The other day I was at work talking to a patient about therapy when he expressed his desire not to participate. He then called over a nurse and said I need to check with her before I see him. The nurse came over and said the patient has a right to refuse therapy and we should leave him alone if he does not want it.
Two things here. The patient has already declined therapy and the nurse is not backing up a basic foundation of good health, movement of the body. Movement of the body prevents bed sores, edema, pneumonia, and promotes strength and independence.
I wonder if the patient would have participated if the nurse simply stated it was up to him whether he wanted to go or not, and then encouraged him to try to move around more to "clear the lungs." I am seeing some coddling going on with the patients I am currently seeing and I do not understand it.
The gentleman patient was cognitive and able to make his needs known without difficulty. He stated clearly he did not want to participate in therapy and this was reinforced by the nurse. Why? And how often does this really occur?
Perhaps it is a mindset that needs a gentle persuasion that physical therapy is a good thing. It's just that I have not yet encountered a setting like this (until now) that is so overprotective of patients. Even the pediatrics wards were not this bad.