Janet and The Surgical Patients

Janet K. had suffered from epilepsy since she was an infant. Her condition was well controlled as she entered adulthood, and she was able to complete a nursing program in good health. She particularly enjoyed working as a scrub nurse in the operating room. Upon graduation, she applied at the large university teaching hospital where she had performed her clinical work during her nursing program. The hospital knew of her epilepsy history and offered her a job in their medical records department. Janet petitioned to be able to work in surgery, but the hospital administrators felt that it was too dangerous for Janet and the surgical patients if she should have a seizure there. While working in medical records, Janet’s seizures began to return. She would have a seizure at least every month, even though her medications had been changed. Janet noticed that some of her fellow medical records technicians would stay away from her for fear of having to help her during a seizure. One afternoon a physician was dictating his case records in a cubicle next to Janet’s when she had a seizure. He helped her and then went to the hospital administrator and told her that Janet should not be allowed to work in a hospital since it gave the hospital, with its image of healing, a bad reputation. Janet was terminated at the age of 27 due to health issues. She died of a brain tumor five years later. Answer the following questions in essay form; 3-5 double-spaced pages; MSWord files only: 1. Are there some medical or mental conditions that should prevent a person from working in a hospital or other medical setting? If so, what are they? 2. What should have been done when Janet’s co-workers shunned her? 3. Was the physician who helped Janet when she had a seizure correct in asking the hospital administrator to dismiss (fire) her? 4. Should Janet have been given the opportunity to work in surgery? Why or why not?

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