Raj Singh, a seventy-two-year-old Sikh from India, had been admitted to the hospital after a heart attack. He was scheduled for a heart catheterization to determine the extent of the blockage in his coronary arteries. The procedure involved running a catheter up the femoral artery, located in the groin, and then passing it into his heart, where special x-rays could be taken. His son was a cardiologist on staff and had explained the procedure to him in detail.
Susan, his nurse, entered Mr. Singh’s room and explained that she had to shave his groin to prevent infection from the catheterization. As she pulled the razor from her pocket, she was suddenly confronted with the sight of shining metal flashing in front of her. Mr. Singh had a short sword in his hand and was waving it at her as he spoke excitedly in his native tongue. Susan got the message. She would not shave his groin.
She put away her “weapon,” and he did the same. Susan, thinking the problem was that she was a woman, said she would get a male orderly to shave him.
Mr. Singh’s eyes lit up again as he angrily yelled, “No shaving of hair by anyone!”
Susan managed to calm him down by agreeing. She then called her supervisor and the attending physician to report the incident. The physician said he would do the procedure on an unshaven groin. At that moment, Mr. Singh’s son stopped by. When he heard what had happened, he apologized profusely for not explaining his father’s Orthodox Sikh customs.
How should a healthcare professional handle Mr. Singh’s excitability?
Is there anything else that this healthcare professional could have done to handle the situation