This website provides information regarding vaccines and state laws and allows for parents to make educated decisions. Scenario 2: A 49-year-old woman with advanced stage cancer has been admitted to the emergency room with cardiac arrest. Her husband and one of her children accompanied the ambulance. For the sake of this scenario, I will focus on New Jersey state laws since this is where I live and plan to practice as an advanced practice nurse. Without much information in the scenario, upon arrival to the emergency department, the ED staff would want to know if the patient has a POLST. POLST stands for Practitioner Orders for Life-Sustaining Treatment. It is created on a standardized green form that is easily recognizable by medical staff state-wide. This document, created and signed by the patient, doctor, APN, patient surrogate, spells out what type of medical treatment the patient wishes to receive toward the end of life. It helps to avoid unwanted and medically ineffective treatment, and to abide by the patient’s wishes (State of New Jersey website, n.d.). POLST does not mean, “Do not treat”, as it allows for a variety of options such as CPR, airway management, and comfort measures to be taken. The patient would ideally complete this document prior to actually needing it. Medical professionals are legally and ethically obligated to honor the document. This scenario can be difficult to manage not knowing the status of the patient upon arrival to the ED. I have witnessed patients arriving to the ED status post a cardiac arrest who are awake and alert with a cardiac rhythm compatible with life. Evidence suggests, this patient with advanced stage cancer would not fare as well as a healthy individual suffering cardiac arrest.
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- Summer '15
- New Jersey, New Jersey website