A Dear Abbey letter. What is your take? - page 3

I would like to hear your opinions regarding this situation from a letter taken from Dear Abbey. Do you agree with Abbey? Or should the nurse have done something differently? DEAR ABBY: While... Read More

  1. by   Stitchie
    I have found during sensitive assessments such as these, that it's best to tell the family what you are about to do. That gives them the option of clearing out or sticking around to ask questions.

    When my father was terminally ill with lung CA, and actively dying at the time, I found myself in a similar situation. The aide didn't ask me to leave the room, lest I see my father exposed from the waist down. Being an RN, I knew that this was all in a day's work for her. Since it made me uncomfortable I told her that I would leave the room to allow her to do her work. I noticed a change in her facial expression -- whether she realized it or not, that patient was still my father, no matter what the relationship (or lack thereof) was like, he's still someone's father, brother, and husband.

    I didn't bother complaining about that to the charge nurse or unit manager. What did bother me more was the lack of proper assessment for my father when he came back from tests: dry IV, NPO status, no RN in site, for at least 30 minutes. That, to me, is just poor practice.
  2. by   SharonH, RN
    Quote from VeryPlainJane
    Maybe I'm the odd ball here...but what if the woman wasn't his wife...sister, friend, co-worker? When I was in the hosp. after the birth of my child every time they came in to check me they told my husband what they where going to do....I would have been pissed if they would have just pulled the sheet back and went to work...without warning. I find it disrespectful.

    No you are not odd, as it pertains to the patient's privacy, perhaps the nurse could have given warning; typically I will ask permission before I check those types of things, it's just the polite thing to do. However as it pertains to the wife's being disturbed at another woman seeing her husband naked when the woman is a medical professional providing care, that is just plain silly.

    As for the point that many made about the nurse not knowing that she was the wife, come on guys give yourselves a little credit; don't you think that she probably knew that this woman was his wife? I always know fairly quickly (like when I walk into a patient's room and introduce myself) who the "players" are.
  3. by   SharonH, RN
    Quote from madwife2002
    I always ask permission from the patient for the 'wife' to remain and then explain what I am going to do and ask if they are ok with that. It is called dignity and self esteem.

    I've done that before and guess what? One more than one occasion, It offended the patient and the family member; "that's my wife/husband" "he doesn't have anything I haven't seen before" "why do you want me out of the room" and so on and so forth. Really, no matter what, someone will be offended.
  4. by   Simba&NalasMom
    Hmmmmmm....tough call, but in this day and age where so many facilities are focusing (rightly so) on patient dignity issues, I'm inclined to think "Abby" (isn't the original DA dead now?) was a bit unsympathetic.

    Mostly what the column did for me was bring my attention to the fact that what the nurse in question did was something I'm sure I've done several times; she made the assumption that because the wife was there she would not be exposed to anything she hadn't seen before. I guess in the future I'll try to be more careful to not make that assumption myself, lest I find myself the subject of a cheesy advice column myself.
  5. by   Town & Country
    I've done that before and guess what? One more than one occasion, It offended the patient and the family member; "that's my wife/husband" "he doesn't have anything I haven't seen before" "why do you want me out of the room" and so on and so forth. Really, no matter what, someone will be offended.
    LOL, I can see it now:

    Nurse: "I'm going to do a quick assessment of your husband, if you would like to step out of the room. Or you may want to remain, it's up to you -"

    Wife: " - WHY do you want me to step out of the room, what are you going to DO to my HUSBAND??"


  6. by   Altra
    Quote from SunStreak
    LOL, I can see it now:

    Nurse: "I'm going to do a quick assessment of your husband, if you would like to step out of the room. Or you may want to remain, it's up to you -"

    Wife: " - WHY do you wa nt me to step out of the room, what are you going to DO to my HUSBAND??"



    :yeahthat: I agree w/Dear Abby on this one.
  7. by   steelcityrn
    all it would have taken to prevent this was following a patients rights by explaining what you were about to do, as in when we take a temp,we always ask/explain first, we would not just walk in and stick a thermometer in a pt's mouth.
  8. by   Mississippi_RN
    The whole Dear Abby column has went down since someone besides "Dear Abby" has been writing it.
  9. by   bluesky
    Quote from steelcityrn
    all it would have taken to prevent this was following a patients rights by explaining what you were about to do, as in when we take a temp,we always ask/explain first, we would not just walk in and stick a thermometer in a pt's mouth.
    I pretty much agree with this. I just seems like common sense to warn a visitor when you're about to do anything that just might be uncomfortable for them such as ... * residuals on an NGT
    * draw blood
    * expose private areas
    * empty drains

    I mean I don't think I'd go as far as saying that it's innapropriate not to, just a little inconsiderate.
  10. by   DusktilDawn
    I actually think Dear Abby dropped the ball on this one. Bear in mind, when someone writes into an advice column, their letter will be subject to editing which can impact how the sender's message is conveyed. Also bear in mind that not everyone can express themselves accurately via a written message. How many people here have been flamed because another poster misunderstood the message they were trying to convey.

    DEAR ABBY: While sitting with my husband in the hospital following his surgery, a nurse entered his room. We all chatted while she took his pulse, etc., when -- without warning -- she removed his covers to check the surgery site and totally exposed his genitals.

    I was shocked and embarrassed, and have trouble ridding myself of the image of my naked husband lying there in front of another woman. I wish the nurse had given me the chance to leave the room.

    Is there something wrong with me for having so much trouble with this? What can I do to avoid this in the future? -- RED-FACED IN EUGENE, ORE.
    The woman may have been shocked to see her husband exposed under these circumstances because it was not what she expected. The nurse explaining the fact that she was going to assess his surgical may have made a difference here, the spouse would have had the option to leave the room. Had the spouse chosen to stay, the nurses actions wouldn't have been a surprise. There are also alot of people who can't stand the sight of blood. There are a lot of people that find the hospital setting uncomfortable to start with.
    DEAR RED-FACED: On a scale of 10, I'd say you are probably an 8 on the "uptight" scale. You seem to have forgotten that the woman in the room with you was not a lap dancer, but a health-care professional performing her duties. Your husband was her patient, and in her eyes, was probably as sexless as a CPR dummy. To avoid embarrassment in the future, leave the room when the nurse enters
    I think this response is rude and dismissive. JMO.
  11. by   Mandylpn
    Well, it depends, did she just whip the sheet back or did she obtain the patient's permission to check and gently fold the sheet back without over-exposing him? even with a family member there, he deserves some privacy.:icon_roll
  12. by   ICUUCME
    IF visitors want 24 hour access and are constantly in the room they should be prepared to " see" some not so nice things.:chuckle
  13. by   hospitalstaph
    Quote from ICUUCME
    IF visitors want 24 hour access and are constantly in the room they should be prepared to " see" some not so nice things.:chuckle
    Exactly!!!! After my husband endured a rectal examine with his mother and brother (and our priest) in attendance while in a trauma bay, I completely closed his ICU room off to anyone that was not escorted by me, and only after I knew what treatment might be happening during the visit. Medicine is not always pretty is it?

    Tracy

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