Jehovah's Witness nurses in the critical care unit? | allnurses

Jehovah's Witness nurses in the critical care unit?

  1. 2 Hello

    This is my first time posting a thread. I was just wondering if anyone is or knows of a Jehovah's Witness nurse who works in a critical care unit. Also if you dont mind can you tell me at which hospital? The reason I am asking is that I am also one of Jehovah's Witnesses and I just passed my NCLEX. Yay I really want to work in the critical care unit, specifically the CCU. However, when I explained to the supervisor of the ICU/CCU about the issue with the blood transfusion, she said she couldnt hire me on to the critical care unit. Yes, this hospital is offering critical care positions to new grads. I was really devastated because i wanted to really work in the CCU. So I was wondering if it's the same for other hospitals. I explained to the supervisor that I am willing to care for the patient who is receiving the blood transfusion, but that I would need a second nurse(most likely the nurse who would be verifying the blood with me) to spike the blood and press the start button. I do understand why the critical care environment may not want to have a nurse who cannot initiate the blood transfusion. So I was just wondering if I do not have a chance at all in a critical care unit. For now I am orienting in the med-surg floor and I still have lingering feelings for the critical care unit.

    Thank You
  2. 217 Comments so far...

  3. Visit  Emergency RN profile page
    Congrats on your passing the NCLEX

    You have to understand that administering blood or blood products is inherently within the scope of practice for all nurses. Given that the chances of transfusion therapy being almost routine in critical care, if I were that supervisor, I wouldn't have hired you either. It isn't that you're bad or evil, just a liability because you're hobbled by your religious beliefs; you cannot perform on the same level as the other nurses. If she hired you, then what about the next Jehovah's witness nurse that comes along; will she have to schedule the both of you on separate days? You can see where this is headed, right?

    I'm sure that there are lots of areas within nursing where you can both honor your religious ethos as well as excel in your practice. But seeking it in an arena with a high likelihood of transfer of body fluids (as an adjunct of routine patient care) is probably not a wise career choice.

    That said, my previous understanding has been that Jehovah Witnesses themselves can neither consume blood nor accept transfusions of whole blood or its major products. However, I was unaware that they cannot participate in transfusing others.

    Good luck!
    Last edit by Emergency RN on Nov 14, '10
    luthien.rn, Purple_roses, kittyvenven, and 43 others like this.
  4. Visit  roser13 profile page
    Any restriction on a nurse's ability to render to care to 100% of the patient population will likely be construed as a negative on his/her hiring potential. This would be true in any economic situation.

    Given the current dire nursing statistics (supply > than demand), any such restrictions could be fatal to your application.
    Last edit by roser13 on Nov 14, '10
    elkpark, elprup, mustlovepoodles, and 7 others like this.
  5. Visit  Up2nogood RN profile page
    For nurses we do a lot for pts that sometimes we do not personally approve of. Prolonging life for a painful pt, drug addicted pts who come in seeking more, parents who don't believe in proper healthcare for their children. We have to look past issues of this type everyday, and still provide unbiased care. If your religion prevents you from looking beyond your beliefs and giving an ordered treatment than yes, this could be a hindrance to your career on any unit with pts that need blood products.
    MB-mom.RN, wensday, whofan, and 52 others like this.
  6. Visit  OttawaRPN profile page
    If you can't perform the functions of an ICU nurse, then you shouldn't be an ICU nurse.

    I completely agree with the supervisor's assessment that you're not the best candidate for the job.
    luthien.rn, NurseCara777, june2009, and 30 others like this.
  7. Visit  roser13 profile page
    Quote from TittytatRN
    For nurses we do a lot for pts that sometimes we do not personally approve of. Prolonging life for a painful pt, drug addicted pts who come in seeking more, parents who don't believe in proper healthcare for their children. We have to look past issues of this type everyday, and still provide unbiased care. If your religion prevents you from looking beyond your beliefs and giving an ordered treatment than yes, this could be a hindrance to your career on any unit with pts that need blood products.
    What she said. It's not about the nurse - it's about the patient.
  8. Visit  April, RN profile page
    I give blood products almost on a daily basis on my unit. It's not uncommon for one patient to receive multiple units of blood products in one shift. It's time consuming. Another nurse might not have time to start all those transfusions because he/she is already busy with another critically ill patient. It would be a burden on your very busy and likely stressed co-workers.
    anon456, xoemmylouox, EarthwormRN, and 23 others like this.
  9. Visit  perfectbluebuildings profile page
    Do you have your heart set on ICU? There are other specialties where having to give blood and blood products is not nearly as common, whereas it's almost daily in many ICUs. I realize you could do the care of the patient after the blood is started, and that you need a second nurse anyway for administration of blood products, but it's still a liability, especially in an emergency or even code situation. But don't give up on hospital nursing!! Just look for something non-ICU, if you can.

