Identify the potential ethical dilemma

Identify the potential ethical dilemma

Identify the potential ethical dilemma 150 150 Nyagu

Identify the potential ethical dilemma
Identify the potential ethical dilemma

A nurse accused of stealing. She is a good nurse but cannot be allowed to continue stealing and breaking the law while she is performing her duties.Identify the potential ethical dilemma

Collect, analyze, and interpret data

Nurses must protect clients’ well-being, even while they strive to support other nurses. The case study is presented in such a manner which suggests that the nurse manager is fairly certain, given the evidence she has observed, that this individual is the party responsible for the series of thefts.

State the dilemma

A nurse-manager has an unequivocal ethical responsibility to report any suspected crimes. However, this could destroy the goodwill on the ward and impede the community of nurses from working together and getting things done. Also, the crime may be difficult to prove and cause divisiveness on the ward.


Can the dilemma be resolved by the nurse?

The answer to this particular conundrum is ‘yes and no.’ No, in the sense that some outside investigation is required to prove the suspected nurse committed a crime. If the nurse loses her job without cause she could bring a suit against the hospital. However, the nurse-manager will have responsibilities in gathering evidence and dealing with the other nurses, once the crime has been revealed. List the potential solutionsIdentify the potential ethical dilemma

Potential solution 1: Do nothing.

The arguments for doing nothing are as follows — the nurse is popular, and there are no apparent complaints from patients about her ability to provide healthcare. The nurse’s crimes are relatively petty and not causing physical harm to patients. However, the nurse manager has a responsibility to prevent future crime, and if the crimes are discovered later, the consequences could be even graver, given the anger and bad publicity this could generate for the hospital.

Potential solution 2: Confront the nurse

Confronting the nurse is problematic if done in a face-to-face format, given that the evidence in support of the accusation is not necessarily strong enough to result in the nurse’s automatic termination. If such a confrontation takes place, it should take place before the necessary HR personnel in charge of mediating disputes. Also, another supervisor should be present. Regardless of these precautions, if the nurse is not removed, the nurse-manager will have lost a valuable ally on her healthcare team. Identify the potential ethical dilemma