In my opinion, I hold the view that this opinion is based on stereotype and evidence. He decided to make such utterances because of the negative attitude he has towards the old people and elderly patients in particular. His stereotype has made him to view the elderly as people who should not be given equal treatment like the younger generations because they do not deserve that (Braithwaite & Schrodt, 2014).
On the other hand, the Senior Nurse is an experienced professional who has been in the service for a very long time. He must have made that statement because he has experienced the same or relied on scientific research. There is enough research that has been done to prove that surgical operations performed on the elderly is risky because of the perioperative and postoperative complications such as falls, delirium, respiratory failure, congestive heart failure, functional decline, infection, vomiting, nausea, cardiac complications, and mortality (DiCenso; Cullum & Ciliska, 2011). This is why the Senior Nurse does not like the elderly persons to be subjected to big operations. It might expose them to such complications.
The negative comments given by the Senior Nurse were inappropriate because they would negatively impact on the patient and student. First of all, the comment will interfere with the prosperity of the student or young nurse. It will make him lose confidence in the facility and elderly care. At the same time, it might influence him to develop a similar perception and start treating the elderly patients with prejudice. The Senior Nurse is quite influential and regarded by the younger nurses as mentors (Fairman, Rowe, Hassmiller & Shalala, 2011). Since what they do is emulated by the younger ones, it is obvious that the student might end up developing poor interpersonal communication relations with a certain section of the patients.
Besides, it shows that the Senior Nurse is discriminative and has developed a stereotype towards the elderly patients. The comments would make the patient to lose confidence in the services provided by the facility. The fact that one of the employees is not content with the services provided means that they are not up to the expected standard. Therefore, the patient will change his belief and start developing a negative attitude towards the facility, its employees and the services provided to the clients (Bylund, Peterson & Cameron, 2012). A negative perception will end interfering with the recovery process of the patient. It might result into emotional and psychological distress that might end up affecting the patient even after discharge.
The negative comments given by the Senior Nurse were not good because they would have a lot of effects on the hospital. The comments would negatively affect the reputation of the organization. It would make the patient to believe that the hospital is not concerned about the life of the patients. The statement might be interpreted to mean that the surgeons insist on operating the elderly for the sake of making money, but not to improve their health (Fairman, Rowe, Hassmiller & Shalala, 2011). Once the clients lose faith in the facility, they will cease from using its services. This is an unfortunate situation that might end up leading to the loss of patients, income, and profitability.
If I were present at the time when the statement was made, I would do my best to salvage the reputation of the hospital. First, I would use my persuasion skills to tell the senior nurse and the patient that it is necessary for the elderly persons to undergo big surgical operations because it is necessary for saving their critical lives. Besides, I would appeal to the Senior Nurse to refrain from such utterances because they can harm the organization (Braithwaite & Schrodt, 2014). In case the Senior Nurse wishes to make such statements, I would appeal to him to do so in the absence of the patients.
Braithwaite, D.O. & Schrodt, P. eds., 2014. Engaging theories in interpersonal communication:
Multiple perspectives. New York: Sage Publications.
Bylund, C.L., Peterson, E.B. & Cameron, K.A., 2012. A practitioner's guide to interpersonal
communication theory: An overview and exploration of selected theories. Patient
education and counseling, 87(3), pp.261-267.
DiCenso, A.; Cullum, N. & Ciliska, D. (2011). Implementing evidence-based nursing: some
misconceptions. Evidence Based Nursing 1 (2): 38–40. doi:10.1136/ebn.1.2.38.
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