Sense of Duty Vs. Your Ethics - page 2

I need my fellow nurses experience in this matter. Would you or would not work in area of Nursing that needed us, but was against what you believed in? For example: I will not work in plastic surg... Read More

  1. by   fedupnurse
    I wouldn't hesitate to decline a job if it conflicted with my personal morals or ethics. Some of my colleagues have a hard time when we take a DNR off life support. They feel they are playing God. I don't have a problem doing this if I know it is what the patient wanted or if the patient is brain dead. I will assist in those situations whenever I am asked. If a situation should arise that I feel is wrong I would either get out of the situation or speak up about it.
  2. by   mattsmom81
    I admit I am having some trouble with these new age "It's against my ethics or religion" nursing care refusals, probably because I've been a nurse for over 25 years and refusal was never an option to me with post abortion patients, post circ patients, post plastic surgery cases, etc.

    Although I would not choose to participate in abortions as a graduate nurse, assisting with a D and C ( whispers that a 'comma' following was abortion) was mandatory in my training, as well as infant circ, and students were taught to be nonjudgmental. Was this wrong of them?

    Maybe it's old fashioned, I don't know. I agree with the posters who state nurses should never go into any work area unprepared to give 100%, even though we live in a "What about me?" world today.

    What bothers me is I work with some nurses who seem to use their bruised ethics and morals to get out of something they find repugnant, when it is indeed part of the job. Examples: death care, blood transfusions on a hematology unit, working with HIV patients, addicts, homeless, criminals. I have to wonder where these people get off sometimes....as it just creates more work for those of us who WILL do the job and not puff up our egos and refuse to do our part.......

    Plus as charge I sometimes just wanna throw my hands in the air and give up, as this nurse won't care for this patient, that nurse refuses care for the other, etc. What a circus it becomes! Any other charge nurses feel this way sometimes?

    It's tough enough out there already, IMO. But I admit I'm an old nurse with old fashioned ideas, LOL, and everyone is free to disagree with me, as always. Peace!
  3. by   hapeewendy
    theres a difference between purposely not getting into an area of nursing because you have trouble dealing with the ethical issues surrounding that area of nursing and refusing care of a patient when you are working at your chosen job.

    I have no problem with ppl who understand and recognize their weakness in being unable to provide supportive excellent nursing care to certian individuals. Dont flame me by telling me that it isnt a weakness ,because it certainly is.

    I am from the school of thought that everyone deserves compassionate excellent nursing care regardless of the choices in life they have made.
    Personally I may not agree with their lifestyle choices or the situations they have gotten themselves into, but I am not them, I am here to provide a service to them, which should be provided in the best way possible.

    the way I see it, if youre ethically opposed to abortions, HIV , blood transfusions, DNR issues etc, so much so that it will hinder or exclude you from providing care to your patients then perhaps a re evaluation of your chosen career is in order.

    I dont believe that we as nurses should be able to pick and choose the patients we will or will not care for. but then again that could just be my do gooder, liberal , treat all alike persona shining thru.
    this isnt meant to offend or upset, I just think that some of the ppl you refuse to care for are the very ones who need you the most.

    at least some people are smart enough to steer clear of those ethical issue hot button areas in nursing so that the time spent trying to find another nurse to care for the patient they refused is kept to a minimum

    we are all entitled to have opinions, moral and ethcial dilemmas etc, but not to the point where your patient doesnt have a nurse to care for him/her.
    and where is the line to be drawn? will nurses be
    able to ethically object to caring for patients based on anything they dont agree with?

