Elder abuse is a concept in old age care that has a wide scope. In the simplest terms, elder abuse may refer to the repeated act or action that hurts elder persons. As aforementioned, elder abuse is a broad concept that cuts across economic, social, psychological and physical mistreatment of the elderly person. For example, it is financial elderly abuse when one does not care about the financial needs of an elderly person in the family who has no ability to meet his/her financial needs. Notably, elderly abuse is committed by either a family member of a health professional. In the scenario at hand, the elderly abuse is in hospital settings.
Description of the Event and My feeling
The article presents a case study of an elderly man that dies while undergoing treatment at a health facility. Basically, from the chain of events, it is clear that the elderly many man died due to negligence exhibited by the health professionals at the facility.
Well, this is how events unfolded. The issues all started when Zdenek, an elderly man of 88 years was admitted at Gold Coast nursing home with minor pressure wounds (Lewis, 2016). A few days later, even after a health staff had given medication for the same, Zdenek’s wounds get into a worse state as indicated by the foul smell felt by Yvonne, a family member who had visited him in the hospital. After realizing that Zdenek situation had taken a turn for the worse, they try to convince the health professional at the facility to have the patient transferred to another facility a request that was decline with claims that he would do better. Apart from not managing the wounds to the required standards, the patient was as well left in position, just put in a fallout chair, which would not allow ease blood circulation. It is conclusive that the death of Zdenek was largely contributed by 3 things. The first is lack of wound management skills for the Registered nurse, sheer negligence to the patient and poor or no coordination and escalation procedures.
Generally, this made me both sad and sympathetic. The sad mood was contributed by the inappropriate conduct and actions of the registered nurse in addressing the patients case. First, I am agitated about the idea that the nurse lacked the necessary skills to give the elderly man the best medical care. This is against the Nursing and Midwifery Board of Australia (NMBA) professional standards of practice (Australian Nursing and Midwifery Council, 2006). According to the NMBA, each nurse that is allowed to practice ion the Australian health care must meet minimal professional requirements which includes training or simply put, competency standards. It is clear that the nurse did not have the competency regarding wound management and would not admit as early as possible to have the patient transferred to a specialist. The fact that the manager of the health facility admitted that in indeed the staff had little training on wound management confirms our doubt of her competency. The second thing that angered me regards the conduct of the nursing staff. The NMBA provided that any registered nursing working in Australia must always abide by the code of ethics the body stipulates. In this scenario, the nursing professional in questioned breached this provision of ethics by being dishonest. The nurse lied about the situation of the patient and also, was not ready to honestly admit that she could not manage the wound. Thirdly, I am angered by the fact that the nurse did not obey the provision of the NMBA that guides to professional boundaries. He/she nurse very well that the condition of the patient was beyond her professional but went ahead to attend to the patient. As regards sympathy, I must say that I am really compassionate bout the family of Zdenek for losing him.
Comprehensive Analysis of Learning from the Event
Basically, the event presented in the scenario is a clear case of professional misconduct and negligence. Apparently, these are the major contributors to the medical error that occurred and led to the death of Zdenek.
Looking at professional misconduct, you find the registered nurse did not give the patient the needed attention as stipulated under NMBA. Also, the registered nurse lacked the clinical skills to manage the patient’s wound thus resulting to poor medical error and poor treatment. If only the nurse had the relevant skills to manage the condition, the patient would have survived through.
In addressing this medical error, I would devise an action plan that would constitute having drug guides with me at all times, double checking procedures, considering teamwork and collaboration, providing Patient-Centered Care as well as revising the nursing profession practicing skills more often to get informed.
In order to effectively to enact an action plan that aims at reducing the medical errors, I will need to learn some new knowledge. Firstly I will lean about the procedures of patient referral so that incases I have a case I cannot handle, I refer the patient to a specialist (Blais & Hayes, 2011). Secondly, I will have to have on the appropriate procedures of escalation and communication of cases to the family members and workmates where need be to avoid unnecessary clashes (Craig, 2009). Thirdly I will need to learn about the available patient safety measures at the hospital (Blais & Hayes, 2011). I will need to learn fundamental nursing best practices and skills (Marshall, Raynor, Maureen, Paul, 2010; Melnyk & Fineout-Overholt, 2011). New knowledge about nursing leadership and management would be valuable tolerant to too (YODER-WISE, 2013).
It is saddening to learn that most of the deaths that occur in health care facilities, especially the Old Age Cares, are caused by sheer negligence of the nursing professionals and professional incompetency. Arguably, most countries across the world have specially formulated regulations that are meant to guide the operations of their health sectors, For example, in Australia; NMBA is a body that sets the standards that all nursing and midwifery practices are based on. However, the many nursing professional choose to breach these principles something that leads to medical errors and consequent loss of lives. As such, all medical professionals need to be sure to abide by minimal standard of practices to save lives.
Australian Nursing and Midwifery Council. (2006). National competency standards for the registered nurse. Dickson, ACT: Author.
Blais, K., & Hayes, J. S. (2011). Professional nursing practice: Concepts and perspectives. Boston: Pearson.
Lewis, D. (2016, September 27). Elder abuse inquiry: Man dies in hospital after Gold Coast nursing home staff fail to properly treat wounds. ABC NEWS.
Marshall, Jayne E. Raynor, Maureen D. Lewis, Paul. (2010). Advancing skills in midwifery practice. Edinburgh: Churchill Livingstone/Elsevier.
Melnyk, B. M., & Fineout-Overholt, E. (2011). Evidence-based practice in nursing & healthcare: A guide to best practice. Philadelphia: Wolters Kluwer/Lippincott Williams & Wilkins.
YODER-WISE, P. A. (2013). Leading and managing in nursing. Place of publication not identified: Elsevier mosby.