I'm a new grad in the ICU. For the most part, things are going okay. When asking for help turning a patient, the helper nurse walks in to the room and makes a comment to me in front of the vented patient similar to why are we taking care of this patient because she is nearly dead. I know that the patient heard this comment. I can't remember if I 'shhhed' her, which is taboo on my unit. (My preceptor went all kinds of cooo-cooo when I said that to her) or if I called her name in a 'don't say that' kind of way. After the turn, the patient's heart rate went dangerously high, I had to administer PRN BP drugs, and eventually had to add the propofol. Which had never happened in the 3 days in which I had this patient.
Many statements/comments have been made about patients on my unit that were inappropriate and these statements really bother me. Do I address them or just let the comments be. After rude comments are made, I feel that I have to go into my patients and apologize for what was said.
Oct 7, '13
This is one of my PET PEEVES!!!!!!!!!!
It's going to be tough for you as you are new. The B/P issue is probably because of being moved and not the comment...however you just never know.
As an experience nurse....I have had this on occasion....one job I fixed it by talking to the nurse...the other I quit for it was the culture and I refused to participate.
I have always had this story to share. I took care of a police officer that was severely head injured after a car accident on duty responding to a call. He was not supposed to survive. After weeks of a drug induced coma....he improved....was extubated and went on to be discharged..although he never could return to the streets. I took care of him ll the time. I would talk top him as if he could .....hear me and talk about a car I had.....a vintage GOLD 1969 corvette T-top, pop out back window, chevy big block....I loved that car...sigh...and how I got pulled over once with my dog in the car because the police officer wanted to see who the blonde and the red head was in the car (my dog was the red head) part newfie part show.....100lbs of solid fur with a purple tongue
MONTHS LATER...... we were out for "Choir Practice" (throw back to Hill street blues) or liver rounds and someone behind me tapped me on the shoulder and asked me..."Why do I know you have a corvette?"
It was my beloved Policeman...all better. Standing there in front of me as he re-told many things I had told him while he was "comatose"...I was stunned at how much he remembered.
So what they say....the hearing is the last to go....is true. Share that story and ask them to refrain saying things in front of your patients tht it makes you, and your patient, uncomfortable.
Oct 7, '13
Thanks so much for the information. I really appreciate it!!
Oct 7, '13
Oh this bugs me too! I have always been told that patients can still hear you even when they are sedated. I tell the families that as well. I find it so frustrating when people talk about the patient in a negative way or start talking about another patient in front of my sedated patient! I don't see how people think this appropriate!
Oct 7, '13
I would muster up every ounce of courage you have, and at the next staff meeting ask to address an issue related to the 'culture' of this ICU. Bring some evidence from this thread and other places. DO NOT call out any particular nurse. Just state what you have observed in general terms, and ask if people could be more mindful of what they say in the confines of the patient's room.
New nurse or not, you have every right to hold your co-workers accountable for their actions related to your patients.
That is what I would do.
Oct 7, '13
No tact and shame on those nurses. My question would be how would they feel it's their family member that was being talked about.
Oct 7, '13
That is basic nursing bedside etiquette people should already know better. I have taught CNA students and this is one of the first things we teach them before clinicals....be mindful of what you say while close to patients. I have seem many times when loved ones are at the bedside of someone getting ready to die and the family member will tell the patient....,"its ok to go" and the patient will take their last breath close to knowing their family is ok with them passing. We are taught hearing is the last sense. I agree you should bring it up.I would even say..."remember~my patient is still alive and has ears to hear"....when they come around your patient to help with care. That's just me.
Oct 9, '13
Thank you all for your advise. Several of the responses that were stated went through my head as well.
Oct 14, '13
When I was young, my mom was hit by a drunk driver. She was in the hospital and she was in coma for quite a while. She had a traumatic brain injury and is still not the same. She remembered a lot of stuff that was said to and about her when she came out of coma. People still, to this day, say stuff about her. She has had to work jobs that were beneath her even though she had been in college getting As for engineering when the accident occurred just because of how people perceived her in that day and age. People assumed that she was/is slow and dumb (walks slow, talks slow) but tell you what, she can do calculus in her head at the speed of light and has a very high IQ so she is not dumb!!! Truly dumb people will show their true nature by the way they treat others. I have been a nurse for 18 years now and I absolutely can't stand when health care professionals are rude to patients. If one makes a habit of rudeness, sooner or later someone like a family member etc is going to catch them at it and file a complaint.
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