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quently as required by hospital policy, and by not reporting his pain, weakness, colour change and sensory loss to the charge nurse or the doctor. Their opinion was that nurse Donna should have reported these changes no later than 2:00 a.m. when she documented that Will had severe weakness and tingling in his right leg. Since this did not happen, their opinion was that nurse Lucinda should have performed a full assessment of the leg at 8:00 a.m. and asked the doctor to see Will right away. The reviewing nurses said that these failures represented a lack of nursing knowledge and critical thinking as well as a failure to meet the standard of care. They also said that the lack of communication contributed to a delay in treating Will’s compartment syndrome which ultimately led to the loss of his leg. Based on this information, the case

settled out of court for an undisclosed amount of money. The doctor in this case was also sued, but ‘let out’ of the lawsuit when it was discovered that he did not know that anything was wrong with Will’s leg because the nurses had not communicated with him. By the time the resident examined Will on rounds, the compartment syndrome had already caused irreversible damage. Use this case study to spark a conversation on communication with your colleagues. How would you rate the level of communication in your workplace? Have you ever witnessed, or been part of a situation, where communication caused a problem? Did the patient suffer as a result? What are the designated channels of communication in your workplace? Do they work? If not, what actions have you taken to fix or

improve the situation? What will you do better now that you know what you know? Want to learn more? Watch for more articles coming up in CARE magazine! n This article was written by Chris Rokosh, RN, PNC(C), Legal Nurse Consultant and president of CanLNC Incorporated. Chris is a popular speaker on legal issues in nursing across Canada and in the US. If you want to learn more on this topic, see the ad in this magazine for dates and locations of upcoming Executive Links workshops on Legal Issues in Nursing featuring Chris Rokosh. Stay tuned for an LPN only series of legal videos coming soon.

Influenza Immunization

in the Healthcare Workplace

During Alberta’s winter of 2013-2014, influenza led to 1133 hospitalizations, 189 intensive care admissions and 28 deaths of people in this province. Yet last year, only 54% of Alberta healthcare workers are reported to have received the influenza vaccine. Studies demonstrate very clearly and consistently that, as more healthcare workers are vaccinated against influenza, fewer patients become seriously ill and die. Should healthcare workers be required to be vaccinated against influenza to protect patients and themselves? To discuss how best to protect Alberta patients and healthcare workers, the University of Calgary Faculty of Medicine held a public policy symposium about influenza vaccination of healthcare workers on June 11, 2014 attended by approximately 150 people. The overwhelming majority of symposium attendees, after hearing from medical, health science, ethics and legal experts, and discussing the matter in small groups, determined that there should be some form of mandatory choice of influenza vaccination or protective clothing for people who work in healthcare. The symposium’s conclusion: that a robust healthcare worker influenza vaccination policy and program in Alberta would increase patient and healthcare worker protection against influenza disease and death, and reduce pressure on Alberta’s healthcare system. To read the full report, please visit the website of the Institute for Public Health at the University of Calgary, at http://www.iph.ucalgary.ca/system/files /Influenza+Vaccination+Report+Final.pdf.

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care | volume 28 issue 3

CARE – Fall 2014 | College of Licensed Practical Nurses of Alberta  

In this issue: A unique home visit model of care is making life easier for palliative and geriatric patients in the Edmonton area. Does poor...

CARE – Fall 2014 | College of Licensed Practical Nurses of Alberta  

In this issue: A unique home visit model of care is making life easier for palliative and geriatric patients in the Edmonton area. Does poor...