Did I participate in an unethical situation? - page 4

I am worried that last week I participated in an unethical event. Here is the situation. At our facility, we have a, usually yearly, mock disaster. At our facility it is known as a code delta.... Read More

  1. by   nursecave
    I agree that we must practice for the real thing, but it was inappropriate to move that family. The deceased should have been moved to another room, even if it had been a coat closet, before the family was brought back anyway. With the ER that busy, the room she was in was probably needed for a real patient anyway. I think that sometimes administration gets so caught up in the what ifs that they forget the here and now. yes we need preparation, especially for when disasters like hurricanes or terrorist activity occurs, but please don't compromise my family members care to practice for what may never come.:angryfire
  2. by   BamaBound2bRN
    Quote from nursecave
    I agree that we must practice for the real thing, but it was inappropriate to move that family. The deceased should have been moved to another room, even if it had been a coat closet, before the family was brought back anyway. With the ER that busy, the room she was in was probably needed for a real patient anyway. I think that sometimes administration gets so caught up in the what ifs that they forget the here and now. yes we need preparation, especially for when disasters like hurricanes or terrorist activity occurs, but please don't compromise my family members care to practice for what may never come.:angryfire
    The question is not IF, but WHEN disasters will strike. As those who are currently working in our ER's know, people have come accustomed to demanding that they be seen first and that their runny nose is a crisis that MUST be taken care of immediately. We have become a nation of convenience, where we get incensed at the thought of having our routine disrupted for any reason. As long as Life and Limb are not placed in jeopardy, even the inconvenience of death must be put aside to practice for the inevitable. If their was a plane crash and 150 patients were wheeled into the ER, then guess what- the families of many would be "Rudely Pushed Aside" and that is exactly how we must practice our drills.
  3. by   NHNurseMan
    Quote from Really An Actress
    I never thought mock disasters should be a surprize to health care workers. By not allowing them to anticipate their roles, they end up making more mistakes.
    Maybe I'm a purist but isn't the whole idea of a "mock" anything to find and address deficiencies?

    Quote from Really An Actress
    I think it's better to know what day the drill will occur so nurses can do some mental rehearsal and they can focus on getting things right instead of having so many mistakes to go over in the review.
    Again see above, when are we warned of an impending disaster. "This just in there will be a plane crash in (your city here), all emergency personel please prepare yourself for this disaster." That just isn't the way it works. Disasters and emergencies are events that we as emergency personel should always be mentally preparing for.

    Quote from Really An Actress
    And, most definitely, a manager who is there after hours is a sure sign that something is up,lol.
    That is so very true......

    That all being said, though I feel for the family's grief as well as the people already in the ER, IMO this triage situation is something all of us need to take seriously. So many of us and our colleagues take these "mock" situations as a joke and more of a nuisance than anything else. I for one take them as a chance to work on my skills and knowledge. I for one learn from my mistakes (Thankfully as I made plenty of them on my nursing tests.... ) and from these mistakes I've learned things I will never forget.
  4. by   Redlady
    Drills are a necessary part of life, but they can not and should not trump the real reason for being there - the actual patients. Do we need to be prepared for the unknown? - Yes. But, as in this case, the actual drill was mostly nulified (at least for this nurse) because she was focused on her actual patient and the pain it was causing. The drill did her no good. If I was that dec. patients family, I would be absolutely livid. I would be in front of the ethics board myself, have the responsible management staff stand there in front of me and explain to me why high school kids with painted dots on their faces took precidence over my situation. I would have a lawer there with me - just for tatical scare purposes. Part of medicine (esp. nursing- IMO) is caring for your patients. This expressly violated that oath.On another note - I'm not crystal clear how this drill was done, but isn't there the risk of mass panic if you have a completly full ER and you start toting "smallpox" patients all over the place?
  5. by   BamaBound2bRN
    Quote from Redlady
    Drills are a necessary part of life, but they can not and should not trump the real reason for being there - the actual patients. Do we need to be prepared for the unknown? - Yes. But, as in this case, the actual drill was mostly nulified (at least for this nurse) because she was focused on her actual patient and the pain it was causing. The drill did her no good. If I was that dec. patients family, I would be absolutely livid. I would be in front of the ethics board myself, have the responsible management staff stand there in front of me and explain to me why high school kids with painted dots on their faces took precidence over my situation. I would have a lawer there with me - just for tatical scare purposes. Part of medicine (esp. nursing- IMO) is caring for your patients. This expressly violated that oath.On another note - I'm not crystal clear how this drill was done, but isn't there the risk of mass panic if you have a completly full ER and you start toting "smallpox" patients all over the place?
    If you believe that drills are necessary, then how can or should you drill so to obtain the most benefit for the organization?
  6. by   Redlady
    Quote from BamaBound2bRN
    If you believe that drills are necessary, then how can or should you drill so to obtain the most benefit for the organization?
    Very good question. Unfortunately, I don't have an optimal solution. Drills can be done in all sorts of ways - during less busy (ha ha) times, in less used areas, on paper (not the most effective), or somewhat low key so that the actual patients are not disrupted.I understand that it is in the benifit of the general patient population as a whole to have a medical staff who has been trained to handle emergency situations, however we need to temper that with the actual goings on at the time. We do need to be prepared, but if we're overlooking the needs of the patients we have right now, we're defeating the purpose anyway.
  7. by   BabyRN2Be
    Quote from Stargazer
    Drills should never supercede the needs of real, live patients or family experiencing an actual problem. Never. This should be written into your policy and procedure for drills.

    As others have pointed out, aside from the unnecessary cruelty, that is a lawsuit just waiting to happen.
    That was just unneccesarily cruel. Yeah, in real life things happen w/o notice but in this situation, how could this not have waited a day??

    I would be livid as well.
  8. by   Lorie P.
    how horrible, just the last week right at shift change we had some one come up to our desk and announce we are conducting a fire drill, we all just looked at her and she said did you hear me. charge nurse said yes but we don't have time. this person wanted to know why and also why are about 8 people standing outside this room right next to the nurses staion, we needed to move them. i looked at her dead on and replied "no, they family just got here because their loved one passed away and more family is in the room saying good by".the poor family just looked at this lady like how could you.
    the pt had only passed away about 5-10 minutes before the fire drill. this lady replies well this floor will fail, we just shrugged our shoulders and sai whatever.
    mine youif this had been a 'real fire' we would have acted differently, but just cause it was a drill at shift change and with a newly demised pt..we went about our regular duties and try to comfort a family when they needed it.
    aslo got no flack from house supervisor or our nm caused we failed.
  9. by   BamaBound2bRN
    Quote from nurse hobbit
    mine youif this had been a 'real fire' we would have acted differently, but just cause it was a drill at shift change and with a newly demised pt..we went about our regular duties and try to comfort a family when they needed it.
    aslo got no flack from house supervisor or our nm caused we failed.
    thankfully, most people will never experience a "real" fire, disaster, or catastrophe, but no one except god can say who will and who will not be faced with situations like katrina or 9/11/01 or the tsunami, but the attitude that training needs to be scheduled for a "more opportunistic time and place" is the very reason that 36 residents died in a new orleans nursing home, and this very attitude is the same attitude that mike brown formerly of fema had.
    this very debate raged in one of my classes this week, and like many of the posters here, i am convinced that america will never really appreciate the need for realistic disaster preparedness.

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