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NURS FPX 4000 Assessment 3 Developing a Health Care Perspective

NURS FPX 4000 Assessment 3

Capella University

Developing a Health Care Perspective

Instructor’s Name

September 2023

NURS FPX 4000 Assessment 3 Applying Ethical Principles

Ethical decision-making serves as the compass guiding professionals through the intricate landscape of patient care, treatment protocols, and organizational responsibilities in the field of health care (McIntosh & Vander Hoek, 2019). The case study titled “The Missing Needle Protector” presents a compelling narrative that encapsulates the ethical dilemmas, challenges, and choices faced by healthcare professionals in their pursuit of providing safe and patient-centered care. This assessment delves into a comprehensive analysis of the case study, applying ethical principles and values to discern potential solutions to the presented problem. By exploring the intricacies of the case and grounding proposed solutions in ethical frameworks, this assessment seeks to shed light on the pivotal role of ethics in shaping the healthcare landscape and fostering trust between healthcare providers and their patients. Ultimately, it emphasizes the enduring commitment of healthcare professionals to uphold the highest ethical standards while navigating complex healthcare scenarios.

Facts of a Case Study

In the assessment of the case study, it becomes evident that the paramount ethical concern is the assurance of patient safety, with specific focus on the potential harm resulting from the retained needle protector. This perspective aligns with the ethos of healthcare as underscored in the literature. Peer-reviewed articles substantiate the foundational premise that patient safety is the foremost priority in healthcare delivery. These sources emphasize the need for strategies and protocols to prevent medical errors and adverse events, thereby emphasizing the ethical obligation of healthcare professionals to safeguard the well-being of patients.

Moreover, the ethical responsibilities of healthcare practitioners emerge as a central theme in the analysis. Healthcare professionals bear the ethical duty to prioritize patient welfare and uphold ethical standards (Vladimir Poroch, 2023). This duty underscores the significance of open communication, transparency, and the provision of complete information to patients (Vladimir Poroch, 2023). These ethical principles underscore the importance of considering patient autonomy and informed consent, even in complex and challenging situations, as a means of ensuring ethical healthcare practices. Ultimately, these academic insights guide healthcare professionals and administrators in navigating similar ethical dilemmas, with an unwavering commitment to patient safety and ethical decision-making (Vladimir Poroch, 2023).

Effectiveness of the Communication

In the context of the case study, “The Missing Needle Protector,” an evaluation of the communication approaches employed reveals both strengths and areas necessitating improvement in the domain of healthcare communication. Effectiveness is discerned in instances where direct communication channels are established between E.L. Straight, the Director of Clinical Services, and other healthcare professionals involved in the situation (Ratna, 2019). The immediate addressal of the issue and the solicitation of pertinent information from relevant parties underscores the value of direct communication within healthcare settings, where timely and accurate information exchange is pivotal (Ratna, 2019).

Nevertheless, there exists room for enhancement in the cultivation of open dialogue and transparency. While Straight’s intent to inform Mrs. Jameson about the potential issue and the subsequent plan to assess her incision reflects transparency, a more forthright and unambiguous conversation with Dr. Cutrite about the possible risks and benefits of disclosing the situation to the patient would be meritorious. The cultivation of an environment conducive to open dialogue can foster a more collaborative and ethical decision-making process, particularly in complex healthcare dilemmas (McIntosh & Vander Hoek, 2019).

Moreover, the case study hints at the influence of power dynamics and political factors, with Dr. Cutrite possessing a formidable presence. Consequently, it is imperative for Straight to address this potential conflict directly and embark on a course of action aimed at its resolution. The mastery of conflict resolution skills and the initiation of candid conversations to navigate such professional dynamics are fundamental attributes of effective healthcare leadership (Barlow, 2021). Furthermore, the early solicitation of ethical consultation could provide a structured and ethically sound framework for decision-making, reinforcing the importance of seeking expert opinions and guidance in intricate healthcare scenarios (Barlow, 2021). In summation, effective communication in healthcare serves as an indomitable pillar for ensuring patient safety and the conscientious observance of ethical principles (Barlow, 2021).

Effectiveness of the Approach

Effective Approach: Ethical Decision-Making Model

E.L. Straight’s approach in the case study “The Missing Needle Protector” strongly aligns with the principles of an ethical decision-making model. Firstly, Straight adeptly identifies the ethical dilemma at hand: the potential harm to Mrs. Jameson due to a retained needle protector. This initial recognition is a critical step in ethical decision-making, highlighting his attentiveness to ethical issues within healthcare (Kitulwatte & Edirisinghe, 2019).

Furthermore, Straight’s approach exhibits a profound consideration of ethical principles. He demonstrates a commitment to patient autonomy, beneficence, and non-maleficence in his actions. This is palpable in his intention to inform Mrs. Jameson about the potential issue and his prioritization of her well-being. By incorporating ethical principles into his decision-making process, Straight underscores the significance of patient-centered care in healthcare ethics (Ahmed et al., 2020).

Additionally, Straight’s willingness to consult and seek expert input is commendable. By engaging the chief of surgery, he exemplifies his commitment to obtaining guidance from experienced colleagues—a pivotal aspect of ethical decision-making (McIntosh & Vander Hoek, 2019). Seeking advice from experts or ethics committees ensures that decisions align with established ethical standards and principles, reinforcing the importance of this ethical component.

