Two-thirds of nursing students believe it's wrong to lie to patients

  1. two-thirds of nursing students believe it's wrong to lie to ...
    [color=#6f6f6f]eurekalert (press release), dc - 16 minutes ago
    "older nursing students may also be more mature and independent in their opinions than younger nurses. "however, we suspect that the greater trend towards ...


    more... two-thirds of nursing students believe it's wrong to lie to ... - eurekalert (press release)
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  2. 15 Comments

  3. by   CHATSDALE
    what were they thinking about lying to them about

    what about the other 1/3 what were they thinking of
  4. by   Altra
    The headline is pure sensationalism ... but the study turned up some noteworthy changes from 1983 to the present. Though this was a U.K. study, I suspect many of the findings would also apply in the U.S. and elsewhere.
  5. by   NRSKarenRN
    "however, we suspect that the greater trend towards honesty with patients is part of a wider change in social attitudes to honesty in health care and the need to provide accurate information to patients. it may also reflect the fact that in 1983, when the first study was carried out, nurses were much more accepting of a health care culture where protecting patients from bad news about a serious illness was the default position.

    "and the reduced willingness to working last-minute shift changes found in the 2005 study is probably due to the fact that older nurses are less likely to live on site in residences and more likely to have domestic responsibilities to juggle."
    have seen a complete shift from "protecting the patient" from bad news seen in 70's through 80's to "informed decision making".

    "informed decision making" allowing "patient choice along with the right to refuse treatment option" is now the gold standard in health care regarding patient treatment.
    Last edit by NRSKarenRN on Feb 6, '07
  6. by   kate1114
    Quote from CHATSDALE
    what were they thinking about lying to them about

    what about the other 1/3 what were they thinking of

    Hmm... what could they be lying about?

    "Yes, those are real eggs that the cafeteria sent up"

    "No, that backless gown doesn't make you look fat"

    "Your family is just so sweet to send us those cookies that reak of cigarette smoke!"

    :roll :roll :roll :roll
    Sorry, just couldn't resist!

    I try as hard as I can to be as truthful as I can with my patients, because I feel it's respectful and the only way to be a nurse. However, there are some things that I attempt to sidestep (questions about why so and so hasn't visited, questions about whether I think the doctor knows what they're doing, etc.). But I never out and out lie to them!
  7. by   mercyteapot
    We had a cousin that became very ill and was hospitalized in Pittsburgh, about 75 miles from her home. This was in winter. Her husband had died years ago. She wasn't getting many visitors because it was winter and it was difficult for her friends, many of whom were her age (in her 70s) or older. My sister, who lives just outside of Pittsburgh, was visiting her a couple of times a week. My brother in DC was driving up two weekends a month to see her, too.

    Her brother, who lived in southcentral PA, a couple hundred miles away, hadn't been to see her at all, but somehow he was designated as her point person with the physicians. They chose not to tell her she was terminal. I thought that bordered on criminal. She may have had people she wanted to say goodbye to or instructions she wanted to leave. My siblings struggled with the idea of telling her themselves, but in the end decided not to. I don't think I would have made that choice.
  8. by   TheCommuter
    This study doesn't surprise me in the least bit, as students tend to be much more idealistic than experienced nurses. I wouldn't lie to patients about anything serious or healthcare-related. However.....

    1. My elderly patient handed me some cookies that reeked of urine. I lied and said that I had enjoyed them, when in reality I disposed of them.

    2. An unclean-looking family member made the nurses some sandwiches during the National Nurses Week. I had not touched the sandwiches, yet I told the family member and the patient that they were tasty.

    There are other examples of little lies I have told to keep from hurting the feelings of patients and family members.
  9. by   mercyteapot
    Quote from TheCommuter
    This study doesn't surprise me in the least bit, as students tend to be much more idealistic than experienced nurses. I wouldn't lie to patients about anything serious or healthcare-related. However.....

    1. My elderly patient handed me some cookies that reeked of urine. I lied and said that I had enjoyed them, when in reality I disposed of them.

    2. An unclean-looking family member made the nurses some sandwiches during the National Nurses Week. I had not touched the sandwiches, yet I told the family member and the patient that they were tasty.

    There are other examples of little lies I have told to keep from hurting the feelings of patients and family members.
    I don't mean to split hairs, but to me those kinds of white lies don't count. I doubt anyone who fibs to avoid hurting a patient's feelings is any more likely to lie to them about their prognosis than the nurse who has some ironclad rule about never stretching the truth no matter what the circumstance.
  10. by   RobCPhT
    Why do people lie anyway? You can word things better than being blunt if they are afraid of that. Are people not skilled in rhetoric lol??
  11. by   canoehead
    I think if the patient has asked the question then they are probably mentally able to handle the answer, whatever it may be. In some cases I've had to dodge, or tell them to talk to the doc because it was beyond my license to diagnose, but I haven't lied.
  12. by   lamazeteacher
    The lies told by healthcare folks start when we're very young, and told "this won't hurt". Now we could say to that adorable toddler, "You can't have an EMLA patch because your doctor didn't tell your parents about it, because he assumed they wouldn't want to pay for it, or it would waste a pharmacist's time", etc. 20 years ago I attended a conference given at Stanford, CA regarding pain in children. A presenter said depriving children of pain relief is child abuse!
    Nursing students and all healthcare providers need to become activists for anything that deprives humans of pain, including mental anguish.
    I have been a Registered Nurse for 47 years, and saw great adjustments (change) in leveling with patients. There was a time when only the MD could tell patients what their Temperature, BP, etc. was. They learned to distrust nurses and demean our capabilities because of that, just as adults remember that a nurse lied to them about shots that hurt. Dentistry progressed in the pain relief arena through a need for business, why can't medicine?
    When patients are unable to accept "bad news" (aka, "you have a disease that leads to death"), they have mental defenses that are called "denial". The worst knowledge is none, or naturally knowing it is being witheld.
  13. by   mercyteapot
    Quote from lamazeteacher
    The lies told by healthcare folks start when we're very young, and told "this won't hurt". Now we could say to that adorable toddler, "You can't have an EMLA patch because your doctor didn't tell your parents about it, because he assumed they wouldn't want to pay for it, or it would waste a pharmacist's time", etc. 20 years ago I attended a conference given at Stanford, CA regarding pain in children. A presenter said depriving children of pain relief is child abuse!
    Nursing students and all healthcare providers need to become activists for anything that deprives humans of pain, including mental anguish.
    I have been a Registered Nurse for 47 years, and saw great adjustments (change) in leveling with patients. There was a time when only the MD could tell patients what their Temperature, BP, etc. was. They learned to distrust nurses and demean our capabilities because of that, just as adults remember that a nurse lied to them about shots that hurt. Dentistry progressed in the pain relief arena through a need for business, why can't medicine?
    When patients are unable to accept "bad news" (aka, "you have a disease that leads to death"), they have mental defenses that are called "denial". The worst knowledge is none, or naturally knowing it is being witheld.
    That always bothers me, to hear children told something won't hurt when it will. Far better to say I'm afraid this may hurt, but it is something you need and we will do everything we can to make you feel better soon. Lying to them makes them afraid to even go in for visits that don't involve shots and sets up the doctor's office as hostile territory instead of a place to turn to for care.
  14. by   pickledpepperRN
    No more placebos.

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