"But for me, 98.4 means I have a fever...." - page 2

by abbaking

20,171 Views | 85 Comments

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. Example: Me - Just checked the temp - reads 98.4 Patient (40 something drama queen) -... Read More


  1. 11
    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.
    AICU RN, canoehead, RNSC, and 8 others like this.
  2. 30
    this is the time to pull out the largest rectal thermometer
    nurse2b2004, *4!#6, Purple_Scrubs, and 27 others like this.
  3. 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.
    CompleteUnknown and ALavallee like this.
  4. 0
    I hate it when I ask patients( how does your blood pressure run?) Patient: normal( whatever the normal is)Me: do you happen to remember the numbers?I hate when people say the word "normal" , what is normal?
  5. 8
    I'm another who tends towards the hypothermic side, courtesy of my hypothyroidism.

    But then, I'm unlikely to treat a fever unless I'm *******' miserable, so I would just make a comment about it (and they can confirm my "normal low" readings with my doc's office if they want) and let it ride anyway.

    I like the, "Thanks for letting me know that, we'll definitely keep an eye on this" response -- it doesn't invalidate the client's feelings, helps establish rapport, and you can toss it out the window if you really think it's irrelevant anyway!
    Hygiene Queen, MinnieMomRN, Hoozdo, and 5 others like this.
  6. 4
    Quote from healthstar
    I hate it when I ask patients( how does your blood pressure run?) Patient: normal( whatever the normal is)Me: do you happen to remember the numbers?I hate when people say the word "normal" , what is normal?
    Gotta love the looks I get when I get a BP of 100/80 and say, "WOW, I'm running HIGH today!" Everybody's "normal" is different! LOL
    Vespertinas, healthstar, SHGR, and 1 other like this.
  7. 11
    Quote from RNsRWe
    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.
    On the other hand, we get mad when the mom says, "oh I didn't give him anything because I wanted you to see how bad his fever is" while the kid is miserable at 103. So, I'd rather believe you found fever at home..... especially if you bother to OWN a thermometer and can give me numbers!
    Purple_Scrubs, canoehead, sunnyd_83, and 8 others like this.
  8. 4
    Quote from healthstar
    i hate it when i ask patients( how does your blood pressure run?) patient: normal( whatever the normal is)me: do you happen to remember the numbers?i hate when people say the word "normal" , what is normal?
    what truly get's me is when the pt. ask what's my bp? then i tell them and they say "wow are you sure?, that's high for me" then they turn to the wife and say "honey isn't that high for me?" and the poor wife states " no that's your normal bp" and to make it worse, the doctor comes in and takes it, and he gets the same results as i did, and the pt. doesn't questioned the doctor
    azilliRN, healthstar, boushie87, and 1 other like this.
  9. 2
    I like to bore them to compliance. "We have found that a fever less than 38.0 is therapeutic. I would not want to interfere with the body's natural healing processes. Several studies have shown that....., but if you would like I can give an antipyretic. Do you have any preferences?"
    ohioSICUrn and SHGR like this.
  10. 3
    Quote from wooh
    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?
    We also once had a mom on my floor who got mad at our lack of reaction to her child's 30 second complex partial seizures. This is neurology, we have kids go into status and respiratory arrest regularly with seizures up here. If you want a code blue every time your child has an eye twitching episode, you'll have to go to another floor.

    I also love people who react to their infant's BP being 90/50 and wonder why I'm not freaking out... because, you know, that's not a normal BP for a baby.
    Epic_RN, Altra, and wooh like this.


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