Good-bye, Mrs. Meanjeans - page 2
After a few years in this business, we all learn that patient-care supplies are hard to find (and even harder to get administration to pay for), but one thing we never run out of is bad-patient war... Read More
Sep 29, '10Viva,
You are right. I just lost a job at a LTC because the NOC shift Nurses had to do our own scheduling. Well we have new staff who want all weekends off and there were two paper schedules floating around and I apparently had the incorrect one. I did not come in a night I was supposed to be working as I did not think according to said schedule I was and my DNS terminated in a voice mail didnt allow me to tell my side and now I must find another job. It was a hard job I had two wings of residents a night 44 of them but they liked me and I gave good care. I know management in long term care doesnt care about their staff because now that I am gone they will expect other NOC shift nurses to cover mine. We could never call off because the personnel person in a meeting stated that they only hired just enough to cover each shift and no extra staff. I am about to the point of leaving bedside nursing. I am not allowed to be human I am not allowed to make a mistake and the residents in this facility get poor care. I think some of why I was let go was I was having to write incident reports up each shift because these residents had bruises and my last night a resident even had a great toe toenail broke in half and blood in her bed. For that reason I turned them into the state here I cant advocate for them anymore not being there but I wonder what I am doing wrong as a nurse. I have been a nurse almost 8 years and I have changed jobs and it seems the same everywhere. I would like to go back to acute care or find a long term care faclilty that values their staff and their residents it seems an impossible dream... Thank you for saying the truth.. and I hope I find something soon. I am depressed and dont know how to explain I was a no call no show even though it was their scheduling mistake....Allnurses.com keeps me going...
Quote from VivaLasViejasThat's totally understandable, pedicurn.
I've got to admit, I've thought about leaving nursing more than once after dealing with people like this. But it's not the patients, per se, or even the families, that burn me up.........it's the utter refusal of management to staff up when we have high-acuity patients, or even to set some limits on their behaviors. And what REALLY chaps my hide is the fact that it's always the staff that gets thrown under the bus when the inevitable conflicts arise---it's always their word over ours, and if it ruins a career.....well, that's just too bad.
I've never had this misfortune happen to me personally, but I have seen a good LTC nurse ruined by nothing more than mere allegations from an immensely selfish, neurotic, out-for-all-she-could-get patient. She lost her job and was essentially blackballed from nursing because this 400+lb. brittle diabetic got angry with her for refusing to fetch her a second piece of cake from the kitchen. (The nurse was responsible for over 35 patients.........she didn't have TIME to run to the kitchen, even for the 2-Cal that the skinny ones were prescribed.) As these things go, the story got worse each time the patient told it, and after the state jumped in, the nurse was fired for "failing to respect resident rights" and even reprimanded by the BON. She now works as a cashier at Fred Meyer for a fraction of the wages she earned as a nurse, because no other local facility would hire her and with a husband and kids still in college, she was unable to relocate.
THAT is what I find most disturbing about nursing these days. I can handle the patients---I've learned to let barbed comments and even insults run off my back---but the lack of support from management in most facilities can take the heart right out of even the strongest of us. We can be verbally and physically abused, threatened, even killed, and almost NO ONE in administration will stand up to the abusive patient/family and tell them to stop or face the consequences. And they wonder why nurses are leaving the profession........
Sep 29, '10Wow, call me cold hearted... But her actions just seem minipulative to me. Granted, all I know is what I read in this story. But to me it sounds like she wanted to do the whole "pit one against the other" move. When she said "you've taken good care of me, even if hardly anyone else did," it seems so apparent. You know everyone else took good care of her, she just didn't want to recognize it. And by holding you up on this pedestal, it could easily cause tension between you and your coworkers.
Sep 29, '10dang it marla, now ya got me bawlin'.
Great story. I've had a few Mrs. MJ's too. they do grow on you, don't they?
Sep 29, '10Yes good old staff splitting and they always said it only happens in psychiatric units. I have seen it everywhere in the health care field... I think it is manipulative and I know patients and residents who have done it.. Gets other nurses in trouble....
Quote from 3ccBolusWow, call me cold hearted... But her actions just seem minipulative to me. Granted, all I know is what I read in this story. But to me it sounds like she wanted to do the whole "pit one against the other" move. When she said "you've taken good care of me, even if hardly anyone else did," it seems so apparent. You know everyone else took good care of her, she just didn't want to recognize it. And by holding you up on this pedestal, it could easily cause tension between you and your coworkers.
Sep 29, '10I know I have sounded negative but I have had a few turn around stories too in my career. Guess that is what keeps me going after all we do deal with people in probably worst times of their lives sometimes.
