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Nurses play a critical role in patient safety through their constant presence at the patient's bedside. However, staffing issues and suboptimal working conditions can impede a nurse’s ability to detect and prevent adverse events.
Following a positive fecal immunochemical test (a screening test for colon cancer), a colonoscopy was ordered for a 50-year-old man. Two months later, the nurse called him to see if he had obtained the colonoscopy. The patient reported that he was unable to schedule it due to cost of the copayment. The primary physician called the insurance company and was informed that the colonoscopy would be covered in full if the indication was written as preventive rather than diagnostic.