The Heated Hospital Hazard of Hostility
Our scenario is based on an accidental malpractice incident that results in a tragic death of a patient. The patient was initially admitted to the emergency unit after suffering a stroke, and was prescribed an anticoagulant medication known as heparin. Heparin is a blood thinner that prevents the formulation of blood clots during surgeries or other medical procedures. It can also be given to avoid clot formation that can eventually lead to further strokes. The patient also had a bacterial infection called clostridium difficile (C. diff) that requires contact precautions with the use of a gown, mask, and gloves before entering the patient's room. The malpractice occurred when Yaar, the registered nurse (RN), missed the patient’s required heparin dosage. Yaar argues that she is not solely to blame, as she claims to have forgotten to give the dosage due to the lack of communication and teamwork among the hospital staff.
The scenario will take place in the hospital conference room, a week after the incident occurred. Yaar, Claudia, another RN, Eric, a dietician, and Hazael, an occupational health and safety worker, will be discussing what had happened on the day of the incident, and explaining each of their stories to Sara, the private investigator. Yaar will be the competing nurse, which means she will deny that it is her fault that the patient died; however, according to the College of Nurses of Ontario (CNO) standards, she is at fault. She is anxious, overwhelmed, and scared, so she blames everyone else but herself. Claudia, the bystander nurse, witnessed the incident and was her colleague on the unit when the malpractice occurred. Eric was blamed for taking the patient from the room to assess his diet without communicating and approving it with the nurse. Finally, Hazael was accused of not being proactive and ensuring there was enough personal protective equipment (PPE) to ensure the nurse's safety when entering the patient's room to deliver the medication. Sara uses the collaborating conflict style to listen and understand all perspectives to resolve the conflict.