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Clinical Dilemmas are a new series of clinical reasoning case studies that emphasize the “art” of nursing. Each study has an emphasis that integrates aspects of caring, spiritual care, nurse engagement/presence, and ethical decision making and its relevance to nursing practice.
Though caring, compassion, spiritual care, and ethical decision making are expected of the professional nurse, this emphasis is typically not integrated into the curriculum and is often left to chance.
These case studies can be used in the classroom as an active learning tool to develop the ethical comportment of nurses as well as in post-conference in the clinical setting. Students will also develop clinical reasoning as they identify relevant clinical data, determine the nursing priority and resultant nursing interventions.
These fifteen case studies are derived from situations I have experienced in clinical practice and represent the most common clinical dilemmas a nurse will likely encounter SOONER than later in clinical practice!
Pain Control or Drug Seeking Behavior
Anxiety or Spiritual Distress
Depressed Patient/Loss of Hope
Chemotherapy/End of Life
Invasive Surgery or Medical Management
Dialysis or Hospice
LVAD or Hospice
Code Status/Patient Autonomy
Remain Intubated/Withdraw Life Support