Week #6 Discussion
In this loving profession that we all call nursing their has been many times during my career that I have encountered some difficult challenges when caring for my patients.During my clinical nursing practice I have cared for client’s of cultural, religious, or spiritual practices that have been different from my own.According to Weber & Kelley (2018) “religion is defined as the rituals, practices, and experiences shared within a group that involve a search for the sacred”(Weber & Kelley,2018).
As an Emergency room nurse for 6 years,I encountered a patient that had a critically low Hemoglobin and Hematocrit, that was found to be symptomatic and experiencing severe dizziness,the patient was pale in color and was very weak. The ER physician assessed the patient and immediately ordered for type and crossmatch followed by an order for 2 units of RBCs to be administered,not realizing the spiritual background of the patient.As the nurse,I immediately informed the doctor that the patient is a Jehovah’s Witness.”Jehovah’s Witnesses have religious beliefs that deter them from receiving blood transfusions, which can lead to adverse reactions from the refusal of treatment”(Campbell,2016).This was very challenging for me as the primary nurse because I wanted to do what was medically necessary for the patient but I also had to respect the patient’s wishes.
To ensure the patient received culturally/spiritually competent care,the patient’s chart was labeled with a no blood transfusion or blood products red sticker,new orders were received for repeat blood draws every 6 hours,lastly the patient consented to receiving a medication called Erythropoietin,which helps to stimulate red blood cell production due to anemia.As nurses we face many challenges when caring for patients because of their different beliefs and spirituality. Education/patient teaching for preventive care is needed for these patients prior to discharge,so they may be able to avoid hospitalization.Weber and Kelley (2018) state that “in whatever form spirituality is incorporated into client care, the nurse should be respectful, open, and willing to discuss spiritual issues if seen as appropriate”(Weber&Kelley,2018). When caring for patients,no matter your religious background or spiritual beliefs,we as nurses are patient advocates and we should always do what’s best for them.
Campbell, Y. N. (2016). The Jehovah’s Witness Population: Considerations for Preoperative Optimization of Hemoglobin. AANA Journal, 84(3), 173–178. Retrieved from http://search-ebscohost-com.chamberlainuniversity.idm.oclc.org/login.aspx?direct=true&db=c9h&AN=116021648&site=eds-live&scope=site (Links to an external site.)
Weber, J.R. & Kelley, J.H. (2018). Health assessment in nursing (6th ed.). Philadelphia, PA: Wolters Kluwer.