Nurse alleges fired for suggesting pt go to church - page 2

Nurse 'sacked over church advice'... Read More

  1. by   gonzo1
    some patients have religious beliefs related to health and illness. I was taught to ask
    "Are there any religious beliefs or practices that I need to incorporate into your health care while here for you?"
    Canned, of course, but works okay. Never had 1 person say yes. So I finally quit asking.
    Every now and then I will ask someone if they need me to get their priest, etc.
  2. by   madnurse2b
    Quote from ghillbert
    I'm taking physical exam at school now, and was surprised that we are supposed to ask patients when taking a health history about social supports, including religious practices. I can't see how that's relevant to my health, and I find it intrusive.
    Because social supports including religious ones can provide comfort and psychological support to patients. In some situations significantly so - having done clinicals in a Catholic Hospital. Faith is highly personal and yet very much based, for many, in a sense of community.
    I think the guy had a problem. In the same kind of situation I would have fallen back to, "are you religious" or "do you go to church?" - and then the perhaps your minister can help you with the emotional issues you are facing with regard to your heart condition. Not told the patient to go to church. Too many faiths and religions in this country - I can't choose for you for goshsakes!
  3. by   madnurse2b
    Quote from ghillbert
    I'm taking physical exam at school now, and was surprised that we are supposed to ask patients when taking a health history about social supports, including religious practices. I can't see how that's relevant to my health, and I find it intrusive.
    Ooh and from my past job - how are social/religious questions so much more intrusive than "How many sexual partners have you had...Do you use condoms....have you had previous STD's and what kind....."???
  4. by   eriksoln
    Quote from ghillbert
    I'm taking physical exam at school now, and was surprised that we are supposed to ask patients when taking a health history about social supports, including religious practices. I can't see how that's relevant to my health, and I find it intrusive.
    I dont have a problem with being asked what it is I practice. Some religions have creeds that must be upheld. A witness not wanting a blood transfusion would be a good example. Male nurses not caring for Muslims is another one. Some christian followers are against long term life sustaining measures (my parents being in this category).

    When the focus is better pt. care, thus we need to know if you have any beliefs that should guide your healthcare choices, I dont have a problem with it. I do have a problem with trying to "convert" though.
  5. by   azhiker96
    in the training exercise the woman had been playing the part of a patient with a life-threatening heart condition.
    I think the nurse was trying to make some kind of point and has now hung himself. It wasn't even a real patient. It was a comment he made during a training exercise to a pretend patient. He probably could have gone to one of the disciplinary meetings, claimed his comment was said in jest, and gotten off with a warning. At least he would have been able to document his side of the story. Instead he chose to miss both meetings and got fired. He cooked his own goose.
  6. by   ghillbert
    Obviously people having beliefs such as those precluding transfusions is relevant to health. That is not what I am talking about. I clearly stated that during a history, as part of the social support section, we are instructed to ask "do you attend church?". It's none of my health provider's business. Asking if they have social support is one thing, which clearly can impact health. I'm not sure that whether I attend church does.

    Quote from madnurse2b
    Ooh and from my past job - how are social/religious questions so much more intrusive than "How many sexual partners have you had...Do you use condoms....have you had previous STD's and what kind....."???
    Well, I'm not sure if you're being deliberately obtuse, but that clearly impacts your health which would make it sensible for a healthcare provider to ask.
  7. by   lamazeteacher
    Quote from madwife2002
    I agree the article needs futher investigation it comes from a good source ' The BBC News', but I will see if I can find further information. The other questionable thing is the mans age 71, I really haven't heard of anybody working until that age in the UK in a hospital environment, things have obviously changed.
    For the church incident to be cited it had to be brought up as an issue or else they couldn't use it as a form of investigation, one would presume.
    I'm 70 years of age, and having practised nursing almost a half century, I know that it is not appropriate to state an opinion of any extraneous kind, especially during an acute myocardial incident. It is never correct to tell a patient what he/she should do in his/her religious life, whatever the intention.