Consequences of an Effective Approach

An effective approach to ethical decision-making yields several significant consequences. Primarily, it culminates in patient-centered care, where patients’ interests and well-being take precedence. In the context of Mrs. Jameson’s case, her safety and autonomy are given the utmost priority, aligning with the central tenets of ethical healthcare practice.

Furthermore, such an approach upholds and preserves the ethical integrity of the healthcare institution. By adhering to established ethical principles and standards, the organization maintains its ethical credibility, fostering trust among patients, staff, and the broader community (Hartrick, 2019). Ethical integrity is foundational for healthcare institutions to fulfill their ethical responsibilities and maintain a positive reputation (Hartrick, 2019).

Lastly, an effective approach to ethical decision-making enhances the professional growth and credibility of individuals like Straight. It serves as evidence of their unwavering dedication to ethical standards and the safeguarding of patient safety. This, in turn, solidifies their roles as healthcare leaders who prioritize ethical considerations, thus reinforcing their standing within the healthcare community (Ahmed et al., 2020).

Ethical Principles Solution

A possible solution to the ethical dilemma presented in the case study, “The Missing Needle Protector,” is to inform Mrs. Jameson about the potential issue and encourage her to return to the hospital for further evaluation and, if necessary, removal of the retained needle protector. This solution is firmly rooted in ethical principles, demonstrating a commitment to patient welfare and autonomy (Kumar Nirdosh et al., 2023).

First and foremost, this solution upholds the ethical principle of beneficence, which dictates that healthcare professionals should act in the best interests of their patients (Ahmed et al., 2020). By informing Mrs. Jameson about the potential issue and offering her the opportunity for further evaluation, the healthcare team prioritizes her well-being and safety (McDougall et al., 2020). This approach ensures that any potential harm caused by the retained needle protector is addressed promptly, aligning with the ethical duty to do no harm (non-maleficence) (McDougall et al., 2020).

Moreover, this solution respects the principle of patient autonomy. Mrs. Jameson has the right to be fully informed about her medical condition, including any potential complications or errors that may have occurred during her surgery. Providing her with complete information empowers her to make an informed decision about her healthcare (Arrieta Valero, 2019). By offering her the choice to return to the hospital for evaluation, the healthcare team respects her autonomy and right to make decisions about her own body, reinforcing the ethical value of patient-centered care (Arrieta Valero, 2019).


In conclusion, the case study, “The Missing Needle Protector,” underscores the pivotal role of ethical decision-making in healthcare. It highlights how ethical principles, including beneficence, non-maleficence, patient autonomy, and transparency, serve as guiding pillars that prioritize patient welfare, uphold ethical integrity, and foster trust between healthcare providers and patients. As healthcare professionals confront complex dilemmas, the commitment to ethical principles remains paramount. Embracing open dialogue, seeking ethical consultation, and addressing conflicts directly enable healthcare practitioners to navigate intricate scenarios with professionalism and integrity. Ethical decision-making is not an abstract concept but a practical and essential component of healthcare practice, ensuring that the ethical compass remains resolute in the ever-evolving healthcare landscape.


Ahmed, A., Ali, H. S., & Mahmoud, M. A. (2020). Prioritizing well-being of patients through consideration of ethical principles in healthcare settings: concepts and practices. Systematic Reviews in Pharmacy, 11(5), 643–648. https://doi.org/10.31838/srp.2020.5.90

Arrieta Valero, I. (2019). Autonomies in interaction: dimensions of patient autonomy and non-adherence to treatment. Frontiers in Psychology, 10. https://doi.org/10.3389/fpsyg.2019.01857

Barlow, M. (2021). Enhancing intergroup communication in healthcare: the role of the receiver. Focus on Health Professional Education: A Multi-Professional Journal, 22(3), 78–84. https://doi.org/10.11157/fohpe.v22i3.523

Hartrick, C. T. (2019). Professionalism and quality assurance. Pain. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-99124-5_27

Kitulwatte, I. D. G., & Edirisinghe, P. A. S. (2019). Ethical dilemmas in forensic medical practice. Sri Lanka Journal of Forensic Medicine, Science & Law, 10(2), 3. https://doi.org/10.4038/sljfmsl.v10i2.7822

Kumar Nirdosh, Meraj, F., Subhani Faysal, Sara, G., & Shahan, W. (2023). To resuscitate or not to resuscitate – the crossroads of ethical decision-making in resuscitation in the emergency department. Clinical and Experimental Emergency Medicine, 10(2). https://doi.org/10.15441/ceem.23.027

McDougall, R. J., Gillam, L., Ko, D., Holmes, I., & Delany, C. (2020). Balancing health worker well-being and duty to care: an ethical approach to staff safety in COVID-19 and beyond. Journal of Medical Ethics, 47(5), medethics-2020-106557. https://doi.org/10.1136/medethics-2020-106557

McIntosh, B., & Vander Hoek, R. (2019). Negotiating the path of ethical decision-making in health care social work. Critical Social Work, 7(2). https://doi.org/10.22329/csw.v7i2.5727

Ratna, H. (2019). The importance of effective communication in healthcare practice. HPHR Journal, 23(23). https://doi.org/10.54111/0001/w4

Vladimir Poroch. (2023). Ethics management in healthcare institutions – some research directions. Journal of Public Administration, Finance and Law, 27, 373–380. https://doi.org/10.47743/jopafl-2023-27-29

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