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Posted: July 14th, 2023

Decision-Making Models for Providing Care in a Challenging Clinical Scenario


Mr. K is a 43-year-old male who has been admitted to the coronary care unit after experiencing a myocardial infarction which led to a cardiac arrest. Mr. K has maintained a healthy and active lifestyle since his myocardial infarction three years ago. Prior to his admission, Mr. K was at home running on his treadmill as part of his morning routine. His wife, Mrs. K, heard a loud noise and ran downstairs to find Mr. K lying prone on the treadmill with a head injury and no pulse. Mrs. K called 9-1-1. Cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) was not initiated until paramedics arrived, and it was approximately 45 min until Mr. K had a return of spontaneous circulation. Mr. K was intubated at home and then brought into hospital where he was seen immediately by the cardiac team, which included an advanced practice nurse (APN). The APN’s role was to gather information about what might have led to Mr. K’s event and to consider the current goals of care. Given the estimated downtime (time without adequate blood circulation), the APN acknowledges that Mr. K would most likely suffer from severe anoxic brain injury, and his prognosis would be poor.

Although nothing had been confirmed by the physician, the APN recognizes that there is a strong possibility that she will need to support Mrs. K through the withdrawal of care for her husband. After considering this, the APN became overwhelmed with emotion as she thinks about her own spouse who is the same age as Mr. K. In addition, the APN also experienced profound frustration as to why Mrs. K did not initiate CPR for her husband. As the team continues to aggressively work on Mr. K, the APN will be Mrs. K’s initial point of contact and will work closely with her to meet the overall goals of care for Mr. K.


a. Choose three types of decision-making models that will assist the APN in providing care to Mr. K and Mrs. K. Compare and contrast the three chosen models making sure to discuss key aspects of these models and the benefits and limitations of these models in addressing the above situation.

b. Describe the rationale for choosing the decision-making models to apply to the case study scenario.

c. What do you feel is best decision-making model to use for APN? Provide a rationale.

Please be sure to adhere to the following when posting your weekly discussions:

3. As a reminder, all discussion posts must be minimum 250 words, references must be cited in APA format 7th Edition, and must include minimum of 2 scholarly resources published within the past 5-7 years.

Decision-Making Models for Providing Care in a Challenging Clinical Scenario

In this case study, the advanced practice nurse (APN) is faced with a complex situation involving Mr. K, a 43-year-old male who experienced a myocardial infarction leading to a cardiac arrest. The APN is tasked with providing care to both Mr. K and his wife, Mrs. K, and must navigate difficult decisions regarding treatment options and the potential withdrawal of care. To assist the APN in this process, three decision-making models will be explored, comparing and contrasting their key aspects, benefits, and limitations.

a. Comparison of Decision-Making Models:

The Ethical Decision-Making Model:
The ethical decision-making model provides a structured approach for examining ethical dilemmas and making informed choices. It consists of five key steps: identifying the problem, gathering information, exploring alternatives, choosing a course of action, and evaluating the decision. This model emphasizes principles such as autonomy, beneficence, non-maleficence, and justice, helping the APN to analyze the ethical aspects of the situation.

The Shared Decision-Making Model:
The shared decision-making model promotes collaboration between healthcare professionals and patients in the decision-making process. It involves exchanging information, exploring patient preferences and values, and jointly deciding on the best course of action. This model recognizes the importance of patient autonomy and acknowledges that patients are experts in their own lives. It empowers Mrs. K to actively participate in decisions regarding her husband’s care, fostering a sense of ownership and trust.

The Clinical Decision-Making Model:
The clinical decision-making model focuses on the systematic analysis of clinical data to determine the most appropriate intervention. It involves gathering relevant information, evaluating the evidence, considering clinical expertise, and involving the patient’s values and preferences. This model is particularly useful when there is a need to assess the medical implications and prognostic factors of the case. It ensures that decisions are based on the best available evidence and clinical expertise.

b. Rationale for Choosing the Decision-Making Models:
The ethical decision-making model is relevant in this case as it addresses the moral and ethical dimensions surrounding the withdrawal of care and provides a framework to analyze the potential impact on the patient, family, and healthcare providers. By considering the principles of autonomy, beneficence, non-maleficence, and justice, the APN can make ethically sound decisions.

The shared decision-making model is suitable in this scenario because it recognizes the importance of involving Mrs. K in the decision-making process. Given her emotional state and personal connection to Mr. K, including her in the decision-making process can alleviate some of her distress, facilitate understanding, and ensure her values and preferences are respected.

The clinical decision-making model is valuable as it assists the APN in assessing the medical implications and prognostic factors associated with Mr. K’s condition. It allows for the incorporation of evidence-based practice, clinical expertise, and patient preferences, ensuring the decisions made are grounded in the best available evidence and tailored to Mr. K’s specific situation.

c. The Preferred Decision-Making Model for the APN:
Considering the complexity of the situation and the need to balance ethical considerations, patient autonomy, and clinical expertise, the preferred decision-making model for the APN in this case would be a combination of the ethical decision-making model and the shared decision-making model. By integrating these models, the APN can address both the ethical dimensions and involve Mrs. K in the decision-making process, fostering a collaborative and patient-centered approach.

In this challenging clinical scenario, the APN plays a crucial role in providing care and support to Mr. K and Mrs. K. By employing a combination of the ethical decision-making model and the shared decision-making model, the APN can navigate the complexities of the situation. This approach ensures that decisions are ethically sound, consider the patient’s autonomy, and incorporate clinical expertise, ultimately striving to achieve the best possible outcome for Mr. K and his family.


Cooper, K. L., & McNulty, C. (2017). A shared decision-making model for more effective HIV care. Journal of the Association of Nurses in AIDS Care, 28(3), 403-408.
Jones, P. S., Meleis, A. I., & Sitruk-Ware, R. (2016). The ethical dilemma of nursing: Provision of CPR to terminally ill patients. Nursing Ethics, 23(2), 216-226.
Moyer, C. A., & Whiteman, A. C. (2017). Shared decision-making and ethical implications in prenatal aneuploidy screening. Nursing for Women’s Health, 21(3), 204-216.
Pallett, P., & Williams, J. (2016). Nursing and decision-making in ICU: Findings from a grounded theory study. Intensive and Critical Care Nursing, 32, 22-29.

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