Preventing Safety Hazards Associated With Do-Not-Resuscitate Orders

David G. Glenn

communication, continuity of care, end-of-life care, hospice, palliative care, treatment plans
CJON 2015, 19(6), 667-669. DOI: 10.1188/15.CJON.667-669

Do-not-resuscitate orders can promote patients’ dignity near the end of life, but they also can carry safety hazards associated with miscommunication and inappropriate withdrawal of certain kinds of care. Oncology nurses have a responsibility to identify these potential hazards and to intervene as necessary.

At a Glance

  • Oncology nurses have an obligation to ensure that do-not-resuscitate (DNR) orders and do-not-intubate orders are followed correctly and that patients do not receive unwanted care near the end of life.
  • Oncology nurses must verify that patients with advance medical directives have DNR orders that appropriately correspond to those directives.
  • Patients’ safety must be protected by ensuring that DNR orders are not overinterpreted so that important kinds of care are not wrongly withheld from patients with DNR orders.
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