    this isnt meant to come across as holier than thou ,certainly those of you who know me know that I treat one and all alike
    but I have a hard time dealing with patients that are not given good care , or any care at all based on the fact that some nurses may take issue with some of their lifestyle choices

    cheers
  4. by   ktwlpn
    [QUOTE]Originally posted by teeituptom
    [B]
    Well old master, I dont see what your dilemna is. As wide open as nursing is, you dont have to work anything you wouldnt want too. You have too many options wherever you are. As far as abortion clinics, its up to what your beliefs are, If you are totally deadset against working in one, then dont. If you allow youreslf to be forced into it, then you are not taking good care of yourself, and by that you are not taking good care of your patients either.
    I worked a smaller country OR in oklahoma, and shortly became the director of OR. My beliefs are against participating in abortions. I fpeople wanted them, as far as Im concerned they can do it. That is their right to believe. But after taking over the OR I put the law down, that there were to be absolutely no abortions done in my OR. Now some of the doctors tried to circumvent me, but they lost. The OR was my turf, and not even the hospital administrator interfered with that. I was there 3 years before I left, on my own accord by the way. so you see. You just do what you gotta do. And if you believe in something stand to your guns and fight for it.

    >>>..I am trying to figure out how the OR got to be "yours" and would just like to point out that yes-you have the right to not participate in something that you feel is morally or ethically wrong but you forced your will on countless others and I disagree with that. How many local women had to travel who knows how much further to an unfamiliar setting to havre a procedure that is always difficult. Let me tell you a short story about a friend of mine-during a routine exam discovered that the fetus was dead.Her options were to go home and "wait until nature takes it's course" or have an abortion...Imagine how difficult it must be to know your baby is dead inside of you...
  5. by   VickyRN
    I respect everyone's right to refuse to do things that are against their personal convictions.... If this thread is indeed a variation of the abortion issue, then the shortage of nurses in that field may be a strong indication that many of us feel the same way about that topic... As another post pointed out, I would very willingly care for and support a post-abortion patient, but I would never consider participating in the abortion itself... That is my personal conviction, and that's my right to decide... I'll eat out of trash cans before I support my family with a job that I find morally dispicable.
    I agree wholeheartedly, George. The difference between mere belief and conviction. There are certain procedures which I, as a follower of Jesus Christ, could never participate in, no matter what the personal cost--one is abortion. (I have no problem giving a post-abortion patient the best of compassionate, nonjudgmental care, however.) Another area is active voluntary or involuntary euthanasia (such as what is going on in the Netherlands or in Oregon state). I could never participate in this. (However, I have no qualms about passive euthanasia--withdrawing lifesupport from a DNR patient who is dying and just being kept alive by ventilator and drips, etc. This is a very difficult decision for the families involved and I do my utmost to support the family during this heart-wrenching time.

    I worked a smaller country OR in oklahoma, and shortly became the director of OR. My beliefs are against participating in abortions. I fpeople wanted them, as far as Im concerned they can do it. That is their right to believe. But after taking over the OR I put the law down, that there were to be absolutely no abortions done in my OR. Now some of the doctors tried to circumvent me, but they lost. The OR was my turf, and not even the hospital administrator interfered with that. I was there 3 years before I left, on my own accord by the way. so you see. You just do what you gotta do. And if you believe in something stand to your guns and fight for it.
    Teeupitom, I REALLY ADMIRE YOUR MORAL CONVICTION ON BEHALF OF THE UNBORN. You are awesome in my book.
    Last edit by VickyRN on May 6, '02
  6. by   SKM-NURSIEPOOH
    originally posted by hapeewendy
    theres a difference between purposely not getting into an area of nursing because you have trouble dealing with the ethical issues surrounding that area of nursing and refusing care of a patient when you are working at your chosen job.

    i have no problem with ppl who understand and recognize their weakness in being unable to provide supportive excellent nursing care to certain individuals. don't flame me by telling me that it isn't a weakness ,because it certainly is.

    i am from the school of thought that everyone deserves compassionate excellent nursing care regardless of the choices in life they have made.
    personally i may not agree with their lifestyle choices or the situations they have gotten themselves into, but i am not them, i am here to provide a service to them, which should be provided in the best way possible.

    the way i see it, if you're ethically opposed to abortions, hiv , blood transfusions, dnr issues etc, so much so that it will hinder or exclude you from providing care to your patients then perhaps a re evaluation of your chosen career is in order.

    i don't believe that we as nurses should be able to pick and choose the patients we will or will not care for. but then again that could just be my do gooder, liberal , treat all alike persona shining thru.
    this isn't meant to offend or upset, i just think that some of the ppl you refuse to care for are the very ones who need you the most.

