401021: Being a Professional Nurse Or Midwife - Critical Reflection - Nursing Assessment Answer

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Question : Nursing Assignment

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Nursing Assignment

Assignment Task

Task : 1

Individual Critical Reflection Paper


Task : 2

Case Study Analysis




Task : 3

Portfolio and Self Assessment


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Unsatisfactory Professional ConductAccording to the Nurses and Midwives ACT 1991 - SECT 4 unsatisfactory professional conduct is defined as “anyconductthat demonstrates that the knowledge, skill or judgment possessed, or care exercised, by thenurseormidwifein the practice of nursing ormidwiferyis significantly below the standard reasonably expected of anurseormidwifeof an equivalent level of training or experience”. This also refers to the condition where the nurses and professionals fail to work in accordance to the law. According to the given case study, RN has been guilty of not performing professional conduct. According to the details given in the complaint and applicable law section, RN failed to meet the quality of standards. He failed to document the deteriorating condition of the patient, and did not inform the physician about it. She knew that patient is getting pale, and feeling nausea. Dr Haron accessed the patient’s condition and wrote “significant medical illness”, but RN failed to display professional competence. The patient had respiratory rate measure 89/53, blood pressure measured as 40-44 and patient was suffering from severe back pain and nausea. After all serious conditions, RN failed to document patient’s condition and could not implement an appropriate action plan.

Conduct pathway is the framework that allows the council to manage the complaint about unsatisfactory professional conduct. According to conduct pathway, RN was an experienced nurse, who also possesses the experience of 9 years by working in pathology. The first conduct criteria is the likelihood of the complaint, second is determining the seriousness of the complaint (seriousness could be understood as patient died due to unprofessional conduct), and the third criteria is the protection of the public health and safety that respondent failed to do. She had also been involved in number of matters of mitigation, which puts her conduct on the day under question.

Professional Accountability

According to the Nursing and Midwifery Code of Conduct, accountability and responsibility of the action must be accepted by the nurses. The patient was under the ‘red zone’, which means the likelihood of the patient’s recovery was less and that the patient must be treated with appropriate antibiotics (Zahedi et al, 2013). But, nurse failed to make the appropriate assumptions about the patient’s condition. According to the Code of Professional Conduct for Nurses in Australia, nurses are accountable to practice according to the safe and competent nursing care (2010). It also states that it is accountability and responsibility of the nurse to maintain the necessary competence in accordance to the current practice. According to Nursing code of conduct,“The unlawful and unethical actions of nurses in their personal lives risk adversely affecting both their own and the profession’s good reputation and standing in the eyes of the public” (Definition of Unsatisfactory Professional Conduct and Professional Misconduct, 2013).

The accountability of the nursing practice must involve patient safety and informed decision making, but respondent failed to inform the practitioner timely. She displayed unsatisfactory professional conduct, by risking the life of patient. Accountable and responsible nursing practice is very essential for duty of care and providing quality care to the patient (Savage, Kub, & Groves, 2015). Accountability of the nursing practice stands for taking the responsibility of own action, because the respondent determined the patient’s condition on the basis of assumptions, which further risked the life of patient.

Professional Standards

The breaches of the professional code of conduct may include the professional misconduct or performing any kind of unprofessional conduct (Code of Conduct, 2010). According to the NMBA code of conduct professional misconduct is defined as “the wrong, bad or erroneous conduct of a nurse outside of the domain of his or her practice; conduct unbefitting a nurse’ (e.g. sexual assault, theft, or drunk and disorderly conduct in a public place)” (NMBA code of Conduct, 2010). However, unprofessional conduct is defined as working against the agreed and accepted code of conduct and standards for profession. This involves the breaching of the principles of practice. The three standards that should be performed by the nurse to practice quality care, and which were breached in the given case are:


  • Nurses fulfill the accountability and responsibility inherent in their roles (Code of Ethics)


Nurses are accountable for making safe clinical decision. They must understand their professional and legal obligation towards their duty. However, this standard could not be matched in the given case and the breach of the standard was committed (Kangasniemi, Pakkanen & Korhonen, 2015). It also involves the provision of safe and competent care, which respondent failed to practice. This standard also involves the comprehensive health care, which means to include the team in decision making and respect the perspective of other professionals in team as well (Code of ethics, 2008). Nurses must also inform the practitioners abut unsafe practice towards patient. But, respondent failed to stand by all these standards.


  • Nurses practice and conduct themselves in accordance with laws relevant to the profession and practice of nursing (Code of Professional Conduct)


According to this standard, nurse have the knowledge and familiarity with the laws related to nursing practice. Nursing practice must not engage any kind of clinical practice, which is prohibited by the law. Nurses have the responsibility of reporting patient’s condition immediately to the physicians and must practice to safeguard patient. But, according to the case study, respondent failed to practice this standard.


  • Nurses support the health, wellbeing and informed decision making of people requiring or receiving care (Code of Professional Conduct)


Well being and safety of the patient is very important. The nursing practice should be in accordance to this standard for ensuring patient’s safety and well-being. The respondent could have practiced it and could have made informed decision. Respondent accepted that she was guilty of unsatisfactory professional conduct. She should have called the doctor, when she found that patient is under red zone, which she failed to do.

Professional Behaviors

Professional behavior in nursing practice is very essential to ensure patient safety and to practice quality care. Professional behavior involves the high level of engagement in the duty. High level of engagement ensures, maintaining patient’s dignity and understanding patient’s needs. Personal attributes are also of great significant that helps the nurses to provide quality care. In order to promote and preserve the trust of the patient, by acting with kindness and dignity towards patient (A nurse’s guide to professional boundaries, 2007). Knowledge based practice is important to apply appropriate practice standards and ensuring safe practice through experiences. Clinical experiences help nurses to promote clinical reasoning and take appropriate clinical actions (Tanaka et al, 2014). Safe and competent practice is important to ensure quality of care. Nurses must avoid taking the responsibilities and activities that are not under their practice scope. “These scopes of practice are based on each nurse’s education, knowledge, competency, extent of experience and lawful authority” (Code of Professional Conduct, 2010).

Learning From the Case Study

For the professional practice, it is very important the nurses must practice in accordance to law and professional conduct. Professional practice influence the behavior, attitude, and knowledge of nurses, thus it is important that practice should be done to provide quality care (Cummins, Denney-Wilson, & Homer, 2015). According to the given care study, RN failed to practice professional conduct and could not get necessary assistance from physician for the patient under ‘red zone’. For my own preparedness for the professional practice, I would learn to understand my professional responsibilities and accountability towards my actions. I would also promote patient safety through competent practice. It is the primary responsibility of the nurses to promote safe and competent nursing practice, thus, I would ignore any circumstance that would compromise with professional nursing standards.

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