a fake and a phony

  1. Last night I had a pt who, while telling me about all his prior surgeries & injuries, told me that he played in the NFL for 12 years. Now, I am a HUGE football fan, so I did ask him who he played for, what position and what college he had played for, but nothing else. He also volunteered that his son currently played in the NFL, told me what team and what college he had attended. The man certainly fit the profile of an aging NFL player...enormous in stature, with lots of "bling". And where I work, it is not out of the question to run into famous athletes, recording artists, etc. So I really didn't give it a lot of thought.

    He got the same level of care as did the homeless guy in the next bed....I treat all my patients with the same level of care and respect.

    Anyway, today I decided to do a quick web search...I was interested to see what kind of stats this guy had, what kind of player he was in his prime. Can you say PHONY???? none of the info checked out!!! even about his son!!!

    I've been told many lies in my lifetime, and in the big scheme of things this one is harmless, but did he really think that he would get better care or more attention?

    I wonder how many people totally misrepresent themselves in such situations?.
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  2. 4 Comments

  3. by   EricJRN
    Hmm... weird.
  4. by   Antikigirl
    I hear lies as part of my day as a nurse from countless people, however...it is a good judgement call to find out the foundation of the lie or half truth.

    Many times for me it is founded in the PT not feeling they will be cared for unless they lie. I have pts say they have screaming 10/10 pain one second...walking/talking/laughing/sleeping or what not with visitors a few minutes later. Why the lie? Because many pts feel that if they give a low number on the pain scale we won't address the pain issues! Heck, I tell my patients at the start of my care day that I WANT them to tell me when it is low so I can use less meds and help that pain BEFORE it gets huge! That typically works well!

    I have had others lie and say they were friends of the Administration in order to get perks or supposed better treatment. Again out of fear they won't otherwise. I have also had pts tell me they were local celebs...

    Some people also have dilusions of grandure as part of themselves for other reasons based on their social life. Those are part of the territory with working with folks, and sometimes it is hard to tell the facade from the real. I have to depend or use my best judgement on how that is effecting their care if at all, how it effects after hospital care, and try to help if I can. But some situations I can't..and I accept that!

    I see lies/half truths as a cry for help most times...something that hits on a foundational probelm with a hospital stay or sometimes a social delema outside the hospital...and of course diagnostic at times (alert? Oriented?).
  5. by   BabyRN2Be
    Mtnmom, it really makes you wonder what was going on in the pt's psyche that he thought he had to tell a lie like that. Is he living a fantasy or world he goes into when he is in pain and it helps him cope... or, as you said, did he think he'd get better care.

    I have met people who have delusions of grandeur, and they are interesting to deal with. One thought that he was famous just because he had his own website, ie, website in his name. He thought of a life to go along with that, in his mind, he was the CEO of an electric company and he was the boss of thousands of men. I checked him out later on and found out that wasn't the case. Didn't tell him that... he didn't receive better care from day one.
  6. by   Kashia
    Ummm... time to put your nursing hat on. First rule not to be judgemental. If he is doing this he obviously has needs that you, as the nurse , can maybe assess. This under psych social..I would not take this personal. He has some issues going on. Best to you

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