During change of shift report, Joy learns she’ll be caring for Ms. Downey, an off-service client admitted for treatment of a chronic medical condition. As part of her treatment, Ms. Downey requires a blood transfusion, but administering blood products conflicts with Joy’s personal values and beliefs. While the unit is usually staffed with two RNs, today, Joy is the only RN on shift.
Before accepting a position on the unit, Joy discussed her conscientious objection to administering blood products with the manager. After confirming that Joy’s conscientious objection was based on Joy’s personal values and beliefs about administering blood products – and not personal judgments or biases about a client population or lifestyle – the manager agreed to accommodate Joy’s request.
Transfusions are a rare occurrence on the unit, and Joy’s objection has never been an issue until today.
Joy has a professional and legal obligation to make sure Ms. Downey receives safe, compentent and ethical care.
Joy needs to reflect on the effect of her personal values and beliefs in providing care for Ms. Downey, identify the conflict and how to resolve it. In this circumstance, it may be acceptable for Joy to withdraw from providing this aspect of Ms. Downey's care.
Joy knows she cannot allow her beliefs or values to alter or interfere with Ms. Downey recieving a blood transfusion. She must continue to provide general nursing care until another care provider is available to take over Ms. Downey's care and administer the blood product.
Joy understands that, if Ms. Downey's condition unexpectedly worsens and requires urgent lifesaving action, she will need to provide the necessary care, regardless of her personal values and beliefs.
Joy understands her responsibility to make sure Ms. Downey receives safe, competent and ethical care.
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