Date of Award

Spring 1984

Degree Type

Thesis - Restricted

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)




The fact that there are circumstances when resuscitation can be inappropriate is well documented in the literature. Individuals who are suffering from terminal illness, and elderly severely debilitated individuals are two examples where resuscitation may be inappropriate. Frequently the elderly debilitated individual is a resident in a long-term care facility. Yet, the literature reveals few policies in long-term care facilities governing the establishment of resuscitation status for residents. Since nurses are the primary care givers in long-term care facilities they should be involved in: (a) establishing policies regarding resuscitation status; (b) assisting residents and families to make decisions about resuscitation; and (c) resolving legal and ethical concerns regarding resuscitation status. The literature provides assistance in: (a) establishing policies; and (b) identifying and resolving legal and ethical concerns. But there is little information in the literature to help nurses in facilitating the decision making regarding resuscitation status. The following essay reviews the literature regarding resuscitation status, proposes a set of guidelines for long-term facilities regarding establishing resuscitation status, and outlines a program for preparing nurses to facilitate decision-making with families and residents regarding resuscitation status.



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