A Question of Morals?

  1. I also posted this on the Students Board. Maybe some of you more "seasoned" folks could help me also...

    Here is my delimma.
    I work as a CNA in a nursing facility in the dementia unit. No one puts the residents call lights on their beds. I do.
    I feel that even though some of the residents may be confused, they still have the right to be treated with respect, and part of that respect is having a call light handy.
    I don't lay it across the bed, I either tie it to the rail or clip it to the bedframe.
    I understand the reasoning behind not having them (they say the residents may be strangled by the cord), but I still disagree!
    Can someone enlighten me with a reasoning behind this practice, if there is one?
    Thanks, Julie

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    About GPatty, BSN, RN

    Joined: Aug '01; Posts: 3,725; Likes: 460


  3. by   micro
    If it is truly a safety issue and your agency has actual protocol justifyin this.....then follow it...............which you would......

    it sound like though that call lights are there to be used and it is a "judgement call" to use or have availabe for the residents............

    just because someone has alzheimers or dementia(difference), until very late stages.....they have ability to connect with reality and know button brings nurse/help and fear in patients with these diagnosis is very common.............

    your heart and ethical care ideas are in the right place......

    keep it up
  4. by   CATHYW
    The SNF that my mother-in-law is in (she has Alzheimer's) keeps the call bell tied to the bed rail.
  5. by   grnvillechick
    I can understand the nurses' thinking on this one..I started out as a CNA and am now a RN of 11 years...technically you must follow policy and proceedure..in a court of law..that is what they will look at....and it is always the safest to follow...but in reality, safety is the number one issue here and that you are very aware of...yes, the cord could possibly be a tool by which they hurt themselves or others...or it could be effectively used in a lucid state by the pt....as a nurse, though...if I have a Alz pt or any pt that has altered mentation, I usually do room checks more frequently--which can take the place of the call bell. This type of pt can get into a tangle very quickly--pull out an IV<NG< or Foley(ouch!),or find the way to the floor the hard way by falling...so as long as your nurses are checking up on these pts, the call bell is a moot isssue...you have great compassion though...a good pt advocate in the making !!!
  6. by   aimeee
    Its always been my understanding that regs require that a call light be in reach of ALL residents, regardless of their orientation.
  7. by   Jenny P
    Hey, Aunt Hazel (with the delirium following a broken hip and ORIF repair) says that if she can't find "the button," then she is more apt to try to get up and walk to the BR herself!
    Call lights are made for the residents to CALL (ask for) a nurse! PLEASE put them in reach of the resident!
    I worked as an aide in a nursing home back in high school. The wonderful nurses back then kept telling us that these residents deserve the dignity of being human, especially at their advanced ages. A call light connects them to the rest of the world; even if we get tired of answering lights for some demanding patients.
  8. by   semstr
    Reason for getting the immediate kick in the a$$ and find another job, no longer possible in nursing though, is not giving patients the bell to ring for their nurses.
    This is in the nursing-law since 1997, this is federal law.

    Take care, Renee