A nurse in the outpatient surgery unit is reviewing orders for a patient that she is supposed to send home. The nurse has received orders to discharge the patient but she feels that the patients condition is unstable. She has tried to call the physician for further orders but has not been able to contact him. Select the most appropriate actions that the nurse should take in this situation.


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- Contact the nursing supervisor and report the situation

- Complete an incident report

- Discharge the patient and contact him at home later

- Explain to the patient how to use the call light

- Call the patients family and ask them to help


A nurse may occasionally be in a situation where she faces an ethical dilemma and does not have immediate answers. When this happens, the nurse must contact those who are able to help her if her initial attempts at getting help do not work. This may include other staff nurses, the charge nurse, or the nursing supervisor. The nurse should work up the chain of command to get help for a difficult situation to avoid risking the patients safety.

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