NVT Task 1
The Colorado Board of Nursing states that all registered nurses are to “Act as patient advocate” ("Colorado RN Scope of Practice," p. 1). This role requires a nurse to help ensure that an individual patient’s wishes are heard and respected by those providing care and interventions. It isn’t always easy to represent the patient’s wishes to a physician and family, especially when they may result in the end of a life. It is important to always educate the physician and family on any advanced directives a patient may have made, especially when the possibility of mental confusion may currently exist. Mr. E had previously signed an advanced directive with the assistance of a patient advocate stating that he did not want a ventilator or CPR. Even though it is important to notify the brother who has medical power of attorney, and may have no knowledge of this advanced directive, it is clear that Mr. E had stated how to proceed under the circumstances. When calling Mr. Y, the nurse should have mentioned that existence of the document, along with the Mr. E’s response when Dr. K explained to him that he would need to be placed on a ventilator. In addition, when Dr. K was explaining the situation to Ms. H, the nurse should have spoken up with this information as it became clear that Dr. K intended to make his decision based on her response. Provision 1.4 of the ANA Code of Ethics for Nurses, states that all human beings have “The right to self-determination.”(American Nurses Association Website, n.d., p. 4) It is important for the nurse to always honor, respect, and assist a patient in his or her decisions in determining the course of their care. Supporting these decisions as a patient advocate may require further education of family and staff. Preserving the rights of individual decisions made previous to a patient’s incapacitation is the moral and legal duty of all nurses. With the knowledge that all individuals have a moral and legal right to...
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