Medication Errors Led To Disastrous Outcomes

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Medication Errors

Nurses and physicians are affected immensely by medication errors. Kim Hiatt was affected so much that she ended up committing suicide (Saavedra, 2015). Secondly, experience does not shield nurses or physicians from making medication errors. An experienced nurse made a calculation error simply because she was involved in a conversation when calculating calcium chloride calculations.

The principle of beneficence can apply to these cases when analyzing the actions of the nurses from an ethical lens. Were the actions of the nurses aimed at the good of the patients? In both cases, it is apparent that the nurses did not intend adverse outcomes. Julie Thao committed the error partly because of her efforts to lower the patient’s anxiety levels. Thus, beneficence and benevolence should be considered when investigating and assessing the culpability of the nurses. The administrator handled the situations legally in both cases. However, their actions could be deemed lacking from an ethical perspective.

Compassion is a virtue that may have helped Thao and Hiatt. Had their colleagues and employers shown them compassion instead of treating them as criminals and incompetent nurses, the adverse outcomes that the nurses suffered would have been avoided. Prudence, by the colleagues of the two nurses, the investigators, and the administrators, would have afforded them greater mental flexibility to accept that errors can happen in clinical settings and consider the weight or burden it placed on the two nurses.

The personal virtues that may have helped the second victims navigate the grieving process include honesty and reverence. Honesty would have helped the second victims accept that medication errors can occur. It may have also helped them be more accepting of their role in the adverse outcomes. Reverence could have helped them see their negative experiences as means to making them better nurses. It would have helped them generate some positives out of their negative experiences.