Truthtelling in Nursing Care

Nurses Safety


truthtelling in the aspect of the pt disease and the family, i have come across a couple of situations that i myself as a nurse have found to not be what i would see as correct. i work on an oncology unit and here often the family dictates to the nurses and the doctor to not tell the patient of their own diseas-- cancer. this seems wrong to me. the person is in the hospital undergoing many treatments and tests and doesn't know what exactly for and the risks. and a few of these patients of whom i had to care for were oriented. this puts a burden on the nursing, being unable to teach the patient. on one occasion a nurse had mentioned to the patient about their cancer in a way that one would while on duty, the family was furious that the patient found out. the patient knowing did not change the patients status or their mental state. sure she may have become somwhat depressed but the pt was more mad at the family for holding vital info from her. in this situation i as a nurse believe it is the pts right to know their own diagnosis no matter what their son or daughter may say.

I am doing a research project for my Nursing class. It involves truthtelling in Nursing. I have been unable to find any information on this subject. Are there limitations to what amount of the truth can be told or withheld,who can tell it and why?

Please let me know if anyone has information on this subject, I would really appreciate it. Thank you, KatieW


I'm not sure what exactly you're asking. Do you mean if a pt has a disease and you know it should you discuss it with them? Only if that person has been informed by their physician and asks you for more info. Do you mean charting? As a nurse, ALL of your charting is legal documentation and CAN be used in court. Do you mean family requests? Unless you have the patient's express permission, NEVER discuss their case, treatment, or any pertinent information with anyone else except that patient or members of the treatment team. Hope I've helped...

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