Correcting the general public???

  1. Okay, this is a segue from furball's 'am I the only one' thread...

    So most of us dodge our family members when it comes to medical advice....and we all know that giving medical advice is legally risky anyway, BUT.....

    How many times have you been standing in the grocery line or whatever and you overhear a person talking about some illness or injury, and what they're saying is TOTALLY, COMPLETELY WRONG??? How hard do you have to fight the urge to pipe up and say, 'excuse me, I couldn't help but overhear, and you're a total MORON...' ?

    I had a patient tell me (and the woman was an ER nurse....a new grad ER nurse, but a nurse still the same) that when she delivered her last baby, she was "crowning for three hours" before the doctor would let her push. UM, EXCUSE ME??? YOU'RE A TOTAL IDIOT. I just nodded and smiled politely and let her go on and on about her last delivery, all the while mentally digging my nails into my arm stifling the urge to smack her and tell her that she was a MORON. Maybe she meant the baby's head was very low in her pelvis, but you'd think she would know that CROWNING means the baby's head is STICKING OUT OF HER VAGINA.

    Or when I overhear some old lady tell her pregnant granddaughter not to raise her arms over her head because it'll 'strangle the baby.' Good Lord.

    Sometimes I need the patience of Job.....
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  2. 13 Comments

  3. by   LasVegasRN
    I overheard two elderly men talking in the grocery store about high blood pressure. The one told the other not to take his medication any more because all he needed to do was drink vinegar and water The other guy says, "oh yeah? shoot, I can save a ton on medications then". I was so tempted to launch into my "HIGH BLOOD PRESSURE, THE SILENT KILLER" speech, but I didn't. Times are different now and people have no problem telling you to mind your own business and say "I don't recall asking your opinion".
  4. by   JeannieM
    I have a sweet, adorable, outspoken little 94 year old neighbor lady who comes to see me about every ache, pain, wart, mole or zit. I love her dearly, but most of her annoyances come in the "wart, mole or zit" category and I'm not a dermatologist, so the best I can tell her is to check with her doctor.
    I won't even GO into the vitamin stores with my health-nut husband; the claims on some of these products are so illogical that I want to scream! How do the manufacturer's live with themselves?
    I also went to a weight loss clinic where the "doctor" wanted to do a wide a nonsensical variety of labwork on me. When I asked his reasons and he gave me a round of hooey, I let him know what I did professionally and that I knew this was bull****. He decided that perhaps I was not the patient for him...not long afterwards, I did note that his little "clinic" had closed up.
    One of the hardest, though, is when I've stood in line at the store behind an Hispanic child with pigment changes around his check, grossly overweight and munching on a candy bar! I want to badly to tell his parents (who are usually as portly as he is) about juvenile onset type II diabetes.
  5. by   live4today
    Whenever I hear someone saying something that could put them in harms way...medically speaking...I kindly let them know that they are barking up the wrong tree, and before they go and do anything drastic that could hurt them or one of their loved ones, to please call their doctor. Then I smile and go on my way.
  6. by   fedupnurse
    I usually do what Renee said. And do I ever hear you about the vitamin/"all natural" supplements JeannieM! I shudder to think what some people are mixing together between suplements and prescription meds. The general public is so clueless, and I hate to say, so are quite a few of my colleagues! The safe and all natural labeling should be changed to WARNING: MIX THIS WITH OTHER SUBSTANCES (HERBAL OR PRESCRIPTION) AND YOU CAN BLEED TO DEATH AND KILL YOU LIVER!!!!!
    Sometimes I do laugh out loud at what I overhear particularly when the person is so convinced they are right!!
  7. by   Andy S.
    I fight the urg to scream everytime my dad asks me a question!! LOL If I say something about his blood sugar or B/P I get the "when you go to med school I will listen to you" (which isn't true, he doesn't really listen to his doctor). When he asks a question and I don't know the answer, it is "well, aren't you THE nurse!". I give up, I cannot win. I ignore all subjects unless they are life threatning!

    I didn't mean to but I got into it with a massage therapist the other day who totally believed that doctors were unnecessary and that most illnesses were caused from some traumatic event in you life and could be cured by "therapy". She wouldn't let me "aggree to disaggree" either :angryfire
    Life goes on!

    Andy
  8. by   NRSKarenRN
    Like Hoolahan, have been struggling with a sick relative driving them nuts, My Dad. Developed SE from multiple meds given in hospital two months ago resulting in Severe gastritis and reflux (unable to lie flat and sleep), two ER trips and rehospitalization. Multiple med changes, he kept calling me asking when to take this pill so not to interfere with antibiotic, etc. Written med list reviewed with him. Saw chiropractor for stiff neck/pinched nerve who told him he only needed to take acidophilis tablets to eliminate GI problems and didn't need Nexium. Dad DID listen to me to not stop Nexium, OK to take acidophilis; BUT he took Nexium at 5:30 AM one day, 7 pm next etc. when GI symptoms worse. Wouldn't listen to his homecare RN even re this issue, as reflux severe and wanted IMMEDIATE relief. Poor man never had any prolonged illness before and difficult to start understanding why all these complications happening/poor coping at age 74.

