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The Concept of Workarounds in Nursing

The Concept of Workarounds in Nursing

In nursing, a workaround is used to execute tasks more quickly or efficiently in healthcare organizations because of resource limits or other organizational issues. These workarounds might be considered an ethical problem since they jeopardize patient safety, healthcare quality, and industry standards. When faced with obstacles like insufficient staffing, outdated equipment, or time restraints that prevent them from offering the best treatment possible, nurses frequently turn to workarounds. These quick cuts, meanwhile, could come with dangers and unforeseen effects, including prescription errors, poor communication, or weakened infection management. To avoid compromising patient care and ensure nursing practice adheres to ethical norms and safety guidelines, healthcare organizations must address the root causes of workarounds and give enough resources, support, and training (McCord et al., 2022).   Additionally, encouraging a culture of open dialogue and cooperation among medical specialists can aid in locating and addressing the underlying causes of workarounds, resulting in a safer and more effective working environment for nurses. Prioritizing patient safety and quality of care requires that healthcare institutions actively address the moral problems raised by workarounds and push for long-term fixes.

Example of a Workaround

As a registered nurse in the mental health field, I have seen how triaging patients according to their levels of urgency may be done as a workaround for the overwhelming volume of walk-ins at our clinic and the scarcity of mental health professionals available to see patients. In this instance, individuals undergo a rapid assessment to establish the severity of their mental health difficulties, and those requiring immediate assistance are prioritized over those with less severe conditions. This workaround helps us, to some extent, handle the high demand for mental health services. However, it raises ethical concerns because others with less urgent needs might wait longer to get the care they need, potentially worsening their symptoms. This situation emphasizes the necessity of better resources, such as more staff and easier access to mental health professionals, to provide prompt and equitable care for all patients.


McCord, J. L., Lippincott, C. R., Abreu, E., & Schmer, C. (2022). A Systematic Review of Nursing Practice Workarounds. Dimensions of Critical Care Nursing, 41(6), 347–356.


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The Concept of Workarounds in Nursing

The Concept of Workarounds in Nursing

For the 21st year, nursing remains the most trusted profession in the United States. However, the distribution of resources within healthcare organizations is a paradox that leads to many ethical dilemmas. For this discussion, you will need to please discuss the concept of workarounds in nursing. You will also need to share an example of one workaround that you have witnessed in your nursing career. Please be mindful not to include any identifying information, such as location, name of hospital, etc. Please make sure you find and provide a scholarly source that supports your writing about the workaround.

EXAMPLE OF WORKAROUND: As a mental health registered nurse, my example of a workaround would be the overwhelming number of walk-ins in the clinic and the very limited number of mental health providers who see patients.

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