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This Essay Describes A Student Nurse's Experience Of Caring For Someone In I.T.U. And The Law, Ethics And Therapeutic Use Of Self Issues Related To This Experience.

1982 words - 8 pages

The IncidentThe incident that I have chosen involved caring for a 76 year old critically ill patient, (who I am calling Mr Jones) who had suffered from respiratory failure, which led to a build up fluid in the lungs and caused pneumonia. The infection spread from his lungs to contaminate his blood causing sepsis, which poisoned the kidneys and lead to renal failure. In addition to this Mr Jones may have possible brain damage due to a hypoxic event when he did not get adequate supply of oxygen. He is unable to communicate due to his unconscious state and a endotracheal tube, which is enabling him to breathe.The future does not look good for him; he has long standing problems with little chance of recovery. The hospital staff may be able to prolong his life but the quality of it would be in question if he has to endure the care that would be necessary to look after him.Mr Jones's relatives have been contacted and have no record of any will of any kind, no one seems to know what he would want the hospital staff to do for him, give him every possible chance to live but prolonged the agony of fighting to live and the pain involved or allow nature to take it's course and withdraw treatment and keeping him pain free. Talking to the relatives of Mr Jones to get some idea of what he might have wanted may be the only way of knowingThe essential factors that have contributed to this experience are*The fact that Mr. Jones is unlikely to live much longer*Mr. Jones is unable to speak*He has left no will to convey his wishes in this given situation.*If the hospital staff does try to keep him alive, he may have brain damage and he may be very unhappy about his subsequent quality of life.The significant background factors are, Mr. Jones is 76 years old, he has had a good life. If he does die he will leave a loving family that have loved him and will probably leave them devastated especially his wife, children and grand children.I was trying to determine what the best course of action might be, taking in to account the wishes of Mr. Jones and his family.I intervened by taking part in the care for Mr. Jones; I did so because I believed in the decisions that were made by the medical staff at the time.The actions of the hospital staff could result in legal action against them by Mr Jones and/or his family and we will have to live with ourselves.The consequences for the patient will mean whether they live or die.If the family decide that he would want live no matter what the cost, the result might mean that Mr Jones would have spend the rest of his life with brain damage.If the family decide to allow him to die, they will have to cope with the thought that he may have lived another 10 years or so and have to manage the grief of losing him.I felt saddened that this man may die with out being able to see his family for one last time and the grief and the worry that his family must be feeling.I felt surprised how people seem to cope with these situations.The patient was...

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