Shelley is a registered nurse who works in a small rural hospital in a coastal town. In summer…

Scenario for Assignment 2, topic 1
Shelley is a registered nurse who works in a small rural hospital in a coastal town. In summer the local beach attracts many visitors, and it’s a popular spot for picnics and barbecues. One afternoon in January, a woman comes running in to the emergency room with her little boy, who has cut his foot on a broken bottle that was hidden in the sand. Jenny is very distressed, and her son James, who is three, is crying and frightened. Although the cut doesn’t appear very deep, Shelley understands why Jenny is so upset; she has children of her own and she remembers how worried she was when she was a young mother and her children got hurt. She moves to calm and reassure Jenny as quickly as possible, as she knows this will help to soothe the little boy as well. She introduces herself in a friendly manner, speaking gently and asking their names. She assesses the cut foot and explains to Jenny what she will need to do to clean and dress it.
As Jenny takes a deep breath and sits down with James, Shelley quickly sets up a dressing tray and equipment. She irrigates James’s cut carefully to remove any sand and dirt, using aseptic technique. As she does this, she watches his face and his body language carefully; when he winces she modifies the pressure of the irrigation to minimise his discomfort while still cleansing the wound effectively. As she suspected, it was not as bad as it appears, and she uses steri-strips to pull the edges together and bandages the foot. As she is working, she chats to Jenny about the town and asks her about her family, to distract her a little and establish a rapport. When Shelley has finished, she fills in the necessary paperwork. She explains to Jenny what follow-up care will be needed and makes sure that she and James can get home safely.
Later Sam, one of the other nurses, mentions that James was the third person who had come in with a cut foot these holidays, and that broken glass on the beach is becoming more of a hazard as the town attracts more visitors each year. He thinks the current rubbish bins are inadequate, and they really need a recycling facility. They know that as health professionals it is part of their role to work for the public good, and this includes a clean and safe environment. They decide to lobby the Council to provide more resources to address this problem in the long term. They also agree to take immediate action by asking the local service organisation to help them organize a clean up day, to make the beach safer for the rest of the summer.