Case Study of Ethics
This case study of Ethics scenario comprised a medical occupational, Jerry McCall, who has been taught and trained as a licensed practical nurse (LPN) and a medical assistant who is in the office along because the switchboard operator is at lunch. Therefore, he is taking the calls and later discovered he is in a situation. A few minutes pass and Jerry received a call from one of his patient requesting for a refilled of medications such as, antidepressant, and Valium to be call in as soon as possible because his flight will be leaving in 30 minutes.
The patient states he needs the medication because it helps him to relax while traveling on the plane, and Dr. Williams usually give him small amount of these medications. The patient also states that he, and Dr. Williams has been good friend for a while. No one is in the office at this time however; Jerry has to make a decision soon as possible. This case study will describe if Jerry is trained to make the correct decision for this situation such as, what type of problem solving methods, and the legal ramifications and ethics needs to be utilized.
Trained to Make the Request? Jerry is trained to request or call in the prescriptions for any patients without permission from his staff’s administration. He has been trained and is certified in both LPN and medical assistance. These quantifications will assist him to make sound decision when it comes to calling in patient’s medications. In most cases, the health care administration usually gives his or her medical assistance the right to request or call in prescriptions for patients in his absence as long as the guidelines are followed.
Patients who are on medications on a regular basic he or she can call their doctor or Dr. Assistant and request for a refilled of medications to be call in. The types of medications are as followed, hyperlipidemia, precluding of blood clots, hypertension, and diabetes. These types of medications are not controlled substances and the physician’s do not have to always approve the refilled medications. However, a medical assistant must have approval if the medication is controlled substances such as, narcotic pain pills and anxiety medicines before he can request or call in any of these medications.
The patient mention early in the paper, wanted Jerry to call in or request for ontrolled substance and he will needs approval for the physician. First Jerry could check the patient medical record, and contained any information pertaining to the medications for the patient. If no information is noted, he can page the physician and wait until he received a responds. However, this might take too long, and the patient flight will be leaving soon. Finally, Jerry would have to explain the situation to the patient, because he is not authorized to refill or call in a controlled substance without approval from the physician.
Doctrine of Respondeat Superior The superior are responsible for his or her employee’s actions while conducting their duty at work. This is called the doctrine of respondeat superior. (Legal-Explanations. com, 2004). In additional, the physician is responsible for his or her subordinate’s action while conducting their jobs assignment. Jerry is trained by policy not to call in the medications. If Jerry call in the medication without approval and the patient has a reaction, he will not be covered under the Doctrine of respondeat superior.
However, policies and procedures are usually put in place at most organizations to protect staffs and the patients and if any employees deviate from polices he or she can set their self-up for failure. The patient wanted Jerry to call in a controlled substance called Valium, and the drug do has several side effects such as tremors, jaundice, leukopenia, blurred, and dizziness. (Long, 2009). This medication has central anxious system depressants that can be increase with consumption of alcohol and a person can become additive to this drug. Jerry will be cover if he received approval from his physician to call in the prescription.
The physician is responsible for this patient not Jerry therefore; it is in Jerry best interest to follow protocol to ensure his job security, and to be protected under the doctrine of respondeat superior law. Advice to Jerry My advised to Jerry is to try all you can to reach the physician for approval for the medication by paging, calling him on his work or personal phone, and E-mailing. In addition, check his medical record but if all fail you explain to the patient that you do not have the authority to call in a controlled substance without the physician approval, and he did not call you back.
You apologize to the patient for the inconvenient. You should also informed him that you did all you can to find any information concerning this matters but you was not successfully. Ethical and Legal Issues We have to consider the ethical and legal issues in this situation. We want to help and empathize with the patient situation because he has anxiety issue. He needs the medication to keep him or her calm while flying on the plane, and only have thirty minutes before the flight is leaving. On the other hand, Jerry has to consider all legal matters if the procedures are not followed correctly.
Jerry could face criminal charges if he calls in this type of drug called Valium without approval from physician. This drug is additive and people is abusing this medication on the street. Jerry does not have any knowledge about the patient intent or whether the patient wants the medicine for medical reason. He could be additive to the drug, or want medicine to sell to other people on the street. Jerry will be charged for calling the medications in if the patient gets caught selling the drug on the street. The patient will probably make a deal with police to shorten his sentence and turned Jerry in to the authority.
Problem Solving Techniques Jerry should be honest with the patient and explain to him in a calm manner of the situation. Continue to communicate in a professional and remain calm, and allow the patient to give feedback. In a situation like this, it will be hard because the patient probably does not understand why Jerry would not call in the prescription, and he may become irate. Jerry should suggest alternatives such as, used meditation technique, conduct rub exercise method, or take deep breaths to help the patient to calm his nerves.
The best problem solving technique for Jerry in this situation is communication. He should be honest with the patient and make sure the patient understands the situation. It can become overwhelming in a situation where the pressure of time restrictions can make the person act without using good judgment. Jerry should remain calm, communicate with the patient, attempt to communicate with the doctor, and consider all aspects of the situation. Once the determination has been made then communicate the reasoning to the patient is a respectful, professional manner.