Management

Fred and Dorinda are newly qualified registered nurses working in a long-term care environment. They both attended the induction day where they were informed about the hospital’s policies and procedures, including details of the incident reporting mechanism. They trained together as undergraduate students and are very close friends outside of the working environment. Mrs. Benson and Mrs Quinn are two residents in the care home who share a room. It is flu season and patients are receiving the influenza vaccine to prevent current flu strains. (The vaccine is not mandatory for staff even though the nurse manager has encouraged them to receive it). Mrs. Benson has consented to the vaccine but Mrs. Quinn has not as she thinks she had an allergic reaction to a flu vaccine some years ago. This has been discussed with her GP. Dorinda enters the room to administer the vaccine as prescribed but gives it to Mrs. Quinn in error. She is horrified once she realises her mistake when completing the drug administration record. Fred is nearby and she pleads with him to say nothing stating; “an allergic reaction is very unlikely and my probationary period is still ongoing”. Dorinda intends to record that the vaccine was administered to Mrs. Benson. Mrs. Benson has dementia and varies in terms of her level of understanding. Fred is greatly concerned for the patient but is also concerned for his friend. He is determining the best course of action. Discuss the above scenario in light of the professional, ethical and legal issues, which are relevant to the conduct of both nurses and the implications for patient safety