In this task you are asked to respond to the three scenarios presented below. You are to consider the legal requirements for student nurses & midwives, registered nurses & midwives and the implications for the health facility and/or education provider if required in each of the cases. You are also to reflect on your life experience and discuss the ease or difficulty in meeting these requirements.
You are on placement with another student at an acute hospital. One day the other student appears to be struggling with some tasks and you ask them if they are ok. They reply that they were playing sport the night before and hurt their leg and back. They have had a back problem for a while but it usually doesn’t cause a problem. Currently they are unable to undertake many physical aspects of care and are slow to move around the ward and are getting behind on their work which is impacting on the care of patients. The next day they attend placement again and they are clearly worse. You ask them if they should be there but they reply that they have to get through this placement as they cannot afford to repeat the placement later. They ask you to help cover for them when they cannot complete tasks. You are concerned that they may do further harm to themselves and that their situation may impact on your placement.
You are the flatmate of a fellow registered nurse and have been living together for the last 18 months. You both work on the same ward. Over the last 6 months you have noticed a change in their behaviour with them becoming more erratic, unable to pay bills/rent on time and selling items to have money at hand. One night you get a phone call from your flatmate asking you to come and pick them up from the police station. They confide to you that they have been arrested for possession of illegal drugs and have also been charged with an attempt to sell these drugs. They have been bailed and expect a court appearance in the next few months. They ask you not to tell anyone as they are going to straighten their life out and need their job to be able to do this.
You are a senior registered nurse at a rural health facility. You are responsible for facilitating the clinical placement of nursing students at the facility for a number of education providers. You rarely see staff from these facilities as most communication is done via telephone or email. You are told by a community member that a student appears to be drinking alcohol quite heavily each night. You had noticed them becoming more withdrawn during the placement. It appears now that they are attending shifts apparently still under the influence of alcohol. You decide to confront them as their behaviour is putting your patients and staff at risk. They state that they have been struggling with the death of a close friend a month ago and that without the support of family they are needing to drink to help sleep as it quietens their thoughts. They don’t want you tell anyone as they need to get through this placement as they cannot afford to repeat the placement or course and would have to withdraw from their degree.