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Analysis of Fatal Errors in Nursing

One instance in the story where the patient safety error occurred is when the unfamiliar nurse enters Josie’s room and subsequently injects a methadone dose as a painkiller. Ms. King protests the act by opining that the previous doctor had verbally ordered that no narcotics should be administered to Josie (Laura, 2009). Interpretatively, there are high chances that the new nurse might have administered an excessive dose of the medicine without consulting the patient’s health status and state. Therefore, it is worth noting that a fault happened when the new nurse forcefully administered methadone to Josie, refuting Ms. King’s warning that the doctor had ordered against it.

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Arguably, the nurse could have consulted Josie’s health records before administering the methadone dose. In other words, the practitioner should have embraced the evidence-based approach to understand the patient better. According to Baatiema et al. (2017), the evidence-based approach gives a health practitioner a proper background understanding of the patient, hence, formulating the best treatment strategies. Moreover, the nurse could have incorporated effective communication with the colleagues and the parent to obtain an authentic comprehension of the patient’s health progress. Thus, the evidence-based practice’s effective communication and performance are the primary channels which the nurse could have used to avoid the occurred error.

Significantly, there are different ethical dilemmas which nurses face when delivering their services. One of the moral predicaments is culture and the need for informed consent to patient treatment. For instance, a patient’s family can be against a certain medication option which the nurse understands to be the best for the individual. As a result, the health practitioners find themselves unsure whether to continue attending and save the patient’s life or respect the family’s decision.


Baatiema, L., Otim, M. E., Mnatzaganian, G., Aikins, A. D. G., Coombes, J., & Somerset, S. (2017). Health professionals’ views on the barriers and enablers to evidence-based practice for acute stroke care: a systematic review. Implementation Science, 12(1), 74. Web.

Laura, L. (2009). A fight against fatal error. In Wall Street Journal (Eastern ed.). Dow Jones & Company Inc.

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