*Hanging dilt on a patient in rapid a-fib, she says she's hungry, "I haven't eaten all day!" (it's 9:00 at night).
Entire time I'm hanging the med; checking vitals, giving bolus, starting gtt, rechecking vitals, it's "Can I have a sandwich?"
Get everything going, patient is tolerating the medication, it's having its intended effect, no adverse reactions noted, so I go get the sandwich.
"Oh, you are such an angel!!!"
*Older man in for abdominal discomfort. Get a line in, draw labs, hook up to monitors, get EKG, give antiemetic and pain meds. Whole time, he sits there tolerating everything.
Get warm blanket, fluff pillow, raise and lower the head of the bed until it's perfect. Now he's gushing "Oh, you are such a good nurse!"
*Hanging IV antibiotics on a child with a UTI, Mom asks me for a snack for the hungry child. Of course I get the snack, and receive a nice "Oh, thank you!" from Mom.
I understand that patient comfort is important, and it's nice to be thanked for those little things we do to keep our patients comfortable, but when did people get such a one-dimensional view of nurses that they don't even acknowledge the things we do to make them well or keep them alive?
I was YouTubing not too long ago and I came across a home video made by some little girls. They were playing "nurse". One was the patient, and she was in a bed with tons of pillows and a little bell at the bedside. The other 2 or 3 of them were the "nurses". The "patient" would ring her little bell, and the "nurses" would all come running to see what she wanted, which was more pillows or some chicken soup, which they would all hurry to fetch immediately in a very subservient manner.
I understand that nurturing, caring, and being of service are integral components to nursing as a whole, but how did it get to be that these are the dimensions of nursing that are so prevalent in the minds of the layperson, almost to the exclusion of all of the other things we do?
Aug 12, '11
Quote from Isitpossible
Entire time I'm hanging the med; checking vitals, giving bolus, starting gtt, rechecking vitals,
i think these are the "tasks" that are expected from nurses...but getting someone something to eat, fluffing the pillows, extra-sheets ect demonstrats the "caring" nature...thats what people are thankful of..i dont think its about instant gratification...its the little things that people find important...just my opinion
Yes, except that while I was doing all of this, I was also conversing with her, reiterating to her that the priority was to get her heart rate under control so that she would feel better (this IS the reason she came to the ED in the first place, after all), and that THEN I would happily get her a sandwich. Once the med started taking effect and she started to feel better, she did not say thank you nor did she tell me I was an angel for having given the medication that made her feel better.
How is administering a medication that relieves the symptoms of decreased cardiac output any less "caring" than bringing a sandwich? What is the more "caring" behavior; compromising patient safety by delaying the administration of the med to go fetch a sandwich, or promptly giving the medication and relieving the symptoms that brought them to the ED in the first place?
And why is the measure of a good nurse how quickly they can bring a sandwich?
And where do people get this idea?
Last edit by Anna Flaxis on Aug 12, '11