    Kind, investigatory questions of someone experiencing stress, about whether they derive peace or satisfaction when going to church, might be OK, but given the situation outlined, during an acute episode, it would be better to wait until the patient has stabilized, to ask about what gives the patient peace, when faced with a stressful event, and encourage them to do that. Most likely imagery/meditation would work as well as church.

    I do object to the inference that a nurse practising later in life than most nurses do, would have a lapse of judgment due to advanced age; and certainly I do not think an attitude of, "well, what do you expect of someone that age?" is accurate or appropriate. :angryfire

    It seemed that a previously troublesome nurse was set up to fail. It bothers me that this "exercise" happened to a professional whose work is in a different specialty than the circumstance described. In the USA we have yearly skills reviewed and updated, with possibly a safety drill by the fire dept.; and CPR recertification is done separately. I can't imagine why an OB nurse/midwife would have been told to deal with a cardiac case, and judgment made about that.
  8. by   lamazeteacher
    Quote from madnurse2b
    Because social supports including religious ones can provide comfort and psychological support to patients. In some situations significantly so - having done clinicals in a Catholic Hospital. Faith is highly personal and yet very much based, for many, in a sense of community.
    I think the guy had a problem. In the same kind of situation I would have fallen back to, "are you religious" or "do you go to church?" - and then the perhaps your minister can help you with the emotional issues you are facing with regard to your heart condition. Not told the patient to go to church. Too many faiths and religions in this country - I can't choose for you for goshsakes!
    If you asked me if I go to church, I might respond, "No, but I do go to my Jewish Temple". It would seem odd to me, that you asked me such a thing!

    The purpose of knowing anyone's religious affiliation, is to meet their need for religious intervention while in hospital. Chaplains are usually there, and it's good to let patients know that one could visit them, if they wish. It's all about them. Leave your need to influence others with your religious beliefs, at your church! Some other religions are very touchy about Christians' interference with their flock's beliefs.
  9. by   HM2VikingRN
    Quote from ghillbert
    I'm taking physical exam at school now, and was surprised that we are supposed to ask patients when taking a health history about social supports, including religious practices. I can't see how that's relevant to my health, and I find it intrusive.
    Social and emotional health is a part of the health picture of the whole person.

    I will usually make a chaplaincy referral not to proselytize but to give my patients an opportunity to discuss their religious concerns if they wish.
  10. by   azhiker96
    Quote from lamazeteacher
    It seemed that a previously troublesome nurse was set up to fail. It bothers me that this "exercise" happened to a professional whose work is in a different specialty than the circumstance described. In the USA we have yearly skills reviewed and updated, with possibly a safety drill by the fire dept.; and CPR recertification is done separately. I can't imagine why an OB nurse/midwife would have been told to deal with a cardiac case, and judgment made about that.
    I didn't see anything in the article that indicates the nurse works in a different specialty than the "exercise". The UK equivalent of our "Board of Nursing" is called the "Nursing and Midwifery Council". It sets and enforces standards for all nurses.

    I do agree the nurse's age should be a non-issue.
    Last edit by azhiker96 on May 25, '09 : Reason: clarification
  11. by   nerdtonurse?
    We ask about religions/faith during our admission process; we have a large Jehovah Witness temple in town. It's better to know up front that your new GI bleed is a JW, rather than get a type and cross started, take the blood consent in, only to have the pt refuse.

    I also believe in treating the whole person. If a pt is dying, and they want me present when their pastor/rabbi/priest/etc., is praying, I'll be there. If it might make my patient feel better, I'm for it.

    But preaching to a pt? Not my job. And telling a AMI patient they need churching? Oh, yeah, telling a person having an MI that (essentially) you think they're dying and going to Hell? That'll make things better....
  12. by   madwife2002
    My comment on the age was simple to suggest the article may be flawed because unfortunatly in the UK you were forced to retire at 65yrs old and I had never heard of anybody practicing at 71yrs old. I have NO opinion on age and nursing what so ever
  13. by   Vito Andolini
    Too bad that, at 71, he wasn't already retired!

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