Sports are an essential part of school activities, and accidents are common in sports activities, calling for preparedness. The issue presented here entails the lack of an efficient emergency action plan in school sporting activities. According to Johnson et al. (2017), emergency preparedness is a crucial element in sports and entails collaborating with students, school nurses, coaches, and school administrations. Venue-specific plans for emergency care, early defibrillation, and the availability of trained and equipped first responders are the critical drivers of sports health and safety management (Johnson et al., 2017). These factors are lacking in the presented case since the automatic emergency defibrillator (AED) was unavailable when needed. The coach had to wait for the emergency squad to resuscitate the spectator because he lacked the necessary skills.
As the school nurse, this is my issue, and I am responsible for implementing changes. The role of a school nurse is to ensure students’ health and welfare at all times, including during sports. Although, as a nurse, I may not be available throughout the day and night, I can train other people to handle emergencies in my absence. Rubio-Navarro et al. (2019) argue that, in nursing practice, accountability is an element that affects the quality of care, judgment, safety requirements, and workplace values. I can work on being more accountable to my nursing roles at the school by educating coaches and the custodians on the need for easy access to emergency care equipment and training them to handle emergencies effectively.
The lack of emergency preparedness in school sporting activities is a serious issue that denotes more significant challenges in school health care. The fact that the custodian had locked the AED in the closet means that they did not understand the implications of such an action. Schools are responsible and accountable for students’ well-being at all times. According to McGrath and Whitty (2018), accountability regards the obligation to ensure that activities are performed as required, individually and collectively. In this case, the larger issue of concern is the lack of accountability and dereliction of duty by the school administration, the nurse, and coaches.
Healthcare is a fundamental aspect of every institution, and ignoring it is catastrophic. In this case, sports will always for a central part of school activities, and there will always be emergency cases. In the case presented, a spectator suffered from a cardiac arrest, which could lead to death if not handled quickly. Therefore, this issue requires an immediate solution to alleviate any negative consequences that may arise in the future. It is also crucial to address the underlying causes of this problem to promote the school’s social accountability.
Considering the weight of this problem, it is unlikely to go away on its own. Emergency preparedness in schools sports activities cannot be implemented by one person. Since it requires combined efforts from all stakeholders, they must take time to analyze the problem’s root causes and formulate solutions. Without careful research and problem analysis, this problem may continue and probably worsen, affecting students, the school, and society in general. Expecting it to go away on its own reflects avoidance of responsibility, which would only aggravate the issue at hand. In addition to its elimination being a serious concern, the responsibility of handling this challenge should not be left to one individual.
As the school’s nurse, I carry a heavy responsibility for implementing changes to the emergency care plans. Therefore, ignoring this problem would have serious implications for my professional, ethical, and moral obligations. Srulovici and Drach-Zahavy (2017) propose that nurses should be accountable first to themselves, then to their communities of practice. Therefore, taking responsibility for change is a crucial role that I should not ignore as the school’s nurse since I would forfeit my authority and demonstrate unethical and careless behavior.
The first solution to this problem is fostering a collaboration between the stakeholders involved, that is, the school nurse, coaches, and the administration. This step is important to ensure that information flow and mutual understanding regarding each person’s role in emergency care are made clear. After role delineation, the second step should be education and training, which should involve all coaches and teaching staff to enhance emergency preparedness. The school should also allocate a significant amount of money for emergency care equipment. There is one major risk to these solutions: funds misappropriation. If the school does not carefully plan its interventions, it may use more money on one area and ignore other significant parts, contributing to the misappropriate allocation of the school’s resources.
To solve this problem, I would need to first re-evaluate my roles and responsibilities as a school nurse. Referring to my nursing principles would give me a bearing on which to structure my recommended solutions. Second, I would need to benchmark in other schools to understand what other nurses do to facilitate emergency care in their institutions. Armed with the information and guidance from my practice regulations, I would involve the school administration in developing a plan for educating coaches, teachers, and other first responders on best emergency care practices. I would also need to follow up on the coaches and custodians for the school’s healthcare management equipment to verify their conditions and ascertain their abilities to handle any emergencies. Lastly, I would endeavor to be available on call whenever I am out of school to advise on any issues that emerge concerning students’ health and safety.
The school’s administration needs to be involved in the solution since the solution requires funds that can only be provided by the school management. Any meetings and training activities must also be approved by the administration. In some cases, the school may need to hire external speakers and emergency care experts to work with the school nurse. The coaches are mostly in contact with the students during sports, forming the first responders in emergencies. Therefore, they should also be involved in formulating the solution to fully understand their roles and give suggestions.
A school nurse is a trained healthcare provider employed to offer services in a learning institution. By virtue of their learning and experience, the school nurse has expert power (Dosi et al., 2021). This type of power allows a school nurse to make informed decisions on healthcare and to implement them. The ability to rely on their knowledge and introduce new strategies that affect the school is also derived from the legitimate power vested on them by the institution. The legitimate authority comes from the fact that they are employed by the school in the office of the nurse. Lastly, the school nurse has legitimate power because they are trusted by the school administration and students to provide medical care.
Dosi, G., Marengo, L., & Virgillito, M. (2021). Hierarchies, knowledge, and power inside organizations. Strategy Science. Web.
Johnson, S. T., Norcross, M. F., Bovbjerg, V. E., Hoffman, M. A., Chang, E., & Koester, M. C. (2017). Sports-related emergency preparedness in Oregon high schools sports health, 9(2), 181–184. Web.
McGrath, S., & Whitty, S. (2018). Accountability and responsibility defined. International Journal of Managing Projects in Business, 11(3), 687-707. Web.
Rubio-Navarro, A., Garcia-Capilla, D., Torralba-Madrid, M., & Rutty, J. (2019). Ethical, legal and professional accountability in emergency nursing practice: An ethnographic observational study. International Emergency Nursing, 46, 100777. Web.
Srulovici, E., & Drach-Zahavy, A. (2017). Nurses’ personal and ward accountability and missed nursing care: A cross-sectional study. International Journal of Nursing Studies, 75, 163-171. Web.