In this module, you learned about the medical education system and requirements of licensing. As you can imagine, the competency of medical professionals is very important. Issues can arise when medical personnel do not meet the minimum requirements for a position. An awareness of the competency dilemmas that can occur in a professional career can limit the damage that can arise from them.
Increasing public demand for protection, coupled with the growth in the number and sophistication of fraudulent practitioners over the past 2 decades, has resulted in stronger and more complex licensing boards and licensing statutes throughout the country. Examples of medical misconduct include, but are not limited to:
- practicing as a healthcare professional fraudulently
- practicing with gross incompetence or medical negligence
- practicing while impaired by alcohol, drugs, physical or mental disability
- being convicted of a crime
Read the case scenarios below and in a 1-2 page paper, written in APA format, address the items below for each scenario:
- Explain the incompetency of the health care professional (if any).
- Explain a possible solution to address the area of incompetency, such as reporting the behavior to a supervisor, etc.
Case Scenario 1: Educational Concerns
You are a nurse working in a local hospital with a physician for over a year. The hospital decides to add physician biographies to the hospital’s website. The physician has not been proactive in renewing her medical license or participating in continuing medical education (CME). The physician’s supervisor has asked her to submit a copy of her license and CMEs but the physician has not yet complied. During lunch one day, the physician mentioned to you that she did not have a current medical license or continuing education credits, but she was practicing medicine anyway. She told you that getting a current license was not her priority at the time, and that she would get it in the future. She stated that she was going to continue to see her patients, even though she was not licensed to do so.
Case Scenario 2: Medical Malpractice
You are an ER nurse and have been assigned to a patient who has just walked in. The patient presents with a broken arm and is bleeding profusely. The doctor on call mentions to you that he is not skilled in addressing broken arms and does not know what to do. Instead of calling in another medical professional, he decides to treat the patient anyway. He leaves the patient in the room for hours while he looks at medical books and researches broken arms on the Internet. During this time, you are in the room with the patient trying to stop the bleeding. When the doctor finally comes into the room to see the patient, he immediately grabs the arm without stabilizing it. The physician does not order x-rays or additional tests, but instead decides to put a cast on the arm and send the patient home.
Case Scenario 3: Theft from a Patient
You work in an outpatient clinic with a nurse named Mary. You have noticed that every time you work with Mary, the patients who are receiving treatment (or their families) report that something valuable is missing from their room. These missing items include patient money, property, medicine, or other items of sentimental value. One day you received a complaint from a patient who could not find her wedding ring. She described key features of the wedding ring to you, and you took notes to file in a report. During your shift the next day, you noticed that Mary had on a new ring. In fact, it looked exactly like the ring the patient described to you the previous day. When you asked Mary about the ring, she blushed and became hesitant when answering your questions. Since you have no proof, you shrug off the event and go on with your day.
The next day, you are taking the vitals of a patient who is about to have surgery. The patient is sleeping soundly while you are taking their vitals. You notice a necklace and ring lying on the table next to the patient. You exit the room, and Mary immediately enters the room after you (you wave to her as you pass by). As you sit down at your desk, you notice that you left something in the patient’s room. You immediately go back in to retrieve it, and you bump into Mary exiting the room. You grab what you went in the room for and while doing so, you glance over again at the table next to the patient. The necklace and ring you saw there earlier are gone. You glance at the patient, who is still asleep, and exit the room.