How honest are you? - page 3

by ~*Stargazer*~

Venting on another thread got me thinking about this. In our ED, all the rooms including the trauma bays are private, with both curtains and doors that close. Because of this, it's very easy for the patients, in their private... Read More


  1. 5
    Having been to the ED multiple times in the past 6 months for myself, and once for DH's car wreck. I don't mind waiting. Our local ED is good about announcing wait times.

    Once when being I was being seen, myself and 4 other pts got called back at once. We were called back down the "exit" door versus the entrance. You could see security cordoning off the hallway, and hear the most heart wrenching wails. A middle aged women was kneeling in the hallway clawing at her chest sobbing in agony, and if she could have physically ripped her heart from her chest to stop the pain, I believe she would have.

    I knew, without being told, that it was her child that died. I don't know how, I just had that feeling.

    It's amazing everyones different reactions.

    DH just gripped my shoulder, and told the nurse he would push my w/c for her. However, from then on, he held my hand, stroked my hair, as if to reassure himself I wasn't leaving him.

    One of the pts being wheeled back just griped and complained about the wait, and about the long walk to the rooms. Another asked what had happened, and his wife yelled at him for rubbernecking.


    The resident who examined me, remembered me from his internship, and was all apologetic, he said there was a traumatic code.

    Most of the staff were very very kind. From the way they treated me, you would have had no clue that just a few short hours before there was a traumatic code brought in by helicopter, a young man, worked on frantically for over an hour, that didn't make it.


    I didn't look up the details or his name in the news, I felt like just seeing his mother in her moment of grief I was intruding on something private that I had no right to. This time I wasn't a nurse, I was just a pt. I already intruded enough.

    The staff didn't have to be honest with me, but they did. It was well apparent. I don't know if it was professional courtesy because the doctor knew me.

    I don't work the ED, but I have told pt's that I or a coworker have had an emergency with a different pt and that is why meds or treatments are late. Sometimes it helps, sometimes it doesn't. I think it depends on the pt.
  2. 5
    I'm not normally too affected by posts but your description of that poor woman's grief, and the responses of your husband and the other patients, mean my keyboard's blurry.
  3. 0
    Quote from talaxandra
    I'm not normally too affected by posts but your description of that poor woman's grief, and the responses of your husband and the other patients, mean my keyboard's blurry.
    I think the woman who yelled at her husband...she wasn't yelling at him to be mean, I think it was to protect the mother who lost her son. It's the same feeling I have about not wanting to look up any news reports about that day. It was gut wrenching.
  4. 0
    I wasn't calling him mean, I meant that my keyboard was blurry as a result of having tears in my eyes.
  5. 1
    Quote from talaxandra
    I wasn't calling him mean, I meant that my keyboard was blurry as a result of having tears in my eyes.
    Oh, I understand completely...I just reread my post and wanted to clarify. Sometimes I wish I could be as elegant as some of the other posters when it comes to phrasing things, unfortunately I am not. For me it is a struggle to put down in words a scene I wish to convey, that is so poignant yet I feel important to share. I often feel I don't do it justice in my attempt to find the right words.
    talaxandra likes this.
  6. 7
    Quote from maelstrom143
    i have been very lucky (but then again, i have not had too many years experience yet) because most of my patients are very understanding and willing to deal w/a little wait time since when their turn comes i will strive to give them as much attention as i give the other patients.
    one time i had a patient start crashing and we took an hour to stabilize him...we finally managed it. i turn to see a family member of a patient across the way at the door hesitating. i moved toward her and asked what was wrong. she stated, "something is not right with mom...she just lays there and has stopped talking." this was an acute cva we had admitted earlier.
    well, my patient was now stable and good to go, so i let the charge nurse know i was going to check on my other lady. i walk into the room, lady turns to look at me...and proceeds to seize. later on it was determined she had also had another stroke! daughter was right to come get me, but when i first saw her at the door, for a split second i was annoyed...lol. i am so glad it only lasted for that split second. thankfully, rapid response was still across the way.
    oh, and i forgot to mention: the daughter was very grateful and kept apologizing for coming to get me.
    it's interesting, isn't it, that the daughter who really needed you was grateful and apologetic. someone who just wants more ice for their soda will be neither grateful nor apologetic.
    canoehead, hiddencatRN, sharpeimom, and 4 others like this.
  7. 1
    I tell people "we've had a serious emergency down the hall, people are a little tied up right now". Sometimes follow it up with, "around here, you DON'T want to be the one who gets all the attention." It usually gets a smile.

    On the other hand, the ones who complian the loudest about the wait, tend to be the psych consults, who aren't allowed to leave AMA. Only one counselor, and each eval can take up to an hour. ARGH.
    ~*Stargazer*~ likes this.
  8. 1
    If I think they are going to get something out of the truth then I'll them if it's been a very long time and I can see the frustration building. If they're the type of patient to complain about the wait as there's a code going on right beside them in the same room then I'll save my breath and my time and they can continue to complain and wait.
    ~*Stargazer*~ likes this.
  9. 1
    Quote from ruby vee
    it's interesting, isn't it, that the daughter who really needed you was grateful and apologetic. someone who just wants more ice for their soda will be neither grateful nor apologetic.
    aint that the truth she was feeling so bad about coming to the room when she knew we had an emergency going on that i had our director go talk to her and reassure her that her response was, in fact, precisely what it should have been and how glad we were that she had the presence of mind to come get us.
    ~*Stargazer*~ likes this.
  10. 2
    Quote from ~*Stargazer*~
    Have any of you Emergency Nurses been completely candid with a not-sick patient about this?
    No, because in my limited experience, folks that don't "get it" are also the folks that would get a rise out of hearing something "exciting" like that, and I don't want to give them the enjoyment of a juicy bit of tragedy.

    I had a parent once who had brought her child in for some BS reason and was sitting near our trauma room when a pretty dramatic and loud trauma came in. The mom pulled her curtain open so she could watch the festivities. I pulled it closed a couple of times and she kept opening it to watch. When she was discharged she still complained about having to wait. It didn't sink in for her, that her entertainment had been the reason we were all too busy to care for her completely stable child who should have seen the pediatrician in the office.

    I think telling them that it's a busy night, and the sickest patients are seen first is just fine. If that doesn't do it, I'm fine with letting them stew and be annoyed.
    canoehead and ~*Stargazer*~ like this.


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