A Patient's Decision

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Every day we are faced with decisions. “Choosing meaning and making decisions creates the who we are becoming.” (Pilkington, Jonas-Simpson, p.9) Not all decisions are life changing but have significant meaning and impact the future of our lives. Whether the decision is as minute as what to eat for breakfast or life changing regarding intubation if in respiratory distress. These decisions can be based on fear, prior knowledge, gathered information, values, and the quality of life we choose to live. Although, we are responsible for the decisions we make we do not always know what the outcome will be. Through these decisions or situations, we are choosing the quality and the meaning of the life we live.
As a nurse, I see patients and families make decisions every day. “Humans actively participate in the unfolding of their lives. They are like authors, and their unfolding lives are like unfinished novels, which they are constantly creating.” (Pilkington, Jonas-Simpson, p.7) I have had to learn that I cannot make decisions for my patients. I have also learned that I cannot fix them. I am there to facilitate their healing and honor their unique beliefs and values. “Humans with universe are free to choose in situations as they weave the tapestries of their lives.” (Pilkington, Jonas-Simpson, p.7) It is also important to be sure that I have answered any questions they may have and provide them with as much information possible (leaving out what my personal feelings) that will allow them to make the best decision for themselves. “These different views or perspectives of human being and health influence the way nursing and other disciplines are practiced.” (Pilkington, Jonas-Simpson, p.7)
I am walking out on to the floor heading to my assignment mentally preparing myself for the night ahead. As with every shift in the Emergency Department, I never know what awaits me. As I approach the area I am assigned to, I see this man in his early fifties,

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