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Imagine you are working on the night shifts in a nursing home. This is your sixth straight day and you’re feeling very tired. One of the residents, Mannie, an 85-year-old male, has been in the home for ten years after having a stroke. Mary needs to be turned every 2-hours to avoid him developing pressure sores, but you and the other nurse you are working with decides to turn him irregularly. Your justifications of these decisions are to avoid disturbing his sleep as well as to protect your backs. At the end of the shift, you turn Mannie and record in his notes that you have done every 2-hours throughout the night. He has not developed a pressure sore, so what is the harm? Now consider this: you turn him at the end of the night and discover that a small area has broken down on his left hip. Is this your fault? If the manager asks if you have turned him every 2-hours, as stated in the care plan, what will you say? You could say you turned him every 2-hours – this would not change anything for Mannie but would make your life easier. Alternatively, you go to turn him at the end of the night shift only to discover that he has died sometime during the night. Mannie has been dead for a while based on how cold he is. You know you can just claim that you found him earlier in the night and prepare his body quickly before the day staff comes in to work. Surely this will not change anything; no one will be hurt, will they?
After reading the article, take some time to reflect on cultural diversity in healthcare, then answer substantively to the following questions.
- Which, if any, of these scenarios are acceptable? Does the blame attached to any of them change because of the outcome?
- What does your choice of actions say about you?
- What values are being displayed here? Explain.