Monash University Faculty of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences
9 May 2018 2 Respondents
By Vanessa Peutherer
VX Community
Boss (11671 XP)
Please login to save to your favourites
Debate Nursing - Ethics In The Health Care Arena - Scenario Practice Case Study - "Head Lice Restraint?"

Debate Nursing - Ethics In The Health Care Arena - Scenario Practice Case Study - "Head Lice Restraint?"


Doris, a 90yr old widowed lady, who lives alone, has been admitted to the acute medical unit for assessment of suspected unstable angina.

Doris is intermittently competent, with a degree of dementia being present. On some days Doris is able to recognise family members and staff, and on other days she is clearly unable to and becomes confused.

You are a student nurse on the medical ward where Doris has been admitted. Whilst on the ward, it is established that Doris is suffering from an infestation of head lice. Whilst carrying out fundamental care, one of the  Health Care Support Workers asks you to assist her in washing Doris's hair. Doris is visibly struggling against the act, lashing out and appears confused.

Do you think it is reasonable under the circumstances to restrain Doris, to enable the HCSW to apply the anit-lice shampoo, as prescribed by the doctor responsible for Doris's care.

What would you do in this situation?

Futher reading;

Useful links 

MPS factsheet, Assessing capacity, (2012); Advance decisions (2012) 
Mental Capacity Act (2005) –www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/2005/9/section/5 and href='http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/2005/9/section/6' target='_blank'>www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/2005/9/section/6


Above link - Deprivation Of Liberty Information related to part of Mental Capacity Act 2005.

It is proposed that you assist the other HCSW in administering the anti-lice shampoo to treat Doris's hair infestation.