This paper discusses advance statements that are filled in by patients and the surgical nurse's role during this process. The paper examines advance statements and then discusses how surgical nurses play a role.
Undergoing surgery or any kind of treatment in hospital is not a pleasant experience.
Although every member of the hospital staff is important in their own way but it is the Nurses who play an integral role in caring for the patient and ensuring that all their legitimate wishes are abided with. Amongst the nurses it is the theatre nurse who ensures that all instructions are followed with respect to patients consent for surgery and if for any reason the opportunity for consent was not available then all alternatives need to be weighed and the best option selected. The nurse plays the role of a guardian cum chaperone even when it comes to the formal filing and explanation of advance statements.
A patient is legally entitled to decide which life-prolonging treatment he or she would want to receive. It is also the responsibility of the healthcare staff to be aware of patient's treatment preferences (Matesanz 2006). Admission evaluations should include questions about the advance statement so that the patient's wishes can be clarified. When the hospital staff (normally the surgical nurse) record advance statements, they should ensure that they are not vague as this will leave the statement open to subjective analysis by the family or hospital staff (McCahon 2001). For any form of consent to be legal it must be given freely and without pressure and after the individual has been informed of all the pros and cons. ...