Refusing an Assignment, Research Paper Example

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Research Paper

 

You have a nursing assistant that refuses to do an assignment that you (charge nurse) have just assigned to her. How do you handle this situation? Is there ever an instance where it’s okay for a nursing assistant to refuse an assignment given by the charge nurse? Explain.

 

As every individual has a right to his own opinion so is a nurse having his or her own right to his/her own decision. In line with the desire to refuse an assignment, nursing assistants also have the right to refuse assignments given to them by their charge nurse especially if they think that the assignment could jeopardize the situation of the patient. It is duly noted that nurses took an oath to protect the value of their patient’s health at the most possible chance of doing so. Restrictions from particular cultural backgrounds or religious decisions of the patient and/or their relatives are the only particular elements that they should consider when not accepting the need to act upon the healthcare demands of the patient.

However, there are instances when particular medical applications or operations insist conflicting effects on the health status of the patient. In consideration with these particular cases, nurses are allowed to take charge and refuse the assignment when they think that it could risk their patient’s life. This however should be accounted for properly, which means the nurse simply did not just have a hunch that the process or the assignment is wrong. There should be a strong reason beyond the defiance of the orders coming from the charge nurse.

During instances such as this one, charge nurses need not react in panic like as if their authority is being over-stepped by a mere assistant nurse. Relatively, with the utilization of proper investigation and extensive rationalization of the situation, charge nurses should seek to know why the assistant nurse acted the way he/she did during the time. In an instance when the assistant nurse has a rightful reason to defy the orders of the charge nurse,  the charge nurse ought to recognize the responsibility to acknowledge the action of the said nurse.

However, in instances when the assistant nurse simply left and did not mention about why or what reasons he/she had for abandoning the assignment, careful investigation should be sought. This is especially involving short-time shifts wherein the nurse negligently did not complete the duty-hours that he/she was accounted for. This is a direct defiance to the code of proper nursing conduct. In consideration with extending hours of duty, nurses are not obliged to extend their hours of work unless the need is really great that they were instructed or at least requested to stay for a few more hours to fill in for the need of more assistants. In cases when a nurse gets off from work without doing what was asked of him/her because her duty-hour was already over, justification of the said action should be considered. Nursing assistants should be given the chance to defend themselves every time their actions are being questioned by higher subordinates. If the reasons are rational enough and are in line with the primary principles of nursing practices, then there is no way to consider that a nurse has become negligent on consideration with their duties to the patients, their duties to their superiors and their duties to themselves.

With ample consideration of their actions and the rationale behind each shall provide the administrators an understanding on how to deal with cases of insubordination with reasonable backgrounds. Weighing the pros and cons of their actions is then a very important aspect of decision making especially with regards the judgment of cases involving patient care development and patient-safety issues.

Reference:

The Standard of Care. Refusing Assignments and Discontinuing Nursing Services. http://www.cno.org/Global/docs/prac/41070_refusing.pdf. (retrieved  on February 8, 2012).

Armstrong, Alan (2007). Nursing Ethics: A Virtue-Based Approach. Palgrave Macmillan.

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