 1: Safety Culture Part 1 (Hierarchy)

The most fascinating detail in Bartholomew (2016) is the level of intimacy of the interaction between the nurses and their patients. This provides a good opportunity for the nurses to pick up important information about the patients, which is essential to diagnosis and formulation of the treatment plan. Unfortunately, there exists a barrier that prevents this information from reaching the physicians, due to the hierarchical power structure in hospitals. Instead of serving the patient’s interest, the nurses end up serving the interest of physicians, something that compromises patient’s safety (Bartholomew, 2016).

The development of safer work environment would provide a professional setting for the nurses to freely express their point of view to the physicians. Such an environment would involve a horizontal power dynamic where all hospital staff treat each other as colleagues and not of them is too intimidated to share important information. Additionally, each of the professionals is supposed to understand their role in order to avoid overstepping their professional boundaries, thus compromising patient safety.

Module 1: Safety Culture Part 2 (Breaking Down Hierarchy)

Bartholomew (2016) addresses the power dynamic involved in healthcare organizations and its impact on patient’s safety. There exists a hierarchy among healthcare professionals that depends with the level of education and the complexity of their responsibility. This way, a house keeper is subordinate to a nurse, who is in turn subordinate to the physicians.

This dynamic acts as a barrier to effective communication among the professionals and consequently, the patient’s safety is compromised. A house keeper spends a considerable amount of time around the patients, and even though they do not provide healthcare, they can may pick important information about the patient, which they are supposed to pass to the healthcare professionals.

A nurse on the other hand is a healthcare professional and can take steps to guaranteeing the patient’s safety. Even though the physicians are more informed about the illness, the nurses are likely to be more informed about the patient (Bartholomew, 2016). Nurses are therefore obliged to speak out, something that is facilitated a horizontal distribution of power, with each individual understanding their responsibility.

Patient Safety in Nursing

References

Bartholomew, K. (2016). Lessons from Nursing to the World [Video]. Retrieved from

Townsend, L. B. (2018) The story of Louise Batz [Internet]. 2015 [Cited 2 February 2018].

The Leapfrog Group. (2016) What is patient safety? [Internet]. [cited 2 February 2018].

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