Opinion of nurses

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    This is a rant so if you don't want to read it I completely understand, I just need to get this off my chest to people who understand where I'm coming from or can honestly tell me I'm being silly and to get over it! Thanx!

    It's 2013 and there are people who still don't understand what nurses do! I had someone say to me today "a nurses job is to save lives" now it was the context it was used in that upset me. This was said because this person thinks nurses and doctors want to use extreme measures to extend people's lives no matter how horrific it is to the person regardless of if they want it or not because our job is to "save lives." Somewhere along the line this person was told that withdrawing life support is illegal?!? I'm sad as well because this information was passed on to them as fact and continues to be passed as fact. I will be the first to admit that a hospital is a business and the more they do the more they can bill. But nurses and doctors have taken an oath. Yes our job is to "save lives" but it's also to provide holistic and patient centered care and see patients as people with lives and a family! I could go on forever about this issue! I just can't believe there are people who actually believe my job is to "torture" people until they die under the ruse of "saving lives."
    i♥words likes this.
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  4. 21 Comments so far...

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    I'm not surprised people actually believe this in our death-defying, death-denying society.

    Rather than present more realistic options to the family of the comatose 99-year-old with terminal illness, the weak-spinned attending physician often caters to the wishes of the relatives to "have everything possible done to save my great grandma."

    And it's almost always the nursing staff who carries out the orders to keep patients artificially alive when they are terminally ill. Much of the nursing care is painful and torturous. It can create moral distress and feelings of dread in even the best of us.

    The public's perceptions arise out of the death-defying, death-denying culture in which we are immersed. In addition, doctors and nurses are not doing more to educate the public about other options for dignified care.

    There. I said my piece. . .
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    Um, did you educate the person spouting these *facts* that as soon as someone is willing to make their family member a DNR, all these efforts will cease? The power is in their hands.

    One word of advice -- really off-the-wall stuff like this is not at all about YOU, so don't take it personally. Just *do what nurses do* and provide some education, then let it roll off of you.
    applewhitern, nrsang97, Kaci82, and 1 other like this.
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    This person is supposedly a friend and as soon as I started to tell them they were wrong they didn't want to hear a word I had to say because they got their information from a PBS special so that information must be completely factual and unbiased because it had "doctors" on it. I agree it's in the patient and family's hands. They are given a bill of rights every admission and every doctors visit. They know their rights or at least have the means to.

    I also agree we live in a society that wants a cure for everything and believes they should never die. That mentality is what makes it hard for people to truly hear that they are terminally ill and to accept end of life counseling. The type of healthcare you receive is your choice. Maybe we should educate people on that. Maybe move away from "the doctor knows best" mentality.

    Thank you guys for listening to me and offering your opinions. I think This is such an interesting topic.
    imintrouble likes this.
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    And remember, nurses need orders. So the prolonging of life can be "blamed" on a nurse....but it is not our idea to do or not do anything--we are left with carrying out the wishes of others.

    Figures there are MD's on PBS specials placing sole responsibility on nurses. If more people were educated on options, on choosing an appropriate health care advocate, on choices for end of life care--the journey to death would be a great deal more peaceful for an number of people.
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    I would tell my friend....there is a lot of misinformation out there...it's fortunate that those involved in the profession can weed out what the misinformed have to say.
    nrsang97 and jadelpn like this.
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    Quote from Altra
    Um, did you educate the person spouting these *facts* that as soon as someone is willing to make their family member a DNR, all these efforts will cease? The power is in their hands.
    This is not necessarily true. Different states have different laws. I remember being quite shocked to learn several years ago that in NC (the state I lived and practiced in at the time), from a practicing attorney in the state specializing in healthcare, my parents (my NOK) would not legally be able to make me a DNR if I became incapacitated (like, in a vegetative state). The medical people caring for me would be legally obligated by state law to keep me alive as long as possible, regardless. Apparently, the NC legislature, in its infinite wisdom, was v. concerned about family members killing people off (by making them DNRs) to get their money, and passed a law to make sure that doesn't happen.

    I'm sure there may be other states with crazy laws, also.
    dudette10, nrsang97, and Altra like this.
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    Very unsettling, but good info - thanks elkpark.
  12. 4
    I believe TV has a lot to do with this perception. On TV, people always survive after extreme measures are taken
    HeartRN_09, applewhitern, nrsang97, and 1 other like this.
  13. 4
    Quote from Kristy02_RN
    This person is supposedly a friend and as soon as I started to tell them they were wrong they didn't want to hear a word I had to say because they got their information from a PBS special so that information must be completely factual and unbiased because it had "doctors" on it. I agree it's in the patient and family's hands. They are given a bill of rights every admission and every doctors visit. They know their rights or at least have the means to.

    I also agree we live in a society that wants a cure for everything and believes they should never die. That mentality is what makes it hard for people to truly hear that they are terminally ill and to accept end of life counseling. The type of healthcare you receive is your choice. Maybe we should educate people on that. Maybe move away from "the doctor knows best" mentality.

    Thank you guys for listening to me and offering your opinions. I think This is such an interesting topic.
    Don't get tangled up in conversations with friends about what nurses do. Many times, they don't want to know the truth, although, isn't it funny that these are the same people who will call for free advice.

    Several months ago, I had a friend get very angry at me, completely out of the blue. She said she had worked hard all of her life, and it wasn't fair that "some people" (me) made more money than her. I never discuss $$, so I don't know how she thought she knew my finances.


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