You are a family nurse practitioner employed in a busy primary care office. The providers in the group include one physician and three nurse practitioners. The back office staff includes eight medical assistants who assist with patient care as well as filing, answering calls from patients, processing laboratory results and taking prescription renewal requests from patients and pharmacies. Stephanie, a medical assistant, has worked in the practice for 10 years and is very proficient at her job. She knows almost every patient in the practice, and has an excellent rapport with all of the providers. 

Mrs. Smith was seen today in the office for an annual physical. Her last appointment was a year ago for the same reason. During this visit, Mrs. Smith brought an empty bottle of amoxicillin with her and asked if she could have a refill. You noted the patient’s name on the label, and the date on the bottle was 1 week ago. You also noted your name printed on the label as the prescriber. The patient admitted that she called last week concerned about her cough and spoke to Stephanie. You do not recall having discussed this patient with Stephanie nor do the other providers in the practice. 

Case Study Questions: 

  1. What are the potential ethical and legal implications for each of the following practice members? 
    • Medical assistant 
    • Nurse Practitioner 
    • Medical Director 
    • Practice 
  2. What strategies would you implement to prevent further episodes of potentially illegal behavior? 
  3. What leadership qualities would you apply to effect a positive change in the practice?  Be thinking about the culture of the practice.
  4. A scholarly resource must be used for EACH discussion question each week.


What are the potential ethical and legal implications for each of the following practice members? 

Medical assistant – Ethically, this MA violated the principle of fidelity. Legally, she made a decision that could potentially harm the patient and inflict legal actions on the medical providers in the clinic. She may have thought she was doing the right thing to call in a prescription for this patient, however she lacks complete knowledge to make this decision.

Nurse Practitioner and the Medical Director– Legally, the providers could have been possibly sued for malpractice if the patient would have been allergic to this medication or had some adverse reaction. Also, this may have not been the medication of choice for the sickness and caused resistance to the bacteria, causing more patient to be prescribed more medication. She may have wanted to work the patient up with a chest x ray, or sputum culture to further give the best treatment. Ethically, to members of the community this could discredit the providers and in turn hurt their clientele. Their roles and duties have been imitated by unlicensed personnel….Kindly click the purchase icon to purchase the full solution at $5

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