Respect and Religion: Learning a Lesson - page 2

It struck me how difficult it is for some medical professionals to accept and work within the belief systems of their patients and families. The conversation brought to mind an incident that happened... Read More

  1. by   Katnea
    I work in a LTC facility and recently got a new pt. of an 18 year old hispanic male. He has about half of his brain missing on the rt. side of his skull(starting just behind his Rt eyebrow) He was in a car accident where he took part in a drag racing contest and ....lost. He has a trach,foley and is fed via g/t. He already has MRSA in the lungs and urine. He has many episodes of Pneumonia,UTI's and has a stage 2 around the sacral area. The extremity contracturs are setting in. All this happened in about 4 months or less!
    The family has many pictures of Jesus and the Mother Mary hanging on the wall in his room.
    I did see in his chart some forms about donating organs. I guess they felt this was not an option for them as they told me that he is going to get up 'someday' and walk and talk just like he did before the tragic car reck. I did read in his history that he had died two times during surgery but was brought back.
    The two sisters and mother of this poor 18 y/o male asked me if I thought he was going to get better. I thought to myself...what a loaded question! I looked at all 3 of the family members and asked " Do YOU really feel in your heart that he will get better?" The one sister said to me "God can do anything.... you just need to have faith!" I had to bite my tongue while I finished hanging his t/f.
    I said "OK" to the sisters and mother and excused myself to go get the treatment cart to dress his stage 2 on his sacral area. When I came back into the room I then had to caution the family about playing loud music with brain injuries and suggested they buy some classical or new age music that has the soothing sound of the gentle surf in the background etc. I went on to talk about the bright lights always being on in his room and the need to tone the lights down sometimes.
    I was grateful to move onto another subject of giving advice about caring for him.
    The family will eventually understand that they have doomed him to a slow death of rotting away. The doctor will keep ordering the antibotics that the family wants to make him all 'better'. The abt will of course make more super bugs for the nursing staff to be exposed to until finally the abt fails to work. Oh yeah.... lets not forget about the C-diff and yeast coming from all the abt.
    I pray they choose Hospice soon but it does not look promising. <sigh>
    This is yet another example of a wasted opportunity to have given the gift of life due to religion and or ignorance or both and perhaps topped off with denial. Actually... can one have true denial seeing a skull caved in the size of a HUGE grapefruit?
    I really am surprised that I don't just have a nub for a tongue with as many times as I have had to bite it! I give families and pt. education, support and hugs as best I can and try to respect any and all religious convictions people have. is not easy!
    For myself... I repeat the serenity payer ALOT!