What if the Boston bomber was your pt

  1. I'm just sitting here listening to the coverage of the terrorist attack.
    The suspect is in the hospital, injured, and obviously being cared for by nurses. What if that nurse was me?

    Related Article
    : Life after the Boston Marathon Bombing - Nurses Coping with the Trauma
    Last edit by brian on Apr 21, '13 : Reason: added related article
  2. Visit imintrouble profile page

    About imintrouble

    Joined: Dec '09; Posts: 2,904; Likes: 9,251
    RN; from US
    Specialty: 16 year(s) of experience in LTC Rehab Med/Surg


  3. by   eatmysoxRN
    I'd care for him as I'd care for anyone else. I don't know my patients histories unless they tell me. For all I know I have cared for murderers, rapists, etc.
  4. by   TakeTwoAspirin
    I've taken care of convicts, gang-bangers, gang-bangers victims, victims of family disputes, victims of police shootings, and DUI drivers/victims. I care for them all equally. I leave judgment to a jury; I'm their nurse. I'm not saying I would be lashing on the TLC with this kid, but he would certainly get the same level of medical and nursing care than every other patient I treat.
  5. by   FlorenceNtheMachine
    Ill be the odd one out and say I hope I could refuse the assignment. Too much publicity and scrutiny surrounding all that mess, and a part of nursing is self-assessment. Could I give the same amount of care to the bomber that I could someone else? Including the TLC, emotional soothing, etc i do? No probably not.
  6. by   ClearBlueOctoberSky
    You treat them as any other patient, with respect, professionalism and dignity. As a Paramedic, I ran daily calls out of the DOC. At least there, I was able to implement a "Don't ask, Don't tell" policy. I just don't want to know. I remember one call for a hanging. We called it right there. Afterwards, the guards started to talk, you know the type of talk. I just walked away.

    It doesn't matter what they did, from minor infractions to the unimaginable acts of terror. You just do your job.

    Don't get me wrong. I am not saying that it shouldn't make you angry. I am not saying that as a nurse you HAVE TO have compassion, however, ethically, and at least for me, morally, I would treat him the way I would any other patient. I would have regrets if I did it any other way.
  7. by   imintrouble
    I've cared for prisoners before, as there is a prison less than 10 miles from where I work. Generally they are much easier, and more polite, than any other pt I have. However, none of those pts ever tried to actively kill me or anyone I know.
    Those pts from the prison might be 100x worse than the bomber, I just don't know it. The bomber on the other hand, tried to kill as many people as he could, and I watched it on TV.
    I don't know how that would make me feel. Professionalism is ingrained in me, and I don't think my actions would reflect anything less. I just don't know how I'd feel.
  8. by   ClearBlueOctoberSky
    And that's okay, imintrouble.
    My DOC patient's treated me far better that most of my other patients did, as well. I have seen medics mistreat patients who were responsible for death and destruction, especially when LEO or Fire was on the receiving end. That doesn't sit well me, and if I ever did that, then it is time for me to find a job at the local 7 Eleven.
  9. by   Tait
    I have been thinking about this because recently a lot of my nurse friends have made comments on FB about "how would it feel to be that guys nurse" etc. Personally if I had the assignment I would treat him to the best of my ability and move on. If I had the option to refuse the assignment I might, but when is that really an option. I do agree it might suck for your home life if people caught wind that you cared for him, and I am not sure how I would deal with that coming down on my family.
  10. by   RainMom
    I've thought of this as well & how I might feel to be one of his nurses. For me, I can't help but think of him as just a kid, the same age as my oldest son.
  11. by   SwansonRN
    Think about all the pressure...America is counting on you to keep this person alive to get answers. I could easily spit out a bunch of clichs about how it wouldn't matter to me, but if I'm honest I think it would very challenging.
  12. by   BSNbeauty
    It is sad that this is even a discussion. When I took my oath it didn't exclude rapists, terrorists, child molesters, thieves, and etc. I would provide the same care I would to any other individual.
  13. by   Blue Roses
    If I had the option of not caring for him, I wouldn't care for him. I have trouble seperating myself emotionally from the patients, and while I wouldn't act on it, I would feel anger towards this patient and I wouldn't want that to show through my mask and make an already dangerous person uneasy. If I didn't have an option, I'd care for him as I would anyone else. I'd probably keep myself very distant though.

    Another twist on this thought process... what if you had the suspect as your patient, and your four or five other rooms that shift contained those who were injured in the bombing?

    I can't wrap my mind around that one.
  14. by   Marshall1
    I'd have to refuse the assignment for reasons I'm not going to list here but are valid given the crimes he committed - it would be in his best interest and mine for me not to be assigned to care for him.
    Other posts have posted about him being "a kid" - he is a young man, not a kid and knew exactly what he was doing. It's unfortunate he chose the path he did but he did and he is fortunate he is in America because in other countries, many other countries, he would already be dead, thrown in a cell and tortured etc. Here, even with the evil actions he participated in, he is receiving care and due process of law. He should be grateful though I highly doubt he is.