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University of Southern California St. Martha Ethical Case study

University of Southern California St. Martha Ethical Case study

Question Description

I’m working on a health & medical discussion question and need support to help me learn.

Please respond to this 2 peers’ Discussion Prompts

When you respond to peers, analyze the reasoning behind their answers, providing your own thoughts where necessary. Support your feedback with a strong rationale and citations where appropriate. (50-100 words each)

ALL citations and references needs to be APA 7th edition format.


Peers #1

While reading through each scenario and learning the backstories of the staff, one can see the company is extremely unethical overall. While the company includes a “Code of Ethics” each code is being broken throughout the hospital. According to (Williams, 2018) the code of ethics can be defined as guidelines on what constitutes what is appropriate and inappropriate within a companies culture.

The staff at St. Martha General Hospital conducts multiple unethical practices. For instance, the admissions coordinator allows male nurses to deny clients based on race and sexuality. This practice creates a violation of the code of ethics. It is listed that each staff member must maintain respect for the individual. Meaning creating a safe environment for those that are free of discrimination of all types. Sadly, there is no mention of consequences that will arise if any code is violated.

I believe three ways that the ethics committee and healthcare administrators can improve the culture of ethics at St Martha’s is by:

  1. Creating an ethical committee, there is no mention of a committee being started, as well as anyone that is there to make sure each member is being compliant within their role.
  2. Create a plan of action to take in case a rule is broken to protect the companies liability. Due to the number of violations in the company, there needs to be a plan of action that can be quickly implemented if anything wrong ever arises.
  3. Allow the company to have a code of ethics seminar. This can inform employees of what the code of ethics is, as well as the consequences of violations. Within this seminar, the administrator can discuss confidentiality of reporting as well as ask staff if they feel anything else should be included to protect staff as well as their patients. According to (Pozgar, 2016) providing adequate services is the law. Each client has the right to receive proper quality of care, especially if the company is government-funded.

Peers #2

The scenarios presented surrounding St. Martha’s are rife with unethical decision making, illegal activity, poor judgement and overall lack of professionalism. St. Martha’s is in desperate need of a leadership overhaul and employee reevaluation. When making decisions that impact the nature of the company, the leader has to be on point and ethical. By first asking for creating accountant, the CEO is endorsing illegal activity. This is further compounded by the CEO specifically seeking out her friend to fill the accounting role within the company. With both of these decisions, the CEO failed to maintain moral integrity. Moral integrity is imperative to a code of ethics and it has to be noted that managers and CEO’s will be challenged frequently to make the morally correct decision.

Another aspect of making a morally sound decision is ensuring that you are taking care of your patient’s properly and accordingly. It is imperative to ensure that mistakes are not concealed and that unprofessional conduct does not occur. However, there are nurses at St. Marthas that are not only incredibly unprofessional but they lack integrity and should not be trusted. For example, Tom forged a medical document and convinced another nurse to place the forged document in the patient’s chart. This behavior creates a high risk opportunity for legal action. The business is now at risk due to the actions of the employees.

In an attempt to create a better culture at St. Martha’s change is going to have to occur from the top down. The CEO needs to be replaced and the standard set that unethical, amoral and unprofessional behavior will not longer be tolerated. Next, the nurses who breached rules and regulations also need to have their contract terminated with the hospital. The staff that is still employed then needs to attend a variety of empowerment classes that focus on the ethics of the organization and the expected culture moving forward. These classes and outreaches will continue to be built upon month over month. There will be a level of accountability and a shift in communication within the company. Each staff member will know the policy, procedure and outcomes if they fail to maintain moral integrity. Managers that are aligned with the company goals and have a strong ethical grounding will be in place for each of the units for the employees to turn to. A culture of curiosity will be fostered as well as peer accountability. Finally, an ethics committee will be formed. The committee should consist of a “multidisciplinary group of individuals whose membership include representatives from the hospital … and community” (Pozgar, 2016). The committee should be carefully vetted to ensure that they are above reproach, have strong coaching skills and impeccable conflict resolution skills (Pozgar, 2016). They will serve in the capacity of ensuring that all policies and procedures are developed accordingly, they are available to weigh in on conflicts within the hospital, they can perform case review and they can provide support to the hospital overall. St. Martha’s has to be reformed in order to become successful and safe again.

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