Throughout the documentary, The Invisible Patients, you are given a brief description of the NP’s role and the different routes or ways NPs can be used throughout healthcare in clinics through home services. The Nurse practitioner in this documentary drives to patients’ homes to provide care for those who aren’t able to make it to in-clinic appointments for many different reasons. Most of these patients come from low-income families, and most of the time, do not live under the best conditions. Like many people throughout the world, many of these patients are struggling to just put food on the table and aim to survive by any means possible.
One of the several ethical dilemmas noted was Ron, the 63-year old that suffered from a motorcycle accident and suffered from a brain injury, leaving him wheelchair-bound. Ron did not live under the best conditions. His house was falling apart and wasn’t necessarily wheelchair friendly, but he made it work. Ron lived with his brother Louis who suffered from his health conditions. From its look, Louis did not do much to help take care of his brother Ron. Louis made several comments to the NP stating that because he is the “Mother-brother,” he should be entitled to some of his brothers’ money. He also said that he would do what he needs to do to get that. Louis attempted to declare that his brother wasn’t in the right state of mind to control his money.
It is said that disruptive innovations in healthcare provide a continuum of care focused on each patient’s needs rather than focusing entirely on their specific conditions or disorders (Sensmeier, 2012). An ethical dilemma occurs when obligations require us to adopt two or more alternative options (Hamric et al., 2019). Due to Louis’s comments and lack of taking care of her patient, she became concerned about Ron’s safety and well being. She became a disruptive innovator and went to Ron in front of his brother and asked him if he felt safe where he was living. She also followed through and reported with Adult protective services, fulfilling her duties as a healthcare worker. If it were me in the situation that she was in, and I heard the same comments, my red flags would’ve gone up as well, and I’m not quite sure if I would’ve been able to leave so quickly until something was done. The concern for the patient’s safety and well being is always number one. But I think in this situation, the brother was more bark and no bite as he suffered from conditions that seemed to limit him and his mobility. Either way, it is not safe to make assumptions that harm wouldn’t have come to Ron.
The NP, I think, did her part to make sure the patient was safe. Something else that could have been done was to see what resources were available within the area to help provide food or meals to the patient. Because he was wheel-chair bound, getting food and making meals became a challenge, especially after his brother eventually passed and was alone. While he did have someone come help clean him up, cooking and supplying meals was not part of the care. The costs to this barrier is that the patient wasn’t getting enough nutritious meals, therefore delaying any progress that could be made with the state of his health and physical therapy.
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