Nursing Ethics: Patient Abandonment

This case study examines a case of an LPN who became ill while about halfway through her shift and chose to go home. This LPN was assigned to care for five patients in an obstetrical ward, four of which were considered stable. The fifth patient was awaiting an obstetrical consultation when the LPN became ill and vomited. At this time, she notified the other nurses and, subsequently, the charge nurse that she needed to leave due to illness. The charge nurse instructed her to notify her supervisor prior to leaving the facility; however, the LPN chose not to do so and went home. Her reasoning in not notifying her supervisor as she was instructed was that she feared that the supervisor would ask her to go to the emergency room for care. The LPN testified that she did not want to pay for an emergency visit and that she intended to make an appointment with her family doctor early that same day. The facility terminated the LPN’s contract and also reported her to the state board of nursing for patient abandonment. As a judgment, the board of nursing suspended here nursing license pe…




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