I had very limited information on the client, and unfortunately all was through a third party. Since he was only on hospice for a few days prior to his death, I couldn't say for certain how much teaching (if any) was done regarding administration of morphine, nor do I know if a nurse was scheduled to be there around the clock. I was told that a nurse who was there earlier had left, and they were waiting for another to come, but again, I am not certain of the details.
Quote from azhiker96
IMO, the morphine did not kill the patient. Cancer killed him. The morphine just helped ease his pain during the process. A hospice nurse once told me, "We all have to die, we just don't have to die screaming."
I totally agree with this, too... but not every lay person understands that the morphine is there to ease the pain, and blaming others for the death of a loved one is a very real part of the grieving process.
Had the question been posed to me yesterday, I probably would have declined to administer the med for a lot of the reasons mentioned, whether the issue was no chart, no nurse-patient relationship, unclear orders, or whatever. To be honest, even with the suggestions, I would probably have sought non-pharmacological pain relievers while awaiting the nurse. Nursing school has put the fear of God (or the Board of Nursing - whatever your higher power beliefs are) into me, and I worked too hard to lose my license privileges.
I can only hope that in the years to come, I develop the knowledge, wisdom, and nerve to be able to successfully navigate through life as a nurse by helping others and still making sure to CYA.