    Visited Mom for her birthday 9PM friday after work. He wanted he to look at foot wound, told him no not the purpose of my visit and that since he had already bandaged it, I would visit him on WE to check it. He proceeded to take dressing off anyway and asked MY HUSBAND AND SON what they thought of the wound and should he still use hydrogel ointment. Husband told him needed to ask his homecare RN and that I was off duty. Discussed need for Dad to take Nexium at bedtime as it will coat stomach while sleeping (same time Husband takes med) and both discussed reflux. Lightbulb went off and he said, now I understand why I should take at night, why didn't Karen ever tell me this???

    Hubby replied "She told you that two weeks ago, I heard her tell you on the phone"...GRRRRRR. Some times people just don't get the message given as in denial of problem (Dad's situation) until their ready to deal with it.

    Edited for spelling.
    Brian, when's the spell checker being added?? Hint, hint.
    Last edit by NRSKarenRN on Jul 8, '02
  9. by   shay
    Oh, man Karen, do I feel your pain!!!

    I started telling MY non-compliant mother 'talk to your doctor' and 'if you don't want my opinion, don't ask for it' after one too many of the scenarios you describe.

    Andy, my father gave ME the same 'you're not a doctor' crap, so I use that to toss in his face anytime he asks me a question...hee hee. I always say, 'well, like you said, I'm not a doctor...I's just a stupid lil' nurse!! ask your DOCTOR!!'

    Problems solved.
  10. by   mattsmom81
    Most times I zip my lip and resist the urge to correct them for fear I will get caught in some huge group Q & A session for the next 30 minutes in the grocery line.....and once these shoppers (and clerks) know you're a nurse they NEVER forget, plus they spead the word.... you can count on them waiting for you ...like a vulture.....I like to shop in peace...hehe.

    This may sound fun to students or new nurses, but to us older 'n dirt nurses...well , suffice it to say we try to leave it at work.
  11. by   OBNURSEHEATHER
    It's hard to fight the urge to correct ignorance.

    I've gone round and round with prople, that insist they know the answer, that they read it in a magazine/book/journal/bathroom wall, and that therefore it must be true. I just smile and say, "yeah, they must have taught us all wrong in nursing school. You should call them and tell them the truth so they can correct their curriculum."

    Heather
  12. by   misti_z
    I had to seriously bite my tongue Friday night.

    I had a patient who was in surgery getting a cadaver kidney transplant, her family was in the room waiting on her to return. Her mother is also a kidney transplant pt. And she got to telling me how she has not taken her prednisone in 8 mths and rarely takes her neoral (both very important in the anti-rejection regimen). She was complaining about having to go to the doctor every month instead of every 3 months, as would be expected for a normal 1 year post kidney transplant pt. I said, "Well, maybe it is because they realize you are not taking your medicines correctly." She got really angry and started saying, "I know my body and I feel of my kidney every morning and I know how much neoral to take before my appointment to get my level up."!!!!! I wanted to scream!!!! I just pray she does not pass these bad habits on to her daughter.

    BTW the daughter is doing wonderful. Creatine dropped from 7.4 to 1.6 in less than 30 hours!!!!!!!!!
  13. by   biscuit_007
    Originally posted by NRSKarenRN
    Visited Mom for her birthday 9PM friday after work. He wanted he to look at foot wound, told him no not the purpose of my visit and that since he had already bandaged it, I would visit him on WE to check it. He proceeded to take dressing off anyway and asked MY HUSBAND AND SON what they thought of the wound and should he still use hydrogel ointment. Husband told him needed to ask his homecare RN and that I was off duty. Discussed need for Dad to take Nexium at bedtime as it will coat stomach while sleeping (same time Husband takes med) and both discussed reflux. Lightbulb went off and he said, now I understand why I should take at night, why didn't Karen ever tell me this???

    Hubby replied "She told you that two weeks ago, I heard her tell you on the phone"...GRRRRRR. Some times people just don't get the message given as in denial of problem (Dad's situation) until their ready to deal with it.

    Edited for spelling.
    Brian, when's the spell checker being added?? Hint, hint.
    I know this is off topic but since I am a man I would like to point out the awesome support for Ms. Karen by her obviously wonderful husband!!!!!!!!

    :roll :roll :chuckle
  14. by   Flo1216
    I was once at a party and there happened to be a tube of acyclovir on the hostess' dresser, who had recently had some bad cold sores after getting a sunburn. Well someone said " That's what they use for herpes," and they started speculating and saying, "Ewww" etc. I explained to them that acyclovir can also be used for other things, including cold sores on the mouth. This girl said, " yeah, but I know for a fact that specific kind can only be used down there," (So the rest of the night she went around telling everyone that the poor hostess had an STD and that they shouldn't sit on the toilet.

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