"But for me, 98.4 means I have a fever...." - page 5

by abbaking | 21,548 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. 3
    When I'm getting sick, my temp drops. Always. Then I might spike a fever, but first VS change is a drop. Bodies are weird, man.
    RNSC, sharpeimom, and SHGR like this.
  2. 2
    I copied this from Wikipedia and it makes a lot of sense. Elevated temperature (fever) is NOT a disease, it is just a sign.

    Society and culture

    [edit] Fever phobia

    Fever phobia is the name given by medical experts to parents' misconceptions about fever in their children. Among them, many parents incorrectly believe that fever is a disease rather than a medical sign, that even low fevers are harmful, and that any temperature even briefly or slightly above the oversimplified "normal" number marked on a thermometer is a clinically significant fever.[42] They are also afraid of harmless side effects like febrile seizures and dramatically overestimate the likelihood of permanent damage from typical fevers.[42] The underlying problem, according to professor of pediatrics Barton D. Schmitt, is "as parents we tend to suspect that our children’s brains may melt".[43]
    As a result of these misconceptions parents are anxious, give the child fever-reducing medicine when the temperature is technically normal or only slightly elevated, and interfere with the child's sleep to give the child more medicine.[42]
    I read somewhere in the dinosaur age that 98.6 was obtained by taking 100 medical students and averaged it out to 98.6


    Fever is not hyperpyrexia....that would be something to attend to. Perhaps referring to a patient who had 104+ (we have had several) might get SOMEONES' attention. (Or not
    Woodenpug and Esme12 like this.
  3. 9
    Quote from aknottedyarn
    Some of you recall that your vitals may have some relationship with that thing called the Krebs Cycle. ... puts you in a position where the next thing yhou know there is a script for such events.
    I think it might actually be a bit awesome if we got a script that included the Krebs Cycle instead of the usual, "I have the time!!"
    mystory, Purple_Scrubs, MinnieMomRN, and 6 others like this.
  4. 9
    i agree with those who state that one person's normal, is another's abnormal.
    my dtr has always baselined high 96/low 97's...so she is definitely sick with a 99 temp.
    even when she was dx'd with scarlett fever, she barely broke 100.

    it's important to know one's baseline, because that is their norm.
    there are also other considerations when assessing temps, so numbers are only a small part of the story.
    my son's wbc came back today at 15.1 - no s/s of infection.
    but he is on lithium, yet even his dr. missed that one (that leukocytosis is a common se).

    all i'm saying is 98.4 couldbe noteworthy, so just don't blow it off as a pain in the ass pt.

    leslie
    *4!#6, Jtsqueek, RNSC, and 6 others like this.
  5. 5
    Ok, so your normal temperature is 97 and now it's a raging 98.9.

    Here is my question for you: What do you want me to do?
    canoehead, Hoozdo, LalaJJB, and 2 others like this.
  6. 3
    Quote from TheCommuter
    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.
    i don't see it as family trying to stir up trouble.
    more likely, a knowledge deficit that requires education from the nurse?

    leslie
  7. 19
    Quote from DixieRedHead
    Ok, so your normal temperature is 97 and now it's a raging 98.9.

    Here is my question for you: What do you want me to do?
    1. Show a little compassion for a patient who is legitimately ill
    2. Show a little reespect for the patient rather than treating the patient like a nuisance
    3. Pay attention to the PERSON in front of you with an illness and not just focus on average numbers

    Most of the time, patients just want to feel as if someone is listening and taking them seriously.
    *4!#6, Jtsqueek, sunnyd_83, and 16 others like this.
  8. 6
    This is when we use the.. therapeutic nurse - patient model.

    Simply acknowledge their concern... explain that there is no other sign of infection.. and promise to retake the temp in an hour.

    You will be known as "that wonderful nurse that always listens to me"..

    Priceless.
    MinnieMomRN, RNSC, Benedina, and 3 others like this.
  9. 10
    Quote from llg
    1. Show a little compassion for a patient who is legitimately ill
    2. Show a little respect for the patient rather than treating the patient like a nuisance
    3. Pay attention to the PERSON in front of you with an illness and not just focus on average numbers

    Most of the time, patients just want to feel as if someone is listening and taking them seriously.
    I wish I could give this 100 "Likes".

    As you can see I am a crusty old bat. As gristly as they come. I understand many of you come to vent. When I read many of these vents I get the impression that some of you need a refresher course in steps 1, 2, and 3 rather than memorizing scripts.

    There was good reason why the work day was shortened to 8 hours. I think many of you are over tired, worn out and cranky. I know I was when I worked 12.5 hr. shifts that never ended at 12.5.

    I know as a patient I saw a shortage of compassion. People viewed me as an inconvenience in their busy lives. As a nurse I was often complimented that I showed compassion. I felt the difference.

    Numbers mean little if you don't think about the patient. Some of the responses given have shown that people know their own and loved ones bodies and responses to assault.

    Get over the numbers shuffle. Listen to your patient because just maybe one of your patients will be one of those who have responded here. You never know.
    *4!#6, Jtsqueek, sunnyd_83, and 7 others like this.
  10. 6
    Quote from KelRN215
    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.
    This mother does not care how many codes and how many kids are in status. She only cares about her child. She would probably been less angry (or anxious) if she felt that you cared too.
    Purple_Scrubs, Jtsqueek, KateRN1, and 3 others like this.


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