"But for me, 98.4 means I have a fever...." "But for me, 98.4 means I have a fever...." | allnurses

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"But for me, 98.4 means I have a fever...."

  1. 12 Just a pet peeve....I hate when I do a set of vitals on a patient and the vitals are clinically stable but the patient insists its abnormal.
    Me - Just checked the temp - reads 98.4
    Patient (40 something drama queen) - "Thats high for me...I think i have a fever"
    Me - "Do you know what your temp normally is?"
    Patient - "My normal temp is 98.2"
    Me - "Your temp is FINE...all your other vitals are FINE"
    Patient - "But i really am sick if I go above 98.4.......blah, blah, blah

    Just irritates me....
  2. 85 Comments

  3. Visit  TheCommuter profile page
    #1 4
    Some patients and families purposely look for problems and/or emergencies when none exist. I try my very best to not feed into the drama that they're attempting to cook.
  4. Visit  Gold_SJ profile page
    #2 1
    XD Now I really am glad I work with children.

    Sounds like it's a common conversation. I shudder to think.
  5. Visit  RNsRWe profile page
    #3 8
    My favorite is when I'm using the vs machine. My patients look at the numbers and begin to questions me about what their numbers mean without really asking, just complaining ("omg, is my pressure really 98?? What do I take for that??"--umm, your bp is TWO numbers, and the 98 is your O2sat).

    I had a patient look at the machine and say "I've really got to get that number down, my doctor says it's too high". Really? You think it's too high? The number you're looking at is 56, and since it's your diastolic bp, I'd go with NO. And since the number on top is 79, I'm thinking you've been screwing with your meds again.

    And, of course, there's the temp. Perfectly normal, patient states there's a fever. Well, you don't have one now...? "Oh, I took Tylenol before coming, but I definitely have a fever."

    You can't fix stupid.
  6. Visit  tntrn profile page
    #4 16
    Some people, like me, know what their usual vitals are and if indeed, they are different from what you have just obtained, it might bear checking into their history. My normal temp is usually 97 point 1 or 2, so even a 99.0 could be indicative of a low grade fever.
  7. Visit  KelRN215 profile page
    #5 6
    I once had a mom completely flip out because her child's heart rate was somewhere in the neighborhood of 100-110. He was sitting up in bed, moving all over the place playing. She insisted that the ICU told her his HR should not be greater than 100. The child was three.
  8. Visit  classicdame profile page
    #6 3
    at least pretend you are taking them seriously. You can say I will continue to monitor this situation or tell them how the body kills germs when temps are somewhat elevated and we do not reduce small "fever" so she will heal sooner.
  9. Visit  TheCommuter profile page
    #7 10
    Quote from KelRN215
    I once had a mom completely flip out because her child's heart rate was somewhere in the neighborhood of 100-110. He was sitting up in bed, moving all over the place playing. She insisted that the ICU told her his HR should not be greater than 100. The child was three.
    Yep. This is another example of a family member stirring up trouble when no problem existed in the first place.

    There's a saying in the 'hood: "Don't start nothin', won't be nothin'." More members of the public should pay attention to this saying.
  10. Visit  Sparrowhawk profile page
    #8 3
    It especially irrates me when it's techs wanting to go home "Oh but my temp is usually 96-96 do 99 is a HUGE fever for me" Yeah well dear if you go to the ER or tell the doc that he's gonna tell you the same thing I am..pop a tyelenol and keep on truckin.
  11. Visit  wooh profile page
    #9 7
    I had a mom that wanted an immediate transfer to PICU because the kids bp was slightly low while asleep. After all, the other floor had sent them to PICU the last time it was slightly low. Of course, the bp has been trending that low every night, and when the other floor sent them to PICU, the only treatment ever done for the "low" bp was a bolus, which if the patient becomes symptomatic or the bp goes lower, I can easily do without a trip to the PICU. "Well they were very concerned on the other floor when it was that low!" Well, you've constantly complained about the care you received there, and now you want me to react like they do? If I started running around your room like a crazy person will I trick you into thinking I'm incompetent enough to freak out like you are?
  12. Visit  Anna Flaxis profile page
    Yes, I've heard this one, too.

    Most people don't understand that normal body temperatures range from 97-100, depending on everything from method of measurement to time of day to activity level to fitness level to seasonal fluctuations.

    Sometimes it's much easier to humor them and say something like "Oh really? Well let's keep an eye on it, then." than it is to explain the fallacy of their thinking.
  13. Visit  GitanoRN profile page
    this is the time to pull out the largest rectal thermometer
  14. Visit  nursel56 profile page
    #12 2
    Yes, it's irritating. Along with "my BP is whaaaaaat??? Oh no. That's impossible. I'll have the doctor recheck it. " And people who ceremoniously (read slooooowly) divest themselves of rings, bangles, bracelets, pendants and whatnots before getting on the scale. No, I never roll my eyes or tap my foot. But I want to.