Ethical Dilemma

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Introduction Patient was a 34 year old female admitted to the hospital for observation as an EMU patient on the Neuro step down unit. Patient reported that she had a tonic clonic seizure before coming to the hospital. During the three days she was in the hospital, she showed no apparent seizure activity. The nurse who was also assigned to this patient said she was pretty sure she was a pseudo seizure patient. When it came to looking at what drugs she could be given, the only drug she was not allergic to was Morphine. When doing assessments on the patient, she would always say that her pain was an 8-9 before pain medication and a 7/10 after pain medication. Every 4 hours the patient would put her call light on and complain of pain.…show more content…
Impact on Future Role as RN
The alternative that I chose was to treat the patient every 4 hours when requested, but only giving half the dose ordered. I felt like this was a good alternative because pain is subjective, so if the patient tells us that they are in pain then we should treat the pain. There is no way to measure pain, so I must go by their word. Although there are usually nonverbal signs of pain, a nurse must trust the verbal signs of the patient as opposed to the nonverbal. This is true because all people have a different response to pain, and different cultures have distinct ways of showing pain and suffering. By giving pain medication upon request of the patient, I was showing autonomy towards them. This choice also lowers the patients risk for addiction since I was giving the patient a lower dose.
I’m glad that I have experienced this ethical dilemma in my clinical rotation because I feel like this is probably one of the most frequent dilemmas nurses experience. There is a good chance that I will come across many patients in the future who are trying to seek drugs. Even if we assume this, can we really prove that they are? In my experience with this situation, I have learned that even though we believe a patient may not be in pain, we have no way to prove it, since pain is not
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