Can you advise this student nurse?
“I’m really interested to know how other students and qualified nurses would have handled this…
“I’m on placement on an acute mental health ward. Whenever a patient is admitted they’re meant to be asked to sign a confidentiality sheet that says we can give information to certain people – then if they don’t want us to talk about their care to anyone, or to certain people, they have the chance to say.
“So when a service user’s Mum rang yesterday and asked how her son was, I asked her to wait while I checked his confidentiality sheet. It hadn’t been filled out so I went and checked with him.
“This service user is currently psychotic and some of his delusions involve his Mum. I’m not even sure he understood the question but he just said “Nah” and then walked away.
“I know that he wouldn’t really mind me telling his Mum that he was fine but instead I explained to her that I couldn’t tell her anything without her permission. She started crying and said “But I’m his Mum”. She was worried that I was holding something back even though there was genuinely no change.
“I felt awful. Was I right to stick to the rules so tightly? Should I just have told her there was no change?”
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