Critical Decision Making for Providers


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Mike works in a nearby hospital as a lab technician. Today, Mike is running late for work again. He has had frequent issues with reporting to work late, a behavior that has forced his supervisor to give him a warning with a clear statement that anymore lateness in reporting to work would lead to the termination of his employment at the hospital. Mike’s job is really important to him, not only is he working in a career he loves, the job is also the main contributor of income for him and his family. Therefore, Mike is will to do anything so as to ensure that he does not lose his job due to his behaviors. Aware that the supervisor has a keen eye on him, Mike is determined to arrive at work on time within the stipulated reporting time so as to avoid additional confrontations with his supervisors.

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As the deadline on the reporting time approaches, Mike enters the hospital premise and notices some spill on the entrance floor at the reception lobby. As the clock ticks away, Mike is aware that any attempts to stop and clean the spill will cause some delays in his reporting time which in turn can possibly lead to the loss of his job. Moreover, Mike is sure that that while he clocks in, the staff members in the cleaning department will notice the spill and clean the floor. Yet, to unsuspecting employees and patients coming into the front lobby, the spill can be a hazard, causing harm and injury. Therefore, Mike finds himself in a dilemma.Consequences of Lateness and Patient’s SafetyMike noticed the spill on the floor of the lobby while he was rushing to report on time for his oncoming shift. He is caught in a dilemma on whether to run late or report/address the spill. This dilemma becomes a reality with the worst possible results being that Mike could face a possible job termination from his employer. In fear of losing his job, Mike walks past the spill, ignoring the safety concerns. He fails to take time and report the safety issue to the appropriate department to handle the issue promptly and avoid negative outcomes.

According to Shahian (2016), the most priority for healthcare professionals working in a hospital environment is to ensure the health and safety of all patients in and around the premise together with other staff members working within the same environment. As such, it is the responsibility of each staff member to report to the relevant departments any issues concerning the safety of anyone within the hospital environment. This is to be done whether the issue is a medical concern, behavioral conduct, abuse of office, or simple mishaps such as the spill of water on the floor, which has the potential to cause serious harm and affect other people’s safety at the hospital due to falls.Any failure by a healthcare practitioner in reporting cases of error or safety issue to the appropriate department can become the precedent that leads to harm on patients or other staff members. It is reported that in many hospital settings, 1,000 people everyday are at risk of safety errors which lead to massive injuries in an environment that is expected to prevent such occurrence and protect each patient from further harm or undesirable actions (Oshima and Emanuel, 2013).The spill may seem insignificant, however, when the spill causes harm to another person, then the repercussions become very significant. In a dilemma, Mike can call his supervisor to inform him that he has encountered a safety concern that involves clean-up at the lobby. This would justify his lateness. On the other hand, Mike fears losing his job which forces him not to report the issue to the person assigned to clean up the reception area. Later within his shift, Mike finds out that his failure to report the spill caused serious injury to a patient he was attending to, who had fallen at the lobby that morning.

The patient suffered a hip injury which required advanced treatment. At this point, Mike felt guilty because due to his safety neglect, a patient is suffered. On his part, Mike failed to protect patients’ welfare even when it included simple activities such as a spill that caused harm to a patient.Addressing the IssueEvery hospital institution has guidelines outlined for staff members to follow as healthcare professionals in a manner that is ethical and safe for both the patients and other employees. Working in a hospital environment requires team work and the spirit of oneness (Oshima and Emanuel, 2013). As such, it is important for each staff member to take individual responsibility for their decisions and actions especially when such decisions affect other people within the same environment, thereby carry the burden of the consequences of their actions accordingly (World Health Organization, 2013).The best way for Mike’s manager to address the negligence displayed by his employee is to ensure that responsibility for such behavior is accepted.

This involves discussions with Mike to understand his point of view in neglecting his duty as a healthcare profession of safeguarding the lives of other people at all time. This discussion should involve open communication which would allow Mike to see the consequences of his mistakes from a broader perspective and understand the impact of his actions. At this point, punishment should not be used as a form of correction; the use of punishment on Mike will only instill fear among other staff members who will be discouraged and unwilling to report any safety concerns to management for worrying that they might be reprimanded.Teamwork and sharing workload should be well addressed to determine the occurrence of behaviors that might cause harm to others due to poor judgment on job roles.

Given that staff members are only concerned with their individual duties and mainly suffer from work overload on their tasks, it is difficult for them to carry out another employee’s job (Shahian, 2016). Mike’s notion that cleaning the spill was not his job caused serious harm to another person. Management needs to encourage the spirit of working together, through helping each other to reduce work overload and promote unity at work.ConclusionIn this case where Mike ignored purposely the safety issues that later on caused an injury to a patient is unacceptable and should not be encouraged. The mistake indicates the overall gaps within clinical decision making spectrum that communicates to the management team the need to improve clinical reasoning, critical thinking and decision making for healthcare providers.

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