    Edit- I just saw, missed the first time around, that you are on med-surg right now. That you have a job is wonderful! You will learn a lot in med-surg, about many disease processes and really get good assessment and time management skills. You may find another area of specialty that you'll love, but that you never thought of before, from your observation of a wide variety of patients, or you may decide med-surg is where you belong. Good luck with it all!!!
    lindarn likes this.
  10. Visit  lkwashington profile page
    I am sure the OP will giving blood transfusions on any floor not just Critical Care Units. This would mean another nurse would have to hang the blood and push the start button for the OP everytime. This would take care from other patients. Most nurses already feel we don't have enough time for our patient now. As nurses we do check blood with one another but we dont have hang it or start the blood for the other nurse. This could cause an uproar.
  11. Visit  RedhairedNurse profile page
    Congrats on passing the NCLEX!

    I have a question and I mean no disrespect, I just have little understanding of this particular religion other than the transfusion issue. But what comes to my mind is what is the difference in pressing the "start button" and continuing to monitor the pt throughout the transfusion process? By monitoring and caring for the pt you are still taking part in the transfusion process.
    luthien.rn, sallyrnrrt, xoemmylouox, and 26 others like this.
  12. Visit  tericontrary profile page
    I'm actually surprised that a med/surg manager would consider you for the job. On the med/surg unit where I work, we hang blood on a regular basis. I don't know exactly how much of the process your beliefs will permit you to do, but I do know that it's a time-sensitive thing (30 minutes from blood bank to start, for example.) On night shift, we often have to go to the blood bank ourselves and transport it to the patient. By the time the blood bank releases it, verifies it, and it gets to the patient, it's not unusual for it to be a close call to get it started in time. If you had to get another nurse to do that, with our patient loads what they are, it may be difficult to get it all done before it expires. It's unfortunate, because you're probably a very good nurse, but you have to be true to your own beliefs, and if it conflicts with patient care, then you have a choice to make.

    I do understand that, because I wanted to be an OR nurse, and I did get accepted into a program. But when it was posed to me that I might be called upon to do cases that involved a particular procedure, and that I would not necessarily be able to refuse because of my beliefs, I decided to step down myself. It was just a choice I had to make. Fortunately, there are so many other areas of nursing, I didn't have any problems finding another job.

    Good luck! There are so many things you can do in nursing. In the long run, you'll be glad you stood by your beliefs.
    mskate, Up2nogood RN, Altra, and 3 others like this.
  13. Visit  Sun0408 profile page
    Personal/religious views should have no bearing on the care given to a pt. If a person can not do the job that is within their scope of practice; they need to find a different setting... LTC, Home health, or Dr. office may be a good fit for you OP, but if you can not separate your beliefs from the needs/wants of your pts you will have many obstacles to overcome in the hospital.. Med/surg also gives blood products. I mean no disrespect in my post.. You will find yourself in a very tight spot if you are not careful and could be held liable.. In the hospital setting you can not get away from blood products.
    whofan, anon456, /username, and 21 others like this.
  14. Visit  carolmaccas66 profile page
    My brother is an elder with the JWs and though I have studied with them, I am not one of them. I strongly disagree with some of their beliefs, though I understand the reasoning behind them. I am a Registered Nurse down under BTW.
    You should have really thought of this long & hard b4 going into nursing. I have known JW girls who decided not to do nursing because it clashes with their beliefs. Giving blood is an inherent part of the job, and though I do know re the reasoning why, did you not think this would be a problem? This is especially so in CCU/ICU/HDU and general wards. Also what about if you go to a gynaecology ward and have to care for someone who is wants/has had an abortion? Does this mean because the woman wants to or has had an abortion, they are not worthy of nursing care? You really need to think of all these situations in regards to nursing as the career for you. Perhaps you could do mental health where they don't do blood transfusions, or another area in nursing? There is a hospital here in Fremantle for JWs where they don't use blood at all, do u have any of those in the US where you could work? This is a real dilemma that you have to think carefully about - maybe speak to ur local elder for some advice.
    sallyrnrrt, Chapis, Skeletor, and 9 others like this.