Caring for Jehovah's witnesses

  1. 0
    I am pursuing my BSN. As part of my current class I am researching the difficulties of caring for patients with the Jehovah's witness' beliefs. If anyone has an experience that he/she can share with me about your personal feelings in caring for a Jehovah's witness, I would greatly appreciate it. I am new to the discussion board and look forward to hearing from you.
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  5. 2
    The only difficulty is that they don't use blood products and yes that can be a big problem if their hgb is 5, but it is thier belief so you do what you can for them whether you agree or not. I don't really have feelings one way or another. Just do what I can for them.
    DeLanaHarvickWannabe and grace90 like this.
  6. 0
    Quite a large population of Witness here, have had problems with obtaining surgical consents, ALWAYS have physician and head nurse present these forms and do education on these forms. Physician needs to address need for blood or blood products with patient and family more than one time prior to any procedure, advance directives need to be current, and the patient and the family needs to understand that with modern standards of care, it may lead to a legal battle if blood or blood products are needed to sustain life in the absence of any other major health problem. Several Witness patients chose to autodonate 2 units prior to surgery, especially orthopedic procedures, when given the opportunity. Have had one patient who died because he refused blood, had underlying cancer diagnosis, and family swore in court he would not agree to transfusions. Hope this helps.
  7. 10
    As a Jehovah's Witness as well as a RN, I am sure I could be of help to you in
    your research.
    First of all, you may not be aware that JW's have the conscience choice to take blood fractions. They also may consent to hemodilution. I have many different articles published by the Soceity of Jehovah's Witnesses on why Jehovah's Witnesses do not accept blood and what they will and won't accept.
    The Society has also an information website that you can obtain information on our stand and medical videos that explain alternatives to blood transfusions, interviews from non-Jehovah's Witness medical professionals and examples of their cases who have accepted medical alternatives.
    www.watchtower.org
    You can get in contact with the Society through the number they have provided for medical professionals on their website which is:
    Hospital Information Services at 718-560-4300.
    They will supply you with any information over the phone or by mail that you may need.
    example: Videos, brochures, etc..
    It is not my intention to push our belief system on you, but only to provide an accurate understanding of Jehovah's Witnesses non-blood stand.
    I hope this provides you with everything you need.
    If you would like to discuss this issue with me further or get my feedback I will check the message board.


    Quote from cu-n-hvn
    I am pursuing my BSN. As part of my current class I am researching the difficulties of caring for patients with the Jehovah's witness' beliefs. If anyone has an experience that he/she can share with me about your personal feelings in caring for a Jehovah's witness, I would greatly appreciate it. I am new to the discussion board and look forward to hearing from you.
    cryingsky, del2009, sorlando, and 7 others like this.
  8. 0
    MEgs thread was really good. I too am a Jehovah's witness RN. Some other things you may not know are some positive things such as a good support group from their congregation, they never smoke and they do not over use alcohol.
    Also the meidcal community has found benefits to not using blood in procedures.
    But really what MEGRN84 said wsa the best advice. Hope everything goes well.
  9. 0
    Quote from cu-n-hvn
    I am pursuing my BSN. As part of my current class I am researching the difficulties of caring for patients with the Jehovah's witness' beliefs. If anyone has an experience that he/she can share with me about your personal feelings in caring for a Jehovah's witness, I would greatly appreciate it. I am new to the discussion board and look forward to hearing from you.

    Hi there,

    first of all congrats for pursuing your BSN :hatparty:

    As one of Jehovah's witness I think that MegRN89 answered very adequately. Pls check out the website.... I would only like to add that trust me....we are not difficult patients. The only thing is that we do not accept blood transfusions based on our bible beliefs. All the hospitals in the Boston Area are very compliant to our beliefs. They know that we will accept nonblood expanders and any pharmaceuticals that contol hemorrhage and stimulate the production of red blood cells and other nonblood mangement. I have had very successful surgeries with quicker than most healing. Every Surgery has its risk....where some do not make it....this is regardless of blood transfusions or not. I think you will be a welcome relief to one of Jehovah's witnesses if they are ever under your care. Why? because you took the time to want to find out information.
  10. 1
    Meg,
    Thanks so much for being so open and forthcoming with information about your belief's as a Jehovah's Witness. Thank you for the website address and phone number that you provided. I am sure that this info. will be of great benefit to me as I continue my research. I am a great advocate of protecting patient rights and respecting a patients wishes. I am sure that I will learn quite a lot in researching this topic. I appreciate your help.


    :angel2:


    Quote from MegRN84
    As a Jehovah's Witness as well as a RN, I am sure I could be of help to you in
    your research.
    First of all, you may not be aware that JW's have the conscience choice to take blood fractions. They also may consent to hemodilution. I have many different articles published by the Soceity of Jehovah's Witnesses on why Jehovah's Witnesses do not accept blood and what they will and won't accept.
    The Society has also an information website that you can obtain information on our stand and medical videos that explain alternatives to blood transfusions, interviews from non-Jehovah's Witness medical professionals and examples of their cases who have accepted medical alternatives.
    www.watchtower.org
    You can get in contact with the Society through the number they have provided for medical professionals on their website which is:
    Hospital Information Services at 718-560-4300.
    They will supply you with any information over the phone or by mail that you may need.
    example: Videos, brochures, etc..
    It is not my intention to push our belief system on you, but only to provide an accurate understanding of Jehovah's Witnesses non-blood stand.
    I hope this provides you with everything you need.
    If you would like to discuss this issue with me further or get my feedback I will check the message board.
    Thornbird likes this.
  11. 0
    Thanks for your congratulations! Deciding to go back to school after 19 years was a decision I struggled with. Then I decided to just take the plunge.

    I appreciate your kind comments. I do try as a nurse to respect the rights and beliefs of others. Earlier in my career, I was somewhat timid; but I have found thru the years and thru my own personal experience that it is better to ask the patient what their beliefs are. :heartbeat :typing
  12. 0
    I don't get a chance to talk to too many fellow Jehovah's Witnesses who are RN's. I am curious to know how you deal with the issue of blood transfusions.
    Some in our religion would give the blood transfusion as a matter of conscience feeling they are simply following a doctor's order. Others (as in my case) ask the RN they are checking the blood with to start the transfusion, and they monitor the infusion from there. Either is acceptable. So I am just curious.
  13. 0
    I work in a cardiac surgery unit...from time to time, we have a patient that is a JW come through...I think that the most important thing is to have the patient's wishes made very clear (esp. to the staff). It is the doctor's job to go through their options for post op care. In our unit we can autotransfuse, give bank blood, use albumin, hespan. Most of the the JWs that have come through refuse the bank blood. Some refuse the Autotransfusion, some will take the AT but don't want their family to know. Don't usually give albumin to these patients because it too is a blood product but the doctor will clarify before hand if it is ok with the patient or not. The most important thing is to make sure that the proper education of options is given to the patient prior to surgery and make sure that the patient is prepared to accept the "consequences" (ie: they need blood but will not take it). It really dosen't matter to me as long as my job is clear...(although I will admit that sometimes it is hard to watch a person not do well when all they need is a little blood...but it is not my choice to make). When we have patients that are JWs we usually go to the watchtower site and print up their little piece on the blood products etc...


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