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Difficult conversations in the ICU

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by Ddestiny Ddestiny, BSN, RN (Member)

Ddestiny has 6 years experience as a BSN, RN and works as a ICU RN.

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I pester the physician to either talk to them or consult palliative care depending on the situation. 

Personally, I do not feel talking to a family about something they’re refusing to believe is in my scope of practice. I am there to provide a service, no matter how much I may feel it is a disservice. (Keep in mind- I WILL consult with the proper authorities (management, physicians, etc.) if it is ethically wrong. I feel that if I initiate the DNR/why are we doing this conversation (which I think is really not a nursing action in most cases; however, there’s always extenuating circumstances and if the family presents it I will talk or refer appropriately), it does not help my relationship with them if we disagree, thus harming the patient. I will tell them what I know the physicians have told them, but I will not argue or tell them they are wrong- the majority of the time the family is not in a position where they are rational. 

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