The Ethics and Legalities of Medication Error Disclosure
American writer Nikki Giovanni once said: “Mistakes are a fact of life. It is the response to the error that counts” (Goodreads, 2012). Whenever you make an error when writing a prescription, you must consider the ethical and legal implications of your error—no matter how seemingly insignificant it might be. You may fear the possible consequences and feel pressured not to disclose the error. Regardless, you need to consider the potential implications of non-disclosure. How you respond to the prescription error will affect you, the patient, and the health care facility where you practice. In this Assignment, you examine ethical and legal implications of disclosure and nondisclosure of personal error.
Consider the following scenario:
• You are working as an advanced practice nurse at a community health clinic. You make an error when prescribing a drug to a patient. You do not think the patient would know that you made the error, and it certainly was not intentional.
• Consider the ethical implications of disclosure and nondisclosure.
• Research federal and state laws for advanced practice nurses. Reflect on the legal implications of disclosure and nondisclosure for you and the health clinic.
• Consider what you would do as the advanced practice nurse in this scenario including whether or not you would disclose your error.
• Review the Institute for Safe Medication Practices website in the Learning Resources. Consider the process of writing prescriptions. Think about strategies to avoid medication errors.
Write a 2- to 3- page paper that addresses the following:
• Explain the ethical and legal implications of disclosure and nondisclosure. Be sure to reference laws specific to your state.
• Describe what you would do as the advanced practice nurse in this scenario including whether or not you would disclose your error. Provide your rationale.
• Explain the process of writing prescriptions including strategies to minimize medication errors.
Reminder: The School of Nursing requires that all papers submitted include a title page, introduction, summary, and references. The Sample Paper provided at the Walden Writing Center provides an example of those required elements (available at http://writingcenter.waldenu.edu/57.htm). All papers submitted must use this formatting.