A lot of times I'll be talking to my patients about their labs, conditions, medications etc., and they want to talk about anything else in the world.
ME: Mr. Soandso, your labs indicate that your blood sugars are elevated. Your doctor would like for you to start taking some Metformin. You should also try to watch your diet and eat fewer carbohydrates.
Mr. Soandso: Well, I only get 100 dollars in food stamps every month and my wife left me so I can't cook and I don't have insurance to cover this medication or any ride to the pharmacy, and I need ride to get back to my house and I have all this pain in my back so who cares about my sugars and I got denied for disability again and BLAH BLAH BLAH BLAH BLAH BLAH BLAH
Anyone else experience this 20 times a day? Or have any advice?
Quote from LadyFree28
He was giving you important subjective information to help him be able to adhere to his diabetic therapy...when working in this setting the nurse is an important coordinator in helping the pt to adhere to therapy, as well as come up with strategies, despite his barriers-that's not a social worker's job, it's the NURSE's job.
The pt was communicating a real problem and was hoping for a solution.
It is certainly my job to listen
and make sure that I work closely with the social worker to help resolve the pt's issues.
The nurse is the coordinator. I do what I can within my ability, but I'm obviously not going to be the one trying to figure out housing or food stamps, etc. Then I get the expert... the social worker who does this stuff for a living and knows all about what resources are available.
To hear such complaints and to brush them off is neglectful... as sure as noting that your pt has pain and doing nothing about. That's not being the advocate we should be.
Remember, nursing is holistic.
The pt cannot be successful if they are unable to attain the tools they need to be successful with.
Personally, I'm glad the social workers follow up on this stuff. It gets stressful and complicated. I love 'em but I wouldn't want their job
Last edit by Hygiene Queen on Dec 30, '13
: Reason: I misinterpreted the intent of a post... but I caught it before I made a complete and total fool out of myself. I think.
I try to listen but we see 150 patients a day and I rarely even get a lunch let alone a break. Some days I do not even get to pee. I feel so helpless when the doctor asks me to talk to a patient but then I get into the room to hear about all the other problems I can't possibly solve. If the patient can't afford 4 dollar metformin, how am I supposed to help? I can't buy medicine for all 50 patients a day who tell me the same thing. I also do not have enough time to call medicaid/caresource/molina about every little complain or question, don't have time to do paperwork for TENS unit, backbrace, kneebrace, penis pump, hospital bed, ensure, diabetes supplies, and 5 other things for just one patient. I also take all the clinic phone calls (patient questions, concerns) and have to do so many things that it becomes overwhelming. I don't know what to say or do for patients when I can't help them. I can't get you free diabetes supplies, free medicine, free rides, help with bills and food, and actually do my assigned duties. I just am really struggling with what seem like problems I can't do anything about, they're constant.
Last edit by BlueLightRN on Jan 1, '14
: Reason: typo