    at least some people are smart enough to steer clear of those ethical issue hot button areas in nursing so that the time spent trying to find another nurse to care for the patient they refused is kept to a minimum

    we are all entitled to have opinions, moral and ethical dilemmas etc, but not to the point where your patient doesn't have a nurse to care for him/her.
    and where is the line to be drawn? will nurses be
    able to ethically object to caring for patients based on anything they don't agree with?

    this isn't meant to come across as holier than thou ,certainly those of you who know me know that i treat one and all alike
    but i have a hard time dealing with patients that are not given good care , or any care at all based on the fact that some nurses may take issue with some of their lifestyle choices

    cheers
    originally posted by mattsmom81 i admit i am having some trouble with these new age "it's against my ethics or religion" nursing care refusals, probably because i've been a nurse for over 25 years and refusal was never an option to me with post abortion patients, post circ patients, post plastic surgery cases, etc.

    although i would not choose to participate in abortions as a graduate nurse, assisting with a d and c ( whispers that a 'comma' following was abortion) was mandatory in my training, as well as infant circ, and students were taught to be nonjudgmental. was this wrong of them?

    maybe it's old fashioned, i don't know. i agree with the posters who state nurses should never go into any work area unprepared to give 100%, even though we live in a "what about me?" world today.

    what bothers me is i work with some nurses who seem to use their bruised ethics and morals to get out of something they find repugnant, when it is indeed part of the job. examples: death care, blood transfusions on a hematology unit, working with hiv patients, addicts, homeless, criminals. i have to wonder where these people get off sometimes....as it just creates more work for those of us who will do the job and not puff up our egos and refuse to do our part.......

    plus as charge i sometimes just wanna throw my hands in the air and give up, as this nurse won't care for this patient, that nurse refuses care for the other, etc. what a circus it becomes! any other charge nurses feel this way sometimes?

    it's tough enough out there already, imo. but i admit i'm an old nurse with old fashioned ideas, lol, and everyone is free to disagree with me, as always. peace!
    i guess my take on this would be that if one as a nurse can't deal with many of the issues stated above, then these people should re-evaluate their career choice or obtain a "safe" nursing position such as working in a podiatrist, dermatologist, or chiropractor's office or perhaps go into teaching...that way they wouldn't be exposing themselves to certain ethical situations.

    i know that the abortion issue is a very sensitive one for many because it deals with the killing of the fetus ; however, not too many wouldn't think twice about treating or caring for those people who would commit "murder" or "killing" in times of war. so many of these same nurses would volunteer their time in patching-up soldiers injured in war...many soldiers are in the war volunteering & have put themselves in that position. but some of those same nurses would pass such judgment :angryfire on those women having the abortion as well as those other patients that are sick or injured because of their own risky behavior...but these same nurses forget about their own ethics whenever it come to those dnr/dni/dnh people & what they wish because they don't see it as "murder" by not rendering cpr or maintaining patients on ventilators.

    i personally think that if nurses really don't or won't accept certain assignments or jobs due to their convections is fine, but like hapeewendy & mattsmom81 stated, just don't selectively refuse to care for certain patients because of personal dislike of the patients or certain tasks related to the nursing job, especially, after accepting the nursing position.
  7. by   hapeewendy
    *heavy sigh* two more points that have disturbed me greatly is that a director of an OR can "forbid" abortions in the OR......
    thats downright scary, no one knows the circumstancese of the mother - who is also you patient for the record.
    and its sad to me that the drs teeituptom works with didnt go above his head and enforce their right to perform any surgery they see fit....
    no offense tom , I just think that its sad that people are able to decide what procedures are done where....sad for the patients especially...
    an OR is set up for the purpsose of doing surgery, period.
    not this kind of surgery but not that kind of surgery, all and any kinds that are needed!
    and Vicky - its great that you sing the praises of someones "moral conviction" to the unborn
    but what about the same conviction to the mother of the fetus? you dont know her circumstances? You dont know whats going on in her life? you dont even know how she got pregnant....
    isnt there some quote in the bible about judge not let ye be judged ?
    I find this sad..... I wont sit here and debate abortion , we've all been there done that..
    it comes down to the basic needs of a patient vs how nurses think they have the right to deny services to some patients.

