Posted: September 17th, 2017

Law and ethics in health

Law and ethics in health

Assignment 2 – Case study analysis – Assignment brief
Case study:

You are a nursing student working on a busy surgical ward and it is 10.ooam.
One of your patients, Frank, is a 68 year old retired barrister who has undergone a
Iaparotomy for acute bowel obstruction. He is first day post-op and his recovery so
far has been uneventful; his vital signs have all been within normal limits. This
morning, however, his vital signs have altered somewhat; his heart rate has
increased to 92bpm, his blood pressure has decreased to 105/70; his temperature is
379%, although he looks a little pale; also he has not passed urine since midnight
although he has an IV infusion in situ and is receiving adequate hydration. When you
are carrying out his vital sign monitoring, he seems rather confused and disorientated
and this is quite marked because you helped Frank wash himself less than an hour
ago and he seemed fine then. He also becomes a little aggressive towards you and
tells you to ‘go away’.

You go to tell your preceptor of your findings because you feel a little
unhappy with his condition and she asks you to return to Frank and repeat his
observations. En route to Frank, you are held up by a patient who desperately needs
a bedpan, so you organise this and as soon as you have removed the bedpan, the
man in the next bed, asks for a urine bottle, so you comply. Then you are called help
to turn a patient with another nurse and are then asked to undertake another couple
of urgent tasks. Once you have completed these actions, you return to Frank; about
25 minutes have passed.

As you approach Frank, you see that he has thrown off the bed covers, he is
naked, he has also soiled the bed, removed the dressing from his wound and is
smearing faeces across his abdomen and onto his surgical wound. Additionally, he
has pulled out his IV cannula and is bleeding from the insertion site. You immediately
pull the curtains around him to give him some privacy and return to your preceptor to
ask for assistance. She tells you to go and clean him up, while she calls the doctor to
come to resite the IV cannula. You return with the items you need to attend to
Frank’s hygiene needs and inform Frank that you need to give him a wash, he
aggressively tells you that he does not want a wash and is verbally abusive towards

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