Ethical Dillemma of Symptom Management in the Non-Communicative Patient.
This is the first in a series of Journal entries on a single topic, meaning that whatever ethical issue you decide to write about here is the same one that will continue through subsequent journals. Briefly, but clearly, describe an ethical issue you have encountered in your practice. Consider a specific age group, a specific technology, an administrative issue, distribution of service issues. (I WORK IN A NEURO ICU) Support your thoughts with information from the readings and resources. Responses should be typed and uploaded in a Word document, with attention to spelling, grammar, and punctuation. References are not necessary, but if used, should be in the current edition APA format. All journals should be at least one page of content.Ethical Dillemma of Symptom Management in the Non-Communicative Patient.
Ethical Dilemma of Symptom Management in the Non-Communicative Patients
The identified ethical dilemma is symptom management in non-communicative patients in the Neuro ICU. The non-communicative patients are normally unable to self-report their symptoms and thus they are at risk of the symptoms being under-recognized and under-treated.
The autonomy ethical principle acknowledges the sovereignty of the patient to make decisions about their treatment choices. However, non-communicative patients cannot make treatment decisions and this leaves nurses in an ethical dilemma (Nunes, 2015). It is also sometimes impossible to know the will of the patient, especially without advance directives; therefore, it is impossible to seek informed consent from such a patient to perform procedures or administer certain medications, patients are required to consent to any treatment. Moreover, the ethical principle of beneficence and non-maleficence require nurses to cause no harm to the patients and to act to the best interests of the patients (Barker, 2017). However, non-communicative patients may not communicate their symptoms, including pain; this puts nurses in an ethical dilemma on what to do to ensure the patients’ best interests are catered for.Ethical Dillemma of Symptom Management in the Non-Communicative Patient.
With non-communicative patients, there is also an ethical dilemma in deciding the medication to administer. Sometimes the patient may seem restless and the nurse is forced to juggle between one medication to another, to try to control such a symptom. n a study conducted by De Panfilis et al (2019) midazolam was commonly the first-line drug administered to patients with cancer and healthcare providers were concerned about juggling regarding certain medications and the required doses. Nurses seemed troubled on whether they had made the correct decision in administering a certain medication.Ethical Dillemma of Symptom Management in the Non-Communicative Patient.
As a result, providing care and managing symptoms in non-communicative patients puts nurses in an ethical dilemma as the nurse may not be aware of what the patients want, may not be able to obtain informed consent, and maybe confused on whether a certain medication is working in controlling the symptoms or not.Ethical Dillemma of Symptom Management in the Non-Communicative Patient.