Tuesday, March 5, 2013
March 5, 2013
Last night I saw a story on the news about a nurse in California who refused to give CPR to a resident in a retirement home. The 911 dispatcher was begging her to give CPR but she refused citing her facility policy. And without knowing any of the circumstances the nurse was condemned in every article I read on the internet.
This morning several publications have now stated they do not know if the woman was actually a nurse. At the time of the news story it was not known if the resident had a Do Not Resuscitate order. Just a generalized disgust at the person who claimed to be a nurse.
I do not know all the details of this particular circumstance. Apparently the elderly woman did not have a DNR order. But ANYONE can give CPR. To immediately exploit the story to bash the "nurse" is irresponsible. Would I have done the same thing? Maybe not, but I have no way of knowing. Perhaps the woman was afraid she would jeopardize her job. Perhaps she wasn't really a nurse. Let's wait to hear the whole story before we start to condemn a whole profession of dedicated care givers.
And while I'm at it EVERYONE should have advanced directives. Patients jokingly respond when asked, "He/She gets everything." Not the same thing at all. I don't care who is getting your jewelry or your house. I need to know who is responsible for making health care decisions for you. PUT IT IN WRITING. It is the kindest thing you can do for your family.