I'm a student in my last semester, where we just do 12-hour shifts twice a week for a month. I chose to work on the hospice floor, since my goal is to become a hospice nurse. So far it's been an amazing experience!
Sunday night, just as I was wrapping up my shift, we got a new admission. The patient was an older woman who came in with her family. She did not speak English, but the family did.
While the nurse was out of the room at one point, the family told me that the patient did not realize where she was or why. Even though she was perfectly cognizant, she couldn't read the sign outside the unit that said "Hospice." And her children had told her she was moved bcs she was nasty to the nurses on the other floor and they had requested she be moved. So, basically, the family didn't want anyone to speak to the patient and reveal that she was in Hospice and dying.
I told them I would inform the nurse of their request, and that it was highly unlikely anyone would come into her room and casually mention death or Hospice. But it got me thinking: is this an ethical issue? It certainly sounds like Veracity to me. If this patient asks where she is or why she is here, what would I say?
I played it out in my mind, and decided that if I was put to it, I would say that this was a floor that specializes in pain management, and that she is here so that we can make sure she does not have any pain (the Hospice unit is also the Chronic Pain/Palliative Care unit). But I'm curious what nurses in the field do in situations like this. I'm sure there are similar instances that are probably much more dramatic than the one I experienced: how do you handle an issue like this?