Are there ever days you HATE being a nurse?

  1. Just wondering if anyone else gets as frustrated as I do. Case in point: my mother's best friend had a massive stroke a few days back. She would up having an intraventricular bleed (neuro guys, feel free to jump in here), and the ER doc pretty well said she would not live.

    I have been a nurse long enough to get hardened to the fact that some people do not make it, and in the case of this poor lady, given the damage and possible outcome, it may be for the best.

    What irritates me to no end it the constant barrage of questions from the family and my Mama.

    "She did this, what does that mean?" "Does that mean she's better?"

    I have tried to explain to them about reflexive actions, as the doc has said that there is very little brain activity. It's like talking to a post.

    "But she talked, and she moved the hand that they said was paralyzed!!!!"

    My Mama is driving me nuts with all the, "OK with this, what are the percentages? When I did this, she did this, what does that mean?" I can not make her understand that this is a patient, not a textbook. I also can not make her understand that I am not a neuro nurse, my strong point is psych. If the woman had had a nervous breakdown, I'm your gal.

    All the family converged around me tonight, talking about how that they had given her water, even though the nurses said not to, and that she wanted a soda, and how mean it was that the nurse made them leave. Tried to explain about aspiration, was met with this stony "Oh, you're one of THEM" looks. They asked if all the mumbling and moving meant she was better, and I don't know what to tell them. They refuse to accept it when I say that she will likely pass from this, but if I was to tell them, "Oh, yes, she will be fine now", and she dies, there I am. Mama said i should just tell them what they want to hear, but I don't believe that candy-coating anything will be beneficial. I did not do it with my family when my Grandmother was ill and dying, and I see no reason to start.

    Am I a bad person? Or do y'all deal with this, too? Just curious. Thanks.
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  2. 32 Comments

  3. by   teeituptom
    I never hate being a nurse
  4. by   AngelfireRN
    OK, well, are there days you wish no one KNEW you were a nurse?
  5. by   teeituptom
    Not at all
  6. by   AngelfireRN
    Well, I guess I'm just a B on wheels, then. Oh, well. Maybe I'm just stressed out AND frustrated.
  7. by   DutchgirlRN
    Quote from AngelfireRN
    OK, well, are there days you wish no one KNEW you were a nurse?
    Yes Angel there are definately days I wish people didn't know that I am a nurse and that includes family members. I don't like giving my professional opinion and I don't like being asked for it either. I feel sure there are plenty more of us who feel the same way.

    I'm sorry to hear about your friends Mom.
    Last edit by DutchgirlRN on Dec 20, '07
  8. by   GPatty
    Nah... I just tell them, "I don't know all the answers."
    Usually works for me.
    Now, I thought you were talking about if I hated being a nurse sometimes when it comes to work.....
    Yes, I do. Only cause of certain people I work with (I transferred, so that's not a real issue anymore). But you're gonna have that anywhere.
  9. by   07302003
    I totally know where you are, and I am so sorry. It stinks. It's about having the courage to call a kettle black.
    I will always remember talking straight to my grandpa about the alzheimers dx and what meds could and couldn't do. And the ugly progression of the disease.
    Too many MD's don't have the courage to have frank conversations with the families. And too many families don't want to hear it.
    Hindsight is always 20/20 when you've done all you could to keep someone alive only for a horrific quality of life.
    Kudos to you for having the courage to speak up.

    07302003
  10. by   AngelfireRN
    Thank you for making me NOT feel 2 inches tall.
  11. by   UM Review RN
    Yes, Angelfire, I do understand.

    My poor mother wanted to sue the hospital because she thought her husband's end-stage MS seizures were not the cause of his death, she thought it was that the nurse pushed the Dilantin too fast.



    I had to (gently, ever so gently) remind her that he was an end-stage MS patient whose brain had been shrinking for a long, long time and the inevitable result would be seizures. Seizures that eventually would not stop. Nothing that the hospital staff did or did not do could stop the man's death.

    She came around.

    But it was a difficult moment for me because I realized that all I'd told her before had simply not penetrated that wall of denial.

    Maybe you need to start asking them to ask the doc their questions? It's obviously frustrating for you to try to see the future for this patient. Many family members really don't want to hear the truth; they want to see a miracle.
  12. by   AngelfireRN
    Oh, believe me, I have tried faming it off on the doc. The family and my Mama just say, "Oh, but we KNOW you". I guess I just had a bad night and needed to vent, but this is ongoing. Every time a family member has an ailment, they come to me. I am in NP school, but I am not one yet. I can't write scripts, all I can do is say, "Looks like this,maybe, you need to go to the doc." Only to hear, "Well you're a nurse, can't YOU do anything?" Not and keep my license, no, I can't.
  13. by   Kim O'Therapy
    Quote from AngelfireRN
    Just wondering if anyone else gets as frustrated as I do. Case in point: my mother's best friend had a massive stroke a few days back. She would up having an intraventricular bleed (neuro guys, feel free to jump in here), and the ER doc pretty well said she would not live.

    I have been a nurse long enough to get hardened to the fact that some people do not make it, and in the case of this poor lady, given the damage and possible outcome, it may be for the best.

    What irritates me to no end it the constant barrage of questions from the family and my Mama.

    "She did this, what does that mean?" "Does that mean she's better?"

    I have tried to explain to them about reflexive actions, as the doc has said that there is very little brain activity. It's like talking to a post.

    "But she talked, and she moved the hand that they said was paralyzed!!!!"

    My Mama is driving me nuts with all the, "OK with this, what are the percentages? When I did this, she did this, what does that mean?" I can not make her understand that this is a patient, not a textbook. I also can not make her understand that I am not a neuro nurse, my strong point is psych. If the woman had had a nervous breakdown, I'm your gal.

    All the family converged around me tonight, talking about how that they had given her water, even though the nurses said not to, and that she wanted a soda, and how mean it was that the nurse made them leave. Tried to explain about aspiration, was met with this stony "Oh, you're one of THEM" looks. They asked if all the mumbling and moving meant she was better, and I don't know what to tell them. They refuse to accept it when I say that she will likely pass from this, but if I was to tell them, "Oh, yes, she will be fine now", and she dies, there I am. Mama said i should just tell them what they want to hear, but I don't believe that candy-coating anything will be beneficial. I did not do it with my family when my Grandmother was ill and dying, and I see no reason to start.

    Am I a bad person? Or do y'all deal with this, too? Just curious. Thanks.

    You are not a bad person. Your mom's friends and family love her and are in denial. I have been through this for the last three month re: my aunt-in-law w/ ovarian cancer. They ask my opinion and when it is not what they want to hear, they cut me off and just say "Nah, she'll be OK." Unfortunately, tonight she was recommended to hospice. NOW, everyone is calling asking "how long has she got?" ARRRRGGGGHHHH :angryfire I am just telling them "no comment" and that the oncology docs that I have worked with have always said, "Don't let anyone try to tell you how much time you have left because you never know." I share your pain.
  14. by   AngelfireRN
    Thank you. Nice to know I'm not the only one.

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