Observations are Critical in Patient Safety

Case study: Observations are Critical in Patient Safety (23/8/17).
A complaint alleging unsatisfactory professional conduct was made against a Registered Nurse (RN) who it was claimed failed in his obligations during a night shift when he was in charge of an Acute Mental Health Ward at a public hospital. During the night shift, one patient sharing a room with another, killed the other patient residing in the room. A complaint made was about the nurses’ observations of the patient’s on the night. It was alleged that the practitioner:
• failed to conduct or ensure the required observations,
• altered the frequency of observations to less than instructed by the medical practitioner, and
• falsely entered records of observations, including not completing them in the manner required.
A Professional Standards Committee (PSC) held in May 2016, upheld the allegations and their findings determined that the RN did not undertake care level observations demonstrating the knowledge, skills, care and judgements expected of a nurse to his level, training and experience under s139B(1)(a) of the National Law. A finding of unsatisfactory professional conduct was concluded (and was admitted by the RN), The RN was reprimanded and conditions were placed on his registration, including 12 months of mentoring.

Critically analyse the above case study with regards to the legal and professional issues raised.



Sample Solution