    sad, and disheartening, not to mention nauseating.
  8. by   semstr
    VickyRN,

    What do you mean by "involuntary euthanasia2 in the Netherlands and Oregon state?
    Please explain this to me, thank you! (especially about the Netherlands) Renee
  9. by   mattsmom81
    I think it is sad also, Wendy. You and I seem to be trained in the same school of thought...'judge not'. I feel strongly I have a duty to provide care for my patients...even for somebody I totally disagree with morally and/or ethically.

    Now, I may not be the MOST LOVING or EMPATHETIC caregiver they ever had, but I will always keep my emotions out of it, never show any judging behavior, and provide basic, human nursing care..

    Tom, I wonder how you would feel if you learned of women who had died due to your OR's refusal to abort a fetus in any event?
    Or perhaps both fetus and mother due to circumstances incompatible with life? Just curious, not trying to argue. Maybe I shouldn't open this can of worms.....on second thought .

    (somebody stop me... )
  10. by   live4today
    Originally posted by old-master
    I need my fellow nurses experience in this matter.
    Would you or would not work in area of Nursing that needed us, but was against what you believed in? For example: I will not work in plastic surg field, that gives this processors for looks. My wife informed me that I was a bad nurse, because I will not go into a field of Nursing that I do not believe in nor want to work in. So, my question is will you work against your ethics in a field that needs you, or do you follow you own set of ethics?

    old-master has spoken...
    NO,I would not work in an area of nursing that was against the way I believe. EXAMPLE: I would never work in a women's clinic where abortions are performed, nor would I work where smoking is allowed by staff and/or patients. You are not a bad nurse for choosing not to work in an area that goes against your belief. It would be unfair to patients to have staff working with them all the time who do not believe in what takes place in that particular unit or clinic. Being comfortable where you work is very important, so stand on what you believe in regardless of how you may be judged by others who are opposed to your way of thinking.
  11. by   hapeewendy
    nobody is judging a nurse that has the sense enough to know where he/she needs to stay away from due to emotional or ethical reasons.
    I do however look down upon people who in their chosen career of nursing refuse care for a patient that needs them, period.
    when you work in ER , OR, med surg, heck whatever area you work in , be prepared to deal with people whose lifestyle choices you dont agree with...
    it isnt your place to refuse care to them though
    I applaud those of you who realize that you have ethical dilemmas and dont readily put yourself into situations that will make you confront them daily.
    I dont applaud those of you who while working in an area of nursing, take out your beliefs in the form of refusing to care for people who need your services most.
    its not about abortion ,we could debate that topic back and forth and back again, its about the fact that everyone deserves compassionate, professional nursing care, and if you have such an ethical dilemma with some health care issues, then maybe you need to get into an area specifically where you know these things wont come up
    just where that would be is beyond me
    but I hope you find it, for your sake, and for the sake of those patients who you would potentially refuse to care for......
  12. by   mario_ragucci
    Your nursing endevours should make you smile #1, and make others smile #2, and feel pleasure from your eye-hand coordination during proceedures. Your true reality willl ensure peace and happiness for yourself forever. :-)
  13. by   SKM-NURSIEPOOH
    it's one thing to not work in certain areas due to ethical or religious beliefs; but a totally other thing not to give full nursing care to those patients that we may not agree with (ethically or religiously) in the area of our chosen profession.

    for example, i personally couldn't work on a daily basis in abortion clinics, mental institutions, or prisons (especially when it comes to setting-up & administering the medications needed for the death penalty) for various reasons....some having to do with ethics or religion...some having to have to do with whether i like that area of nursing or not. but if those are the only places where i had to work as a nurse, i would try to make those patients as comfortable as possible...while under my care. i would have as much empathy as possible for my patients...& if the occasion would call for it...i would even pray for them (with or without their knowledge or them having to ask) for those situations are both emotionally & physically difficult for them.

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Sense of Duty Vs. Your Ethics