An Ethical Dilemma

Nurses face ethical issues on a daily basis. Consider the following scenario:

You arrive to work and start your 12-hour shift. One of your fellow nurses, who happens to be a good friend, states that she hasn’t slept all night. She relates that she wanted to call in but knew if she missed any more work, she would be written up for disciplinary action. Earlier she confided in you that she had been having marital problems. You are sympathetic to her situation but concerned about her mental status and ability to safely care for patients. However, the unit is already short staffed and there is no available replacement.

What would you do in this situation? Apply ethical principles to explain the rationale for your decision-making process.

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