Pts abusing "cultural/religious" practices to manipulate RNs - page 3

This has been bugging me for a while. A few weeks ago, we had a postpartum patient who is Jewish (Orthodox), which means that they won't do "work" on their Sabbath (sundown on Friday until... Read More

  1. by   Yuliya3
    I loked up the calendar , this year September/ October 2006 :
    Fri 22nd, Sat 23rd, Sun 24th - was Rosh Hashonah
    Fri 30, Sat 31, Sun10/1, Mon 10/2 - was Shabbos followed by Yom Kippur
    Fri 10/6, Sat 7th, Sun 8th - first days of Sukkos
    Fri 10/13, Sat 14th, Sun 15th - last days of Sukkos/Simhas Torah,

    so a week before Sukkos was Yom Kippur, maybe that's it?
  2. by   HvnSntRN
    Quote from GardenDove
    Don't women already have a right to ask nursing staff to take their babies so they can rest? I wonder why the OP resents this, and why the mother felt she had to trick the nursing staff into taking the baby?
    We are happy to have babies in the nursery at night to give moms a break. Nobody resents it - it's a service we will offer as long as we have a nursery to provide the service. As I said, what bothers me is the patient's resorting to "tricking" us by being deceptive about Shabbat practices, as if it gave some kind of "rank" to her request over other patients. All she had to do was say - like every other mom who wants baby to go to the nursery does - "I'm really exhausted, could you take the baby and do the feedings over night?"

    Is it really such a crime to admit that you just want to sleep through the night, that you have to resort to fabricating stuff about religious practice? There's something dreadfully wrong when a belief system is perceived by a patient to be so oppressive that she can't be honest about her true physical feelings of exhaustion with people who are (a) not there to judge her and (b) are interested in her (and her baby's) physical and emotional well-being.

    I think we have enough to do with our workload, without having to filter through dishonesty and manipulation from patients.
  3. by   HvnSntRN
    a week before Sukkos was Yom Kippur, maybe that's it?
    Bingo. Thank you. I'd forgotten about Yom Kippur.

    It all makes sense now.
  4. by   PANurseRN1
    Maybe she just wanted a break but was afraid to say so...there are a lot of breastfeeding zealots out there who would have jumped on her with all four feet for being so "selfish" as to ask for a break. She may have used Sabbath as an excuse because she thought people would be less judgemental.

    She might have just been an overwhelmed Mom who was desperate for any excuse to get a break. It might not have occurred to her that there would be staff who would know about Jewish Sabbath observances.
  5. by   caroladybelle
    Quote from GardenDove
    Her thinking is convoluted. Don't women already have a right to ask nursing staff to take their babies so they can rest?
    Actually, technically by the letter of law, an observant Jew cannot "ask" a Gentile to do "work" for him on Shabbos.

    I have always observed (if possible), the habits of the patient and adjust behavior accordingly. Or they ask "where is the light switch located" (hint)and I automatically change the setting. I always bring fresh water several times a shift or preferred kosher compliant beverage. I round regularly to help unplug the pump or make sure that the tubings are long enough for bathroom trips. I ask "May I provide for you a pain pill" rather than "Do you need a pain pill". I look up the time of Sunrise/sunset and put it on the patient board. I put the shades up, and set up a chair shortly before sunrise and note to staff to (if possible and safe) to not disturb the patient for VS/assessment for 60-90 minutes after sunrise. I accompany (or have accompanied) observant visitiors from the floor to the door of the hospital so that they do not have to push elevator buttons. I try to make sure that they have a portable frig, if possible, for food from home. I give their benedryl in tablet form rather than capsule (gelatin "skin") if available.
  6. by   JeanettePNP
    Quote from TrudyRN
    Not all Jews believe in Heaven and Hell, some are even atheists and if you understand that you are doing better than I. And I am Jewish. A Jew can be a Buddhist, a Hindu, or whatever other religion and still be accepted as a Jew. The only thing a Jew can never be and still be accepted by fellow Jews is a Jew for Jesus, a Christian. Of course, there have always been some Jews who followed Jesus and there are lots of Hebrew Christians, Jewish believers in Jesus today.
    Not to sidetrack the thread into a discussion of the finer points of Jewish theology, but that's not technically correct. A Jew who "apostizes" (I'm sure that's spelled wrong) by adopting another religion, be it Buddhism, Hindu, Christianity or whatever, might have to immerse in a Mikvah (ritual bath) in order to be accepted back into the Jewish fold, but they're considered Jewish all along, and a child born to Jewish parents, even if they practice another religion, is considered Jewish and is welcome back anytime without having to undergo conversion.
  7. by   tntrn
    Maybe her issue is not with feeding her baby but with breastfeeding and in order to avoid flack from family, staff, friends, that's how she was dealing with it. Not something CPS needs to be called for, but maybe a little heart to heart from a caring and open minded (when it comes to breast of bottle feeding) staff member might sort it out. I think that would the first thing I'd investigate. Does she or does she not really want to breastfeed? If not, then move on to how do you plan to feed your newborn who will need you every day, not just on the non-Sabbath days.
  8. by   HvnSntRN
    Quote from caroladybelle
    Actually, technically by the letter of law, an observant Jew cannot "ask" a Gentile to do "work" for him on Shabbos.

