[black small square] I wanted to share a couple of tips I have for helping patients. Some times a patient refuses pain medications because of her religious beliefs. You must honor her wishes, yet seeing someone in pain and not being able to help is difficult. One of my terminally ill patients repeatedly refused the morphine prescribed for her, saying, "God won't give me more pain than I can handle." One day I asked her to consider if possibly God had sent the morphine and me to help her. She did, and accepted the morphine after that.
While I respect my patient's personal space and autonomy, I'm careful to avoid asking questions that he might answer with a "no." For example, instead of asking, "Would you like to walk now?" I say, "You need to walk twice in the next 8 hours. What times should we plan on?"
-JANICE REYNOLDS, RN, OCN, BSN
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