Writing reflections is critical because they allow reviewing the understanding of the used concepts, as well as the quality of the performed procedures. Reflection is like self-analysis, which allows one to evaluate the strengths and weaknesses in different processes, including analysis, thinking, and drawing conclusions important for the perspective of future work. Such reflection involves the discussion of the ethical issues, addressed in the proposed simulation game, the process of decision-making, the ethical lenses used, and the relation of the performed procedures to one’s future work. The gaming process allowed me to experience various ethical dilemmas and resolve them with the help of the advanced ethical toolkit, which gave me the basic idea about my actions, in case I will face certain ethical problems at my workplace.
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The Presented Ethical Issues
When I started the game, I was faced with two cases, each of which had a relation to different real-life situations and involved some ethical contradictions. Thus, in the first case, my patient was below legal age and turned out to be a hostage of the wrongful decisions that her parents made. The young single woman Rachel, who was in an early stage of pregnancy, was not administered the assigned medications and was not examined by the assigned physician; all of the factors have endangered her condition and the condition of her future child. The cause for such a state was religious beliefs of her family. As a result, I had to bring the sound solution that allowed avoiding the perspective of damaging the health of my patient, along with the demonstration of respect to the values and beliefs of her family.
In the second case, I was faced with the misinterpretation of the hospital policies by one member of the hospital personnel, who, as it later turned out, violated the hospital l and state policy. Thus, Alain Trottier was an unconscious patient, who required the assistance of his family members or a spouse in decision-making regarding future medical procedures. Also, he together with his partner, Yves St. Martin, represented the LGBT community; they were a gay couple, which was one of the factors that initiated the ethical dilemma. Although the state and hospital policies granted the partners of gay couples similar rights as to the partners of heterosexual couples, Carlotta Baldwin, who was a nursing shift supervisor, misinterpreted the regulations. Consequently, Yves St. Martin had no access to his partner and was not allowed to participate in any decision-making procedures related to Alain Trottier, which caused his emotional distress. Therefore, I had to come up with a solution that would allow following the hospital values and state policies and, at the same time, meet the expectations of the involved stakeholders.
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The decision-making steps involved in the process included the analysis of the situations from different perspectives and the application of a variety of ethical concepts in order to understand the outcomes of the made choice. First, I understood that there is no need to be in a hurry and produce any solution that seems to be the most rational. The reason for this was that such solution would meet my individual needs, and, probably, harm one or more stakeholders because of the violation of their personal rights and values. Therefore, I had to carefully evaluate the rights of every stakeholder, as well as the expectations of their outcomes. I went through several options of the problem solutions and analyzed their perspectives narrowing down the focus of my analysis. In addition, I often had to stop and compare and contrast the outcomes of my choices with other options, as well as the regulatory policies in the human rights and ethical spheres. As a result, these steps have significantly enhanced my understanding of the causes of presented ethical dilemmas, and helped me to realize the factors that I could use in order to mitigate the evolved situations.
Ethical Lenses and Their Influence
One of the most important tools that I used during my analysis of the ethical dilemmas, were ethical lenses because they allowed to analyze the situations from different perspectives and estimate the outcomes of my decisions. Thus, in the first case, I used Right/Responsibility and Results lenses. The first lens has enhanced my vision of the individual rights of the involved stakeholders and the importance of rational thinking when taking a decision for meeting the rights of every one of them. In its turn, applying the second lens, I determined the impact of my decisions on stakeholders, their values, and criteria for happiness. Consequently, I understood that in case I bring in the best solution, every stakeholder of the situation would end up happy.
When solving the second case, I used Relationship and Reputation Lenses, which focused on the rights and liberties of any individual and virtues and ethical aspects of the problems, accordingly. Thus, Relationship Lens allowed me to recognize that it was critical to identify the basic rights and liberties of every stakeholder of the situation and analyze their adherence. As a result, although I already recognized the importance of the rights of diverse patient populations, I did not pay enough attention that patients have rights to have their contracts honored. Also, an additionally revealed factor was that the violator of the hospital rules had a right to be informed of her mistakes. Furthermore, Reputation Lens allowed analyzing the issue of virtues of the stakeholders and the ethical analysis of the outcomes of the proposed solutions. As a consequence, I recognized that although ethical norms and legal regulations seemed to be equal, every individual has a freedom of his/her interpretation. Thus, it allowed me to analyze the impact on the stakeholders, their values and criteria for happiness, and allowed me to bring the most suitable solution.
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Relation of the Simulation to My Workplace
I believe that the simulation game had a direct relation to my workplace, as it gave me the toolkit for solving various ethical dilemmas in future. Thus, experts claim that ethical dilemmas occur when staff members are unable to act according to their professional and ethical levels (Holm & Severinsson, 2013). At the same time, the experience I got allowed me to promote my professional ethical level in a long-term perspective. Thus, I recognize that the proposed simulation game is one of the learning experiences that challenge me as a student to think deeply and broadly about the experiences I get to encounter, to consider health care through the new lens and learn from the process (McAllister, Levett-Jones, Petrini & Lasater, 2016). In this sense, it is critical to realize that although I would never be involved in the exact situations as in the game, the obtained knowledge allowed me to broaden the spheres of application of the ethical lenses. In addition, I suppose that there may be more ethical lenses, which can be significantly helpful in solving even the most difficult problems. Consequently, I have to research this issue manually, in order to enhance my ethical decision-making toolkit and include it in the strategy proposed by the simulation game. These steps would allow me to be ready for solving the variety of possible ethical dilemmas at my workplace.
Summarizing the presented information, the reflection comes to the conclusion that the ethics simulation game allowed me to broaden my vision of the strategies and tools used when solving ethical dilemmas. Thus, I obtained knowledge about various ethical lenses and their application, as well as the influence of ethical lens analysis on the positive long-term resolution of similar issues. In addition, the simulation game allowed me to recognize the importance of a thorough and step-by-step analysis that includes step reviewing stages. As a consequence, after solving the proposed ethical dilemmas, I obtained knowledge of and practice in the application of efficient ethical decision-making strategies and tools that will be very helpful for my workplace relationships and performance.