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Nursing Critical Thinking

My first impression of this photo was deep. The picture shows a boyfriend, who gives a parcel to woman. Her face has a negative expression, but she is still taking the parcel. It is not clear what exactly is wrapped in the brown paper. On the photo one can see only a small part of a bigger picture, thus there can be various interpretations.


The presented case can have a number of explanations, both positive and negative. On one hand the patient’s boyfriend can bring her something from her kids. They are staying with a friend and know that their mother is sick in the hospital. Therefore, kids would want to cheer their mother up and provide her with at least moral support. The facial expressions can be combination of such feelings as sadness, disappointment of boyfriend’s empathy or maybe it is agitated state. It is possible that woman is concerned about children and their well-being. At the same time, taking into consideration that the woman uses IV drugs, one can assume that this parcel can contain some substances she could use. The abscess the woman has could have been caused by a needle and that means she is probably addicted. This case might require nurse intervention.

In this situation nurse should not rush into conclusions, as personal attitudes can form biases that will influence the further decisions, and, be harmful for the patient. In this case one might assume that if the woman is already an addict, her boyfriend is either using drugs or may provide her with illegal substances. Without solid facts this opinion cannot be proved. Otherwise, one should consider various interpretations of the situation before making a decision about intervention.

Taking into consideration the fragile and unstable state of the patient, an intervention should be performed, although it must be done in a gentle way. At first the nurse should casually engage the patient in a conversation on some safe topic, such as her children and then ask about the parcel. Judging from the reaction of the patient the nurse should consider making any further decisions. But the situation itself cannot be a reason for the intervention because it is quite uncertain.

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