Nurses for Boston bombing suspect put patient care first

In the aftermath of the Boston Marathon bombing, hospitals operated in lockdown mode and workers had to put aside any concerns to treat the more than 180 people injured in the blasts.

Such was the case for the trauma nurses assigned to care for suspected marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, The Boston Globe reported

All of the nurses asked by supervisors to care for Tsarnaev said yes and those interviewed by the Globe said they were proud of the treatment they provided to the suspected bomber--such as monitoring his vital signs, checking his wounds for signs of infection and administering medications.

The ethical obligation of the healthcare profession requires healthcare providers to treat all patients without discrimination, which means nurses and physicians may be called upon to treat drunk drivers, prisoners, gang members and terrorists, according to the Globe.

To deliver ethical and quality care, many of the nurses assumed a detached, unemotional rapport with Tsarnaev, limiting conversations to medical questions and avoiding terms of endearment, the article noted.

Those nurses serve as an inspiration for upholding the Hippocratic Oath and show what it takes to remain healers, not judges of patients, a hematologist-oncologist wrote last month on KevinMD.

"Yet, regardless of whether the patient is a kindly old woman, a hopeful young child, or an extremist killer, physicians understand this: when we allow the moral status of our patients to dictate the extent and quality of care that we provide to them, the integrity of being a physician is compromised," Ron Cheung wrote in the KevinMD blog post.

For more:
- here's the Globe article
- check out the KevinMD post