    I have always observed (if possible), the habits of the patient and adjust behavior accordingly. Or they ask "where is the light switch located" (hint)and I automatically change the setting. I always bring fresh water several times a shift or preferred kosher compliant beverage. I round regularly to help unplug the pump or make sure that the tubings are long enough for bathroom trips. I ask "May I provide for you a pain pill" rather than "Do you need a pain pill". I look up the time of Sunrise/sunset and put it on the patient board. I put the shades up, and set up a chair shortly before sunrise and note to staff to (if possible and safe) to not disturb the patient for VS/assessment for 60-90 minutes after sunrise. I accompany (or have accompanied) observant visitiors from the floor to the door of the hospital so that they do not have to push elevator buttons. I try to make sure that they have a portable frig, if possible, for food from home. I give their benedryl in tablet form rather than capsule (gelatin "skin") if available.
    These are the kinds of things I was talking about regarding understanding all the subtle nuances of various religious practices. Without being educated on the matter, I would never know that there is a correct and incorrect way to ask a simple question of an observant Orthodox Jew, or to accompany them to the elevator to push the buttons - they seemed quite content to use the stairway instead.

    Thank you for the information.
  9. by   GardenDove
    I still am not seeing what's so bad about what this pt did. Maybe she is a very sensitive soul with limited ability to articulate her needs openly. I doubt if it had anything to do with her religious beliefs because I'm sure there are some Orthodox Jews who are assertive and able to be more straight forward. For some reason this woman was not, its probably her personality.

    The fact of the matter is that the mother didn't ask anything unreasonable, that wasn't a normal part of the job of the nurse. We are there to serve these peoples needs. They are not manipulating us by having us do that. For some reason this woman didn't feel comfortable enough to make a simple request. She happened to use a fairly transparent ploy to get her needs met. So what? I always try to go along with pts and let them save face.

    Before my husband died, I had a little trick I used to do to get out of things. I would say "Oh, I'll have to check with my husband". Or when they'd call me to work extra I'd say "Oh, my husband wouldn't like it" It worked great. Sometimes I still will use it for things like saying "Oh, my husband wouldn't have liked me to do that". Ha Ha, I was hardly an oppressed wife, but it was a nifty trick!
  10. by   tntrn
    I'm sorry but I don't think walking a patient's visitors to the elevator and pushing the button for them is a part of my job. Especially in my unit where we have to go beyond the locked doors to get to the elevator. And why should I have to know this also?

    I pride myself in being very tolerant, but there's a limit to what we are supposed to know about all the many differences. And again, if I, as a Protestant, were to be hospitalized in a predominantly (fill in the blank) area, would they be busting their bums to honor each and every one of my religious beliefs, not to mention already knowing about them? Seriously doubt it.
  11. by   PANurseRN1
    Quote from tntrn
    I'm sorry but I don't think walking a patient's visitors to the elevator and pushing the button for them is a part of my job. Especially in my unit where we have to go beyond the locked doors to get to the elevator. And why should I have to know this also?

    I pride myself in being very tolerant, but there's a limit to what we are supposed to know about all the many differences. And again, if I, as a Protestant, were to be hospitalized in a predominantly (fill in the blank) area, would they be busting their bums to honor each and every one of my religious beliefs, not to mention already knowing about them? Seriously doubt it.
    I don't think caroladybelle was saying you had to do it. She was simply relating what she chooses to do. No need to get your nose out of joint.

    Why should you have to know this? I guess you don't if you're not interested in providing holistic care. But this is the problem here in this country; the majority feel no need to learn more about those who are different. Some are outright offended at the mere suggestion that they should try to do so.

    As far as how you would possibly be treated at a non-Protestant facility, why should you let your assumptions affect the care you give to your patients? Whatever happened to "do unto others"? There's a basic Christian tenent for you. (Given by someone who was Jewish, no less.)
  12. by   ChocoholicRN
    Not to sidetrack too much, but just a comment on the elevator thing. We as nurses/nursing students are taught to be tolerant of the cultures of our patients and not judge them. There are things that I have had to do for patients of other cultures that was a lot more difficult than pushing the button in an elevator. True, it is a pain to have to do that for someone, especially if it is out of your way, but it is a matter of respecting anothers religion and traditions. Most Jews who observe the Sabbath don't mind taking the stairs, as it is something they have always done on this day. Other hospitals or apartment buildings have an one elevator that, on Shabbat only, will stop on every floor going up and down for the whole day, no pushing buttons!! Please just try to understand where these people are coming from, it may seem like a pain in the neck for you, but for someone who observes the Sabbath it is a mitzvah for you to go just a little bit out of your way to do this for them. And if it really is truly out of your way at that moment, as a nurse or an aide or anyone to help.
  13. by   GardenDove
    The elevator thing is a little over the top, IMO. People do have to take a little responsibility for their own beliefs. For instance, I were as a practising Catholic wanted someone to bring Holy Communion into the hospital, then someone from the Church would come. I wouldn't expect nursing staff to know all the ins and outs of all my religious needs. To most people it would seem logical that taking the elevator is LESS work than taking the stairs actually. Also, we aren't there to serve every minute need of every visitor. If they are that hairsplitting about fine points of their Sabbath law, they probably ought to stay home. Is that really true that they can't push a button on an elevator on the Sabbath, but they can take the elevator if someone else pushes it?

    People have to communicate reasonable requests. But I don't think we are responsible for pushing the button on the elevator for every Orthodox Jew who visits the hospital.

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