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Blindfolding: Is this an intervention or abuse?

CNA/MA   (8,322 Views 44 Comments)
by dicecream dicecream (Member)

dicecream has 3 years experience .

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ghillbert has 20 years experience as a MSN, NP and specializes in CTICU.

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I too am on the fence with this one.

Yes I know it is most likely considered a restraint by the state.

However, I am claustrophobic. When I had to have an MRI, I nearly lost my mind just thinking about it.

BUT!!! they blindfolded me (laid a thickly folded towel across my eyes, not tied on or anything), and as long as I didn't see the close quarters, I was able to keep calm and endure the test.

So, if this keeps the lady calm because she isn't seeing who's doing what.....and I suppose she would be able to move the towel off her face if she wanted to, is it really a restraint?????.

Yes. The difference is, presumably you are competent to make your own decisions and agreed that this method was okay to try. When you are dealing with a vulnerable population, you cannot assume consent to such a thing.

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1 Follower; 32,234 Visitors; 6,978 Posts

Yes. The difference is, presumably you are competent to make your own decisions and agreed that this method was okay to try. When you are dealing with a vulnerable population, you cannot assume consent to such a thing.

then, perhaps, they should seek husbands consent???

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HeartsOpenWide is a RN and specializes in Ante-Intra-Postpartum, Post Gyne.

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Not to get into the legal ramifications; but is seams like blindfolding would only make the situation worse. Take a scared and confused person and blindfold them while you take their pants off to change them? Yeah that sounds better:uhoh3::uhoh3:

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jb2u has 5 years experience and specializes in ICU, ER, Hemodialysis.

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this is a reminder that seeking legal advice is against the terms of service for this website!!

normally we would close such threads; however, if we can turn this into a thread on alternatives to blindfolding the resident, we can leave it open.

if you remain concerned about if it is abuse or not, contact your board of nursing, dns, or lawyer.

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Hygiene Queen specializes in ......

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I don't know!

I never heard of blindfolding... and I'm torn.

I'm trying to be open.

I'm wondering if blindfolding (just laying a towel across the eyes, no tying, right?) may be more gentle than getting two others to help restrain.

I say this, because I also know that approaching one patient with more than one staff looks very intimidating and frightening. These patients are already in fight mode because they have limited understanding of their environment and now they have 3 staff holding them down?

In this sense, doesn't a towel laid across the eyes seem gentler?

Very interesting.

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Hygiene Queen specializes in ......

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Not to get into the legal ramifications; but is seams like blindfolding would only make the situation worse. Take a scared and confused person and blindfold them while you take their pants off to change them? Yeah that sounds better:uhoh3::uhoh3:

And this is why I'm torn. That does sound awful.

But having staff hold the patient down to do this is just as bad.

What hell our confused patients must experience!

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Ev1987 has 4 years experience and specializes in LTC/Rehab.

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I work the noc shift and was assigned to get up 2 residents last night for the day shift. This particuliar resident normally doesn't give me any problems when I get her ready, but as I walk in the room she tells me she was up all night because 'the aliens were speaking to her through her alarm clock.'

... so I understand that's she confused, but I continue the process of getting her ready. After cleaning her legs, placing on her socks and putting on her pants, she starts to kick her legs hysterically in all directions. She starts to scream "YOU'RE NOT TAKING ME ANYWHERE! What are you...crazy?! You're all crazy! If you touch me again, I'll kick you right in the face!" So in a clam, soft manner, I tell her 'I'm not taking you anywhere. I'm just gonna wash you, dress you up and leave you in bed.' She's still agitated. After repeating myself and asking her to calm down, I realize she's paranoid and there's no getting to her. So, I take off her pants and socks, then cover her up with the covers and leave the room. I instantly tell the nurse what happened, and asked if I could instead switch with another resident to get up and ready. She told me 'Not a problem.' Never once in my head did I ever consider the fact of restraining her to get the task done. Residents do have the right to refuse care at the moment, if they don't feel like being bothered. Try to comply the best way possible.

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fuzzywuzzy has 3 years experience as a CNA and specializes in LTC.

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My nurse would never say "not a problem." If we said a resident was combative and refusing care she'd find some reason to blame us for it and if we didn't get her done, we'd get yelled at, but if we did, we'd still get yelled at. It's a no-win situation with her.

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Ev1987 has 4 years experience and specializes in LTC/Rehab.

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My nurse would never say "not a problem." If we said a resident was combative and refusing care she'd find some reason to blame us for it and if we didn't get her done, we'd get yelled at, but if we did, we'd still get yelled at. It's a no-win situation with her.

I'm fortunate enough to say that most of the nurses I work with are decent and flexible. If a resident doesn't want to get ready so early in the morning, than she'll get ready sometime before lunch. :)

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3,876 Visitors; 198 Posts

Semantics mean a lot here. "I blindfolded the patient so I could do my job:devil: and "I laid a towel over the patients eyes to help her remain calm while I provided care":saint: could both be used to describe the same scenario, but I wouldn't be caught dead saying (or charting) the first one.

I observed an I&O cath the other day and I placed a towel over the patient's eyes because she had been sleeping and the light level necessary for the procedure was causing her visible discomfort. As with all care I described to the patient what I was doing and why and there was no problem.

Think about it this way, covering a patient with 8 lb. or more of sheets and blankets is not restraint, I wouldn't expect a half pound hand towel to be considered restraint either.

And YES, If it were my mother I would prefer a towel over her eyes to manual restraint. I think the OP just phrased it poorly and biased others responses.

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dnnc52 has 35 years experience and specializes in ICU,ER,med-Surg,Geri,Correctional.

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I don't know how everyone feels about this but I think that if we base our judgment centered around empathy, and not what is the easiest resolve then I think we are doing justice. From my point of view taking away a sense would cause me a lot of fear. I also believe that in spite of our research dementia is like death as in that we all have preceptions of what it is like but until someone returns we really don't know know. There is a fine line between dementia and delerium. Could we cause a dementia pt to actually become delerious by blindfolding,? are we seeing a calmer pt or a more scared pt ? I don't know but this has been a very thought stimulating issue....

Edited by dnnc52
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brillohead has 5 years experience as a ADN, RN and specializes in Cardio-Pulmonary; Med-Surg; Private Duty.

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If she is sometimes able to be distracted with "silliness" would it maybe be possible to play a children's tv program to hold her attention? It seems to me like a Baby Einstein video, The Wiggles, Teletubbies, or something else of that nature might work. (bright colors, music, fun sounds, etc.) It might take some trial-and-error to find what appeals to her; maybe have staff bring in their kids' DVDs from home for trial purposes to figure it out?

Those mini DVD players (like a tiny laptop) can be purchased for under $100 now (perhaps her husband could purchase it for her? or the facility?) or if there's already a laptop in the facility that could be used (assuming it has a DVD player -- most newer machines do). If it's something that's only brought out for care-times (rather than something she gets all the time), it would remain a novelty and more likely to continue to hold her attention. It might even get her to become less combative overall, if she is able to start associating interaction with people as something "fun" to have happen.

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