Duty of Care

Topics: Nursing, Nurse, Pregnancy Pages: 15 (2723 words) Published: March 11, 2013
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This essay will primarily focus on the situation of Emma, a 16 year old patient. In this

essay, issues such as socio-economic factors, psychological circumstances,

communication and government interventions to care will be examine and

explained with evidence to back each of these factors which influence the care

provided to Emma. In trying to understand the relationship between nurses and

patients, different communication approaches would be adopted which may relate to

Emma’s condition to look at how such factors would impact the way care is given.

Moral and ethical issues such as inappropriate comments by health professionals

would be dealt with in this scenario.

Research on teenage pregnancy has revealed the social and economic structure of

societies. Allen et al, (2007) argued that teenagers living in government or rented

accommodations are more likely to become pregnant at an early age, while other

studies associated the phenomenon to be prevalent in certain neighbourhoods.

(Bauder, 2002). Bonell et al, (2006) sought to include parental separation and family

history., while other studies (Arai, 2004) argued that teenagers become pregnant

after they had stopped going to school or were expelled.

By relating the above analysis to Emma, it can be argue that her pregnancy may be

as result of one or more of the above factors.

Doskock (2007) studied the psychological effect behind teenage pregnancy and low

self-esteem and argued that young females affected by low self-esteem tend to have

sex against their wishes, thus becoming pregnant, when clearly they do not want it.

Baumeister et al, (2005) in their study, argue teenagers with low self-esteem do

not necessarily engage in sex earlier or often, but rather those with high self-esteem

were more likely to have sex without thinking about the implications. However they

concluded that inappropriate sexual behaviours and unexpected pregnancies resulted in low

self-esteem. These findings can be related to Emma and a correlation between her

social situation and low self-esteem which may have resulted in her having

unprotected sex and being pregnant.

Clear communication is an important aspect of care provision, thus according to

Royal College of Nursing (RNC) (2011) article states that, without effective

communication people cannot relate to each other.

Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) (2008a), states, it is important that

consent is gained before administering any treatment and that a patient has the right

to refuse care. In Emma’s case, Department of Health (2009) reinforces this consent

by claiming that because she is 16 years, ethical and legal obligations required the

informed consent or refusal of Emma as an adult for her medical care.

However, there are instances that health professionals may have reservations in

certain situations about the capacity of a patient aged 16 – 17 to refuse medical

care. Emma, who is 12 weeks pregnant and suffering with abdominal pain, is

refusing treatment and surgery. The shock of being pregnant and the associated

pain she is having (psychological factors) may temporary affect her capacity (Cribb

and Tingle) (2007). In their study, Cribb and Tingle (2007) argues that if there is

uncertainty about a patient’s...
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