Monday, September 16, 2013


Medscape published an article last week about RTC - Resistence To Care.  A new acronym in nursing, who would've thought? 

They surveyed a bunch of health care workers, mostly nurses, about their experiences with patients who refused care.  The conclusion was that all nurses have encountered RTC, that RTC looks a whole lot like aggression, and that nurses who work in emergency departments and in long term care are actually at the highest risk of physical harm from RTC patients.  We knew about ED's, right?  But I didn't expect the long term care risk.  Those old people can apparently really pack a punch! 

The article hit home with me this week because just a few days ago I watched as four nurses and two respiratory therapists stood outside a patient's door while two nurses and a social worker were inside the room talking to a patient who was leaving against medical advice.  The patient was aggressive.  Or did he simply have RTC?  Who knows.  Either way, it shouldn't be happening.

Talk softly, keep the environment quiet, allow the patient plenty of space, and make sure the patient is allowed to make their own choices is the advice of the Medscape authors in providing nursing care to patients with RTC.  Great advice - isn't this how we should treat all patients?  I think we learned that in Nursing 101.

You can read the article here:

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