I am on level two on the staircase in relation to the care I administer to this patient. I would need to take time to understand the patient’s culture to move to the next level. It is my responsibility as his nurse to urge him to undergo the transfusion as it is the best method of treatment for patients in his condition. I can also seek help from authorities in the hospital on how to deal with the patient’s needs. I should also ask the patient directly about his beliefs and respect them.
I should advise him on how to take care of himself, given the decision he has made. I should also use the resources available in the hospital to research religion. In the case that Mr. Jackmon refuses a transfusion, I should know which other treatment methods I can use. I should consult other members of staff as they may have knowledge of how to best deal with the situation. It is important to involve the patient’s family in all decisions concerning the care of their loved one.
I should consult other members of staff as they may have knowledge of how to best deal with the situation. It is important to involve the patient’s family in all decisions concerning the care of their loved one. Inquiring directly from the patient will help greatly in determining how to care for him to ensure his comfort. Proper and welcoming body language, such as a smile, goes a long way in establishing a friendly and transparent relationship with the patient. The family of the patient may have insight into his personal beliefs regarding healthcare and not just his religious beliefs.
The nurses and other members of staff should have an understanding of the Jehovah’s Witness beliefs to know how to handle such patients. This knowledge may be from relatives who are followers of the religion. Furthermore, some staff members such as myself attended schools founded by Jehovah’s Witnesses followers which base their rules on the beliefs of the religion Some members of staff are also followers of the religion hence they may share their traditions with the rest of the team. Jehovah’s witnesses are also very vocal about their belief system and they stand firm in them despite the controversy. In attempts to spread the word more, they send some followers on a door-to-door mission to do preach.
The religion does not allow blood transfusions. Jehovah’s Witnesses also believe that not everything that is planted and harvested has to be consumed. This belief is not the same as in other religions, where it is believed that God created everything;; hence, everything that is grown can be eaten. Consequently, the religion prohibits nicotine intake even in tea. Witnesses are also against many forms of birth control, especially abortion, as they believe in continuity of life and protecting the human body. Despite being against blood transfusion, some Jehovah’ witnesses allow for intravenous methods.
My catholic religion has beliefs different from the patient’s, such as allowing blood transfusion. Catholics also believe in life after death, while this religion believes in reincarnation of the dead. Furthermore, Jehovah’s Witnesses are not permitted to be involved in politics or military service. Believers in my religion celebrate occasions such as national holidays and Christmas, while witnesses do not. Lastly, Catholics believe in a holy trinity, while witnesses believe that Jesus is not part of a trinity.
The final decision is entirely his to make and not adhering to his wishes would be considered as a breach of the hospital’s ethical policy (Kaplan,2020). It is important to uphold respect towards these beliefs and consequently towards the final decision made by Mr. Jackmon. It is my responsibility as his nurse to explain the importance of the transfusion to him. He should also be aware of alternative methods of treatment and their implications.
Failure to obey his decision is not only disrespectful to the patient but also goes against ethical policy. Relating some of the beliefs of my religion to his may help to get a better understanding of his choice. Having a patient whose beliefs do not concur with the medical system triggers a feeling for empathy among the concerned health workers. This feeling comes from a point of knowledge of how non-adherence might affect his health condition. However, I should be careful as patients can ‘read’ worry among the health workers and cause them to panic which may worsen the health condition at hand (Lamb & Norton, 2018). Such a situation boosts open-mindedness and the need to research on other methods of treatment that are nearly effective. The patient’s stand on the religion he serves, despite it affecting his health, might arise a feeling of admiration toward his attitude.
The feelings build a sense of trust of the patient towards the nurse. The correct attitudes and beliefs of the nurse also enable the patient to practice his rights accordingly. Increased transparency is also an advantage from practicing the right attitude, as it directly influences the way the patient is treated, how he responds to treatment and the decisions he makes.
Respect towards the patient enables me to explain to him his medical condition and how to properly handle it. Therefore, he has access to all the information he needs to make a sound decision. Practicing positive traits enables the patient to feel secure in the hands of the nurses and an improvement in the patient’s mood which speeds up the recovery process. Conflict may arise when treating Mr. Jackmon and proper handling of the situation by the nurse enhances peace in the working environment. Looking for alternative ways of treatment provides an open-minded way of thinking.
