Ethical and Legal Implications



You are a family nurse practitioner working in an outpatient primary care office of a large hospital system. The practice has been operating for over 15 years, and many of the administrative and clinical staff were hired when the practice opened. You have been in the practice for less than 3 months. In that short amount of time, you have witnessed several of the clinical staff engaging in heated arguments with each other, sometimes in patient areas. You overhear an argument occurring today between two staff. You pick up a patient’s chart and notice a very low blood pressure that the medical assistant failed to notify you about. When you confront the MA, she states that she was going to report the vital signs to you when she became engaged in the heated argument you overheard and forgot to notify you. 

Unfortunately, this pattern of behavior is not unusual in this practice. Working with staff who cannot cooperate effectively can negatively influence your ability to spend time with patients, can impede the flow of patients through the office, and could impact patient safety. 

Case Study Responses: 

Analyze the case study for potential issues for members of the healthcare team from office conflict. Contrast the potential effects for each member of the healthcare team based upon the required readings from the week. Discuss the potential ethical and legal implications for each of the following practice members: 

Medical assistant 

Nurse Practitioner 

Medical Director 


What strategies would you implement to prevent further episodes of potentially dangerous patient outcomes? 

What leadership qualities would you apply to effect positive change in the practice? Focus on the culture of the practice?

Part of the concerns, in this practice, are related to a hostile work environment. I am wondering about the legal ramifications of the leadership of this practice allowing a hostile work environment? Are there organizational, state or federal policies/laws to protect employees? 

Have you worked in a hostile environment in the past?

Communication, calm demeanor and professional behavior is imperative. Familiarity can breed unrest and contempt, however, it is the responsibility of the office manager to maintain a professional environment. 

So here’s something else to consider in this week’s case, looking at this week’s readings, I am wondering how the concept of a Compliance Officer would fit into this scenario?? What are your thoughts??

Letz, K. (2017). The NP guide: Essential knowledge for nurse practitioner practice. (3rd ed.). American College of Nurse Practitioner Faculty. 

Chapter 10 Corporate Compliance/ Legal Ease

Buppert, C. (2017). Nurse practitioner’s business practice & legal guide (6th ed.). Jones & Bartlett Publishers.

Chapter 8 Risk Management

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