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August 2012, Volume 42 Number 8 , p 9 - 9


  • Susan A. Salladay PhD, RN


My patient, 46, has peptic ulcer disease and is positive forH. pylori. Her healthcare provider has prescribed multiple treatment regimens, but nothing seems to work. She was just readmitted with refractory symptoms.When my patient and I were alone in the room, she confided that she often skips her medication and thinks she might have "a little drinking problem." She admitted that she likes the attention she's getting from her husband and caregivers. Then she warned me not to tell her husband or provider what she said because she'd deny everything. Can I advocate for this patient without betraying confidentiality?- R.A., MASS.Keeping secrets for any reason is a dangerous practice for nurses. In this case, doing so would clearly undermine her therapy and threaten her health. Tell her that you can't keep her secrets because doing so would endanger her health and possibly her life. Encourage her to immediately tell her husband and healthcare provider the truth. Offer to be with her as she

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