The patient’s family can ensure a regular supply of foods that are rich in iron such as green vegetables. Supplements also help to treat hemoglobinemia; particularly, vitamin C supplements boost iron absorption into the red blood cells. Intravenous methods can also be incorporated into treatment since they are acceptable in the Jehovah’s Witness culture. Erythropoiesis Stimulating Agents such as epoetin are also effective against hemoglobinemia. Once ingested, these agents stimulate the production of more red blood cells by the bone marrow. Preoperative Autologous Blood Donation (PAD) is also an option as it involves the collection of blood some weeks before the performance of surgery as opposed to direct blood transfusion. Lastly, oxygen-carrying drugs are also effective as they deliver oxygen to required tissues.
The religion’s doctrine highlights the dangers of undergoing blood transfusion hence, going against this belief would go against the teachings and also make the patient feel exposed to those dangers. This church, like all other churches, bases its beliefs on the Bible, which is believed to come from a higher being. Their Bible also does not support blood transfusion, influencing believers to have the same belief. Religious leaders of the Jehovah’s Witness ought to hold fellow followers accountable for their actions. Witnesses who are alive during this present time found their predecessors believing certain things and incorporated these beliefs into their lives. There is also a risk of the patient not being culturally acceptable when he accepts a transfusion.
The nursing staff may seek advice from their supervisor as he/she likely has more experience in dealing with such patients. The hospital chaplain should also be actively involved as his work involves all religious activities of the institution. Involving other Jehovah’s witnesses in negotiations involving patient care may add on to the insights. The believers may share situations that may present issues of conflict according to the religion. Furthermore, the comparison of beliefs (even though not of Jehovah’ Witness) and experiences among the staff also helps to provide a more open-minded way of viewing such medical dilemmas.
Proper health requires a balance of the physiological and psychological needs of a human being (Martela & Sheldon, 2019). Physiological well-being begins with the consumption of a proper diet, a balanced diet is highly recommended by nutritionists. Patients should also strive to take all their medication as prescribed to ensure healing with the required amount of time. Part of a proper diet involves regular hydration. Fresh fruit juices are also advisable and alcoholic drinks should be taken on a minimum. Mr. Jackmon may enroll in a social program where he shares and listens to the experiences and beliefs of others. I should actively listen to him and not judge his beliefs and traditions. Good patient-nurse interaction has also been found to improve the psychological well-being of the patient, hence the need to keep the interaction positive.
I may also recommend a good therapist or psychologist to talk to the patient. This support, accompanied by regular check-ups, help the patient to understand that there are people who care about his well-being. Active involvement of the family in caring for the patient will help the patient to relax as he would be surrounded by people he loves. The family will also ensure adherence to the medical advice when the medics are not available. Sharing personal religious beliefs with the patient will help to know that I understand and respect his decision. I, along with fellow nurses and doctors, have to reassure the patient of his safety in the medical facility and the method of medication administered.
If the hospital has a library, there should be relevant books on religion to facilitate research. The best way to know the needs of patients is to ask them directly. The answer to these questions will provide the staff with knowledge on how to handle the patient properly. Other members of staff are also a viable resource when it comes to acquiring information. Consultation enables the exchange of ideas on how to handle a single situation differently (Manley et al., 2018). Previous health records are also put in the hospital’s archives for the purpose of research.
Kaplan, B. (2020). Revisiting health information technology ethical, legal, and social issues and evaluation. International Journal of Medical Informatics 143, 104239.
Lamb, P. C. & Norton, C. (2018). Nurses experiences of using clinical competencies a qualitative study. Nurse Education in Practice 31, 177-181.
Martela, F. & Sheldon, K. M. (2019). Clarifying the concept of well-being: Psychological need satisfaction as the common core connecting eudaimonic and subjective well-being. Review of General Psychology 23(4), 458-474.
Manley, K., Martin, A., Jackson, C. & Wright, T. (2018). A realist synthesis of effective continuing professional development (CPD): A case study of healthcare practitioners’ CPD. Nurse Education Study 69, 134-141.