What Is the Issue?
The issue in question is that the automatic emergency defibrillator (AED) was not ready for use when a spectator at a game suffered a cardiac arrest. The reason for this inconvenience was the fact that the AED was stored in a custodian’s closet and locked, which led to the inability of accessing the device when it was necessary. Luckily, in this case, the emergency squad was able to help the spectator in time with no severe consequences.
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Is It My issue? Can I Solve It?
It is my issue because as a school nurse, I have to ensure that both students and people visiting this educational establishment are safe and can receive help when necessary. The Healthy Children Organization, which is a part of the American Pediatrics Association, warns that cardiac arrest is a serious issue affecting a large number of young athletes that emerges suddenly and requires immediate help (“How to become a school nurse,” n.d.). During such an episode, a person’s heart can stop within several minutes, and as a nurse, I am responsible for identifying health-related problems and resolving them.
Real Issue or a Symptom of a Larger One
I would argue that this issue is a symptom of a larger one, which indicates a negligent attitude towards healthcare at this school. The policies that require high school graduates to go through resuscitation training are implemented in 31 states, and 27 states require schools to have AED (“Preparing for sudden cardiac arrest in schools,” 2018). The severity of the condition needs the AED to be available within three minutes of walking from a training field because the chances of survival lessen with time.
Does It Need an Immediate Solution?
The issue has to be addressed immediately, for two reasons. Firstly, it is not difficult to move the AED from the custodian’s closet to a place where the nurse or team’s coach can easily access it. Secondly, as was previously discussed, cardiac arrest affects people suddenly, leaving little time for providing help. Therefore, the need for AED may arise again with no way to predict when or who is going to require it.
Can It Go Away by Itself?
It is evident that without intervention, the custodian or other personnel of the school will not address the problem. It is because the AED was locked, and nobody contacted the nurse or the coach to ask about the issue and its implications. Additionally, as was previously mentioned, it appears that this is a part of a more significant problem; thus, without intervention from the school nurse, it is unlikely that the attitudes of administration will change.
Can I Risk Ignoring It?
I cannot risk ignoring the issue because of the implications and endangerment of young athletes, students, and their parents visiting the game. The National School Nurse Association “views school nurses as leaders in the school community who oversee all school health policies and programs” (as cited in “How to become a school nurse,” n.d., para. 5). Thus, as a professional, I am responsible for educating the personnel on health-related issues, which includes addressing the cardiac arrest problem. It is likely that the custodian and the administration lack understanding of the need to review the current policy, and as a trained healthcare professional, it is my duty to explain this to them.
Possible Solutions and Risks
One solution is to talk to the school administration and present them with evidence indicating the severity of the problem. The risk may be the fear of accidentally damaging the equipment or losing it. Sherrid et al. (2017) state that not all schools receive state funding to purchase AED’s. Therefore, the risk of the equipment being stolen or damaged is present, which can be addressed by placing it in an area where the personnel and the students can see it.
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Steps to Solve the Issue
To solve the issue, I would need to begin with researching the cardiac arrest in schools and public policies addressing the problem to gather evidence. For instance, Sherrid et al. (2017) argue that the presence of AEDs in schools is associated with a higher survival rate, because “in children, the survival rate of SCA was 6.7% to 10.2%” (p. 1735). The availability of AED increases the survival rates to over 60%. Next, I would offer to carry out a lecture for the personnel addressing the issue of cardiac arrest. Finally, I would insist on placing the AED in an easy to access area, preferably near the training filed for athletes.
Anyone Else at the School Need to Be Involved
Due to the nature of the scenario and the fact that young athletes are subjected to cardiac arrest, the team coach who tried to find the AED in the first place should be involved as well. It is likely that this individual understands the danger of cardiac arrest and will help convince other staff members. Also, it is necessary to ensure that he or she is aware of where the AED is placed.
The power leverage that will help to reach a correct decision is the responsibilities and duties of the nurse that require one to monitor policies and offer health-related interventions. The competency of a nurse helps him or her understanding of the problem, and professional training allow offering suitable solutions. Therefore, the type of power for the nurse, in this case, is both expert power and position power. The first one is connected to the professional knowledge and skills, and the second is a result of job responsibilities. Overall, this paper analyses the issue presented in the scenario and offered a solution to it.
How to become a school nurse. (n.d.). Web.
Sherrid, M., Aagaard, P., Serrato, S., Arabadjian, M., Lium, J., Lium, J., & Greenberg, H. (2017). State requirements for automated external defibrillators in American schools. Journal of the American College of Cardiology, 69(13), 1735-1743. Web.