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I work with a nurse who is a Jehovah's Witness. She is allowed to refuse to administer blood products just like catholic nurses can refuse to participate in abortions. Other than public health or psych nursing I don't know of an area where you will NEVER have to deal with blood products.
Just out of curiosity, where do you work now and what is your agency's policy on this?
I am a student. I thought that psych nursing was about my only option. I had no idea that a nurse could refuse to perform procedures because of religious beliefs. My instructors never have mentioned anything about that--the only thing I have ever heard mentioned was that if someone didn't want to participate in abortions that they shouldn't work in an area that would require them to. Thank you so much for the information.
Lulu, It is correct that you can refuse to give blood based on religious convictions. You do need to find out what the policy is regarding this at wherever you find employment at. Some might have you write out a short declaration of that fact to have on record. Also, if one of my patients does require blood, that means that another nurse needs to do administer the blood, and so I offer to do other tasks for that nurse if possible. Also, even though I am not the one administering the blood, I still monitor my patient closely during the transfusion.
The rehab unit, which I have mostly worked on, is one in which I have found rarely requires the administration of blood or blood products.
Wishing you the best in finding a place right for you.
There is a wonderful nurse on our critical care unit who is Jehovahs Witness. The charge nurse (sometimes her) tries not to assign her patients requiring transfusions. metimes these things change so we either change assignments or one of us deals with the transfusion for her patient. She also does not check the blood with a fellow nurse. She will always help pull people up in bed. If she were unwilling to help we would not be so glad to have her, but that would be the case whatever her religion.
I used to work with a nurse that was a Jehovah witness on a med surg floor. The way she dealt with the blood transfusion was if she had a pt who required a blood transfusion, she would set the whole thing up and then she would call one of us to come and push the start button on the IV pump. After that she monitored the infusion and discontinued it. Actually I worked with her a long time before I even knew that she was a Jehovahs witness. SHe just called on me one time to push the button for her and I thought how strange until she told me that she was a Jehovahs witness and then I thought that was a good way to deal with it.
Hope this helps.
I used to work with a nurse who is a Jehovah's Witness in the ICU. She cared for patients receiving blood transfusions as she would for any other patients, but I would spike the blood and hang it for her. She took care of the rest. Much the same as caring for a patient in the ED who has complications from an abortion and maybe your religious convictions aren't compatible with that. You care for the patient - you just don't have to take part in the particular procedure. Your rights are federally protected there AS LONG AS you let your employer know up front at time of employment - NOT just whenever it comes up at work. They need to know what you can and cannot do based on your religious beliefs, not to be confused with moral convictions. There is a difference.
I have baptized since 1982 and have work in nursing for many years.
The blood issue can be viewed in several different ways in which you may ask?
Who orders the blood transfusion? The nurse or the doctor?
Are you (the nurse) the only person in the "Chain" in administering the transfusion? (i.e. there is/are a donor, a technician who collects and stores the blood, lab workers who handle it, drivers who transport it to and from various sites, the people who make the needles, tubing, bags, and other equipment to collect/transfuse the blood, etc.)
Is transfusing blood the primary role of your job? (legal precedent uses a 90/10 percent rule...which is anything that consume less than 10 percent of your work time may require accommodations made by your employer)
Are there other procedure you would/wouldn't do as a JW that might be objectionable? (i.e. place a nicotine patch on a patient trying to quit smoking).
Would you provide birth control or condoms to a patient for sex outside of marriage?
If you were in another trade (like a grocery clerk, would you sell cigarettes along with food or other legitimate items)
The Blood transfusion issue is something that every JW healthcare must use their mature Christian conscious to answer. Nor does the Watchtower Society spell out or micromanage every task required in your daily work. You alone must determine your actions and take a stand for what your conscious will allow, or not allow).
Again, I have worked as a Nurse for many years and have administered many products and treatments that I personally would refuse. Likewise, I have also refrained from working in areas that absolutely would bother my conscious (i.e. Abortion Clinics).
Pray about your decision, choose the work you are most comfortable. Likewise, if are suddenly placed in a situation where you have to step away NEVER abandon your patient to be left uncared or untreated.
Hi, I am one of Jehovah's Witnesses and I will soon be going to LVN school. This information was so helpful to me on the do's and don'ts. Thanks so much for being understanding nurses and for the helpful advice
We have a large JW community where I live and I work with many JW Nurses. I've double checked blood with many of them and noticed that they seemed to have no reservations about running the blood. I finally got up the nerve to ask one of my JW co-workers and was told that not hanging blood is not prohibited and that it's a personal decision. For anyone who's pursued a religious exemption, I'm curious how this process works and how it's defined?