Assignment: ethical and legal implications of prescribing drugs

What type of drug should you prescribe based on your patient’s diagnosis? How much of the drug should the patient receive? How often should the drug be administered? When should the drug not be prescribed? Are there individual patient factors that could create complications when taking the drug? Should you be prescribing drugs to this patient? How might different state regulations affect the prescribing of this drug to this patient?

These are some of the questions you might consider when selecting a treatment plan for a patient.  

As an advanced practice nurse prescribing drugs, you are held accountable for people’s lives every day. Patients and their families will often place trust in you because of your position. With this trust comes power and responsibility, as well as an ethical and legal obligation to “do no harm.” It is important that you are aware of current professional, legal, and ethical standards for advanced practice nurses with prescriptive authority. Additionally, it is important to ensure that the treatment plans and administration/prescribing of drugs is in accordance with the regulations of the state in which you practice. Understanding how these regulations may affect the prescribing of certain drugs in different states may have a significant impact on your patient’s treatment plan. In this Assignment, you explore ethical and legal implications of scenarios and consider how to appropriately respond.

The assignment (case) is:

A friend calls and asks you to prescribe a medication for her. You have this autonomy, but you don’t have your friend’s medical history. You write the prescription anyway.

Write a 2- to 3-page paper that addresses the following:

  • Explain the ethical and legal implications of the scenario you selected on all stakeholders involved, such as the prescriber, pharmacist, patient, and patient’s family.
  • Describe strategies to address disclosure and nondisclosure as identified in the scenario you selected. Be sure to reference laws specific to your state.
  • Explain two strategies that you, as an advanced practice nurse, would use to guide your decision making in this scenario, including whether you would disclose your error. Be sure to justify your explanation. 
  • Explain the process of writing prescriptions, including strategies to minimize medication errors.

References:

When completing coursework, please use primary or secondary sources published within the last five years to support your writing. The syllabus addresses the types of references that students should use. References like Up-to-Date and WebMD are not preferred sources.

Rubric:

Explain the ethical and legal implications of the scenario you selected on all stakeholders involved such as the prescriber, pharmacist, patient, and the patient’s family.

Describe strategies to address disclosure and nondisclosure as identified in the scenario selected. Be sure to reference laws specific to your state.

Explain two strategies that you, as an advanced practice nurse would use to guide your decision making in this scenario, including whether you would disclose your error. Be sure to justify your explanation.

Explain the process of writing prescriptions including strategies to minimize medication errors.

Written Expression and Formatting – Paragraph Development and Organization:
Paragraphs make clear points that support well developed ideas, flow logically, and demonstrate continuity of ideas. Sentences are carefully focused–neither long and rambling nor short and lacking substance.

Written Expression and Formatting – English writing standards:
Correct grammar, mechanics, and proper punctuation

Written Expression and Formatting – The paper follows correct APA format for title page, headings, font, spacing, margins, indentations, page numbers, running head, parenthetical/in-text citations, and reference list.

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