Caring for the rich and famous

  1. Well, I have just about had enough! While performing an intermittant skilled nursing visit on a patient in the Coachella Valley I began to give instructions to a patient about post operative complication (she had decreased bowel motility and complaining of lower abdominal pain and congestion), I mentioned to her that it was important to assess her abdomen. Reluctantly, she pulled her nightgown up carefully, and believe me, she was very guarded in exposing her abdoment. I listened to her BS's and they were trickling. While talking to her and inquiring about her diet, bowel regime, etc. she makes the comment "Why do I need to talk to you about all this. You're just the nurse. This is something the doctor should be the one telling me this." In a polite manner I tried to explain that I was concerned about her health and that I was instructing her in what I had been taught. She was insistant in stating that she was alright and "did not care to hear what I had to say."

    With many affluent patients I have had wonderful relationships, have been respected and even sought out when they had questions but this is just an example of lack of respect from one of "the rich and famous."
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  2. Poll: What have been your experiences when caring for monitarily affluent patients?

    • Positive

      24.00% 6
    • Mediocre

      24.00% 6
    • Negative

      40.00% 10
    • Have never cared for them

      12.00% 3
    25 Votes
  3. 9 Comments

  4. by   OneChattyNurse
    I was working for a Home Health agency and had a case where I had to "sit" with this guy while he was in the hospital. I was a CNA, but could not do anything "hands on" since I was not employed by the hospital. This guy hired me through the agency to be his personal SERVANT!!! I fluffed his pillow, pushed the call light for him, held his glass and straw so he could take a drink and anything else he could think of. It would not have been so bad except he was fully capable of doing these things for himself. His wife would come in all decked out in her fancy clothes and jewels and I would still have to hold his glass for him! I was just amazed that I had been hired for this!
    Shari
  5. by   LasVegasRN
    My experiences have been positive. They are human and we are seeing them in their time of frailty.
    One thing I have noted is that comedians seem to have the most "issues". I have come to understand this in that even when they are off stage everyone expects them to be "on" and funny ALL the time. Imagine living your life feeling like you have to be "on" 24 hours a day, even when you are dying inside. This particular comedian I was the case manager for had one huge tantrum in the doctor's waiting room because he felt he shouldn't have to wait. He was throwing his "hissy fit" when I walked in the door. He turned around and said to the office staff, "Well, now you're all gonna get it, MY NURSE IS HERE." My first words were "Why on earth are you in here throwing a fit embarrassing me?" He says, "THEY ARE MAKING ME WAIT!". I said, "Okay, so we get to play average Joe for a little while. It will be therapeutic. Come over here and tell me how are you doing". For some reason, he found that funny, proceeded to sit down and waited his turn while he told me how he was recovering.
    Look beyond the persona, and treat the person.
  6. by   thisnurse
    i never treated anyone rich or famous

    kiku...what did you end up doing?
  7. by   dawngloves
    OneChattyNurse, If you were'nt in Iowa I'd swear I've worked with you! Because we had to have a 1:1 for a patient that pretty much owned a wing in the hospital. He drove us nuts ringing the call bell for BS like, " Fluff my pillow"
    He was also self medicating and almost died when he OD'd on Vicodan. We searched his room when he was passed out and found a pletora of drugs.
    He would "order" from dietary what he wanted to eat. No matter the time of day! Like room service!
    He was the extreme, but unless they were really, truely sick, intubated and sedated, the monied up folks really got on my nerves. My waitressing days are over!
  8. by   jstinerich
    The patient rep. used to come and check the gold coast rooms before a VIP arrived. She'd get new mattresses, walls painted, mantainance to fix things, etc. The first time I saw her she told me that I had a VIP coming and to take good care of the vice-president of X credit union. I told her it was probably not a good thing not to tell me because it would have the opposite effect that she desired. That I got paid no more to care for the VIP that the medicaid pt. in the ward down the hall. That I gave all my pts. the best care I could and that they were all VIP to me. If the patient was rich they could afford to pay for a private duty nurse or aid. Plus, I said I thought she should do an inspection of every room to determine what they needed and take care of those rooms also. Needless to say she never spoke to me again about a VIP pt.
    Last edit by jstinerich on Apr 26, '02
  9. by   micro
    justinerich.........so you u spoke your mind and no one spoke to you after, especially the supervisors...........congratulations............. .........
  10. by   mother/babyRN
    I recently inherited a local television news anchor as my patient on the night shift in labor and delivery...Suffice it to say she screamed as loudly and appropriately as anyone else.....Can't believe how much of her I have actually seen whenever I now see her on TV with make up....She looked just like everyone else the night I had her!
  11. by   MHN
    I have had the privilage of caring for some nice people who were Rich or Famous or both.Most experiences were positive,although I have found that the noveau riche( especially those who never worked a day for their money) usually like to pull your strings flexing their ego's that have become the size of of their credit card debt and some wives or other relatives demand respect for the person that is unrealistic and definately not expected by the R&F person who usaully has apologised for their relatives behaviour.
    The nicest people in this catergory are those who have always worked, been employers and appreciate your qualifications and the value of your work.
  12. by   mattsmom81
    Don't you hate the wealthy ones who start name dropping as soon as they hit the unit? Immediately I start to get a bad taste in my mouth....also agree about the VIP comment. ALL my patients are VIP's too and I resent it when management wants us to roll out the red carpet for one and not all.

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Caring for the rich and famous