A Balanced Approach to Handling Ethical Issues in Nurse Leadership
1. A manager who refuses to pay someone who worked overtime: In this case, I would gather all relevant information to determine the facts surrounding the rejection of overtime compensation. Then, to verify compliance, I would go over organizational rules and labor laws. Suppose it is decided that the overtime work was legal and should have been reimbursed. In that case, I will discuss the matter with the manager, emphasizing the significance of fair treatment and policy adherence. I would elevate the situation to upper management or the human resources department to resolve it correctly if required.
2. A nurse management who tolerates verbal abuse directed at another nurse:
Tolerating verbal abuse is wrong and inhibits a productive workplace. I would handle the matter as soon as possible by discussing individually with the nurse manager involved and expressing my concerns about the reported behavior. I would remind them of their obligation to keep the workplace polite and supportive, and I would provide options for conflict resolution or employee aid programs. If the problem persists or worsens, I will contact upper management or the human resources department to conduct an investigation and take necessary disciplinary action.
3. Consistently understaffing the unit during periods of high census: Consistently understaffing a team during periods of high census jeopardizes patient safety and the quality of treatment. I would approach the nurse manager to address how staffing shortages affect patient outcomes and staff morale. I would look into possible solutions such as using float pool resources, altering timetables, or hiring temporary help. If the problem persists despite efforts to discover feasible remedies, I will raise the issue with upper management or the proper regulating bodies, ensuring patient safety remains a top priority.
4. A nurse failing to provide all of the patients’ information during the shift report: Sharing complete and accurate patient information is crucial for the continuity of treatment. If I notice a nurse failing to provide all relevant patient information during the shift report, I will address the issue promptly. I would speak with the nurse privately, emphasizing the necessity of thorough communication during handovers. I would educate and provide information on appropriate shift reporting practices and encourage open communication to address any problems the nurse may be experiencing. Continuous monitoring and reinforcement of this expectation would be critical to ensure the patient’s well-being and care coordination.
5. Favoritism toward one employee over another: Favoritism can create an uncomfortable work environment and erode confidence among team members. I would approach the implicated nurse manager and explain my concerns about the perceived bias. I emphasize the significance of fairness, equality, and keeping a positive team dynamic. The nurse manager should consider the potential effects of partiality on team morale and performance while evaluating their actions and decisions. Open communication, openness, and consistency in decision-making should be stressed to develop a fair and supportive workplace culture.
6. Hiring or firing based on friendship: Hiring and firing should be based on merit, credentials, and organizational needs. Making decisions based entirely on personal relationships is unethical and may jeopardize patient treatment and staff morale. If I learn that a nurse manager makes hiring or firing decisions based on friendship rather than professional concerns, I will confront the situation as soon as possible. I would remind the manager of their obligation to make objective judgments that benefit the organization, its ideals, and its patients. I advise them to adhere to established recruiting and termination procedures, get help from HR if necessary, and ensure fair and equal standards are followed.
Promoting ethical decision-making, encouraging open communication, and maintaining a supportive work atmosphere is critical. Collaboration with upper management, human resources, and relevant stakeholders may be required to address and resolve the concerns correctly while adhering to legal and ethical standards and prioritizing patient safety and well-being.
Ethical Issue Clinical Judgment Case Scenario
Nurse leaders and managers are responsible for the unit’s ethical and legal decisions.
Consider the examples provided below and describe how you would handle the experiences.
A manager is not granting pay to someone who worked overtime.
A nurse manager tolerating verbal abuse of another nurse.
Constantly short staffing the unit when there is high census.
A nurse not providing all of the patients information during shift report.
Favoring one staff over others.
Making a hiring or firing decision based on friendship.