Sep 29, '10When are you going to start your book with all your stories in it? You're an awesome nursing-author. I love to read everything you write!
Sep 29, '10I loved this story. I worked in sub-acute care and had so many patients like this. They were just adjusting to their new health status and probably weren't coping well; consequently, many of them were downright evil. With many of them, first I had to kill them with kindness, and if that didn't work, I took a different tack. Generally I told them why things were the way they were and sincerely apologized if there had been substandard care. I can only think of one patient that I couldn't get turned around, and frankly, it had more to do with my lack of will to try with her. When I left sub-acute care and went to work in the lab, I had to return to the rehab and draw blood. I was the only one the cranky old lady don the hall would let draw her because of the rapport we had developed while I was her CNA.
Your story illustrates what an important role nurses play in meeting the psychosocial needs of patients. Thanks for sharing.
Oct 1, '10Quote from WhisperaI'm still working on it..........most of these blog entries were written with an eventual book in mind, so it's basically writing itself. I'm probably going to have to self-publish and promote it myself, because it's a niche-market book; I really don't think the general public is going to be interested in a nurse's stories (nor do they have the stomach for it, LOL). But I do believe the nursing population will enjoy it, and best of all, relate to it.When are you going to start your book with all your stories in it? You're an awesome nursing-author. I love to read everything you write!
Thank you! I appreciate your kind words.
Oct 1, '10You have brought tears to my eyes and I will forever remember this Mrs.......jeans! I work in Pallative care and have met many difficult patients and family members that seem to feel the way she did. We are nurses for a reason....and that is to care for those that can't take care of themselves.....with love and compassion! Thank you for reminding me what nursing is all about
Apr 29, '11Wwaaaaayyyyyy long time ago I had a patient insult me by laughing and telling me that if my brain was dynamite I couldn't blow a pea apart. When I was talking to another, more experienced nurse about it, she laid her hand on my arm and said "Well, honey, which one of you passed out drunk and dropped a lit cigarette on your lap? Just take it all with a grain of salt." Many times since , I have held that grain of salt and held my tongue. Except once.....a very ,very wealthy patient who was my first PD case seemed to always think everyone was out to take advantage of her moneyed status. Every week she had her "house-.boy" buy two gallons of milk, so IN CASE her young grandsons came to visit her she would have milk to serve with their lunch. One day I realized I'd left my thermos of milk at home that morning, so when I took my lunchbreak, I got my sandwich out of my satchel and then went into the kitchen and poured myself a glass of HER milk. I mean, they always poured out the milk that was unused before the shopping trip when they would buy two fresh gallons. Well, her house-boy reported to her that I had helped myself to a glass of milk, I guess, because the next day this veddy proper wealthy lady lambasted me with language that would make a marine blush, accusing me of stealing milk from her poor grandbabies mouths and how everyone thought that just because she had money, etc.,etc.,etc. I was shocked, to say the least, and I very seldom spoke up at that time in my life, but somewhere from inside me came this reprimand which to this day I still can't believe I had rudeness to verbalize:"... Let me tell you something LADY, I don't give a **** about your money, and since you throw away 2 gallons of milk every week, I don't consider taking 8 oz. of your milk to be stealing And furthermore, if you can't be civil to me and treat me with common courtesy, I don't need to be here at all!" Then I walked outside to my car and sat there and cried. After I regained my composure I went back inside prepared to apologize and expecting to be fired. To my great surprise, SHE apologized to ME, and for the remaining year and 1/2 that I worked for her,she was always telling everyone that I was the best nurse she'd ever had. I'm thinking everyone tiptoed around her, falling all over themselves while being simultaneously obsequiesce and fearful, no one had ever just stated flat out right back at her the-way-it-was. (and I always remembered to bring my own milk,lol)........I once had a very mouthy, crabby quad pt. who grumbled, when I said the folks at my agency said he could tell me how to take care of him, "I don't see why they are always sending me nurses to train; I thought that's why you went to school, to learn how to take care of people. I told him that my first job in nursing was taking care of quads and that the one true thing I'd learned was that everyones injuries affected their body differently, so that, while I did know the basics, it was up to him to tell me what worked for him and what didn't. He carried on about how nobody paid him to be a teacher. About the third time he said that, I remembered I had a $5 bill in my pocket, so I brought it out , slapped it on his chest and said, "Well here"s five bucks ; that ought to be about enough for thirty minutes. START TEACHING!" He looked at me with his mouth wide open and his eyes big and round. And we got through the rest of the visit without incident. I did NOT want to go back the next day, but he was on my schedule so I did. The first thing he said to me was that I'd forgotten to take my $5 bill when I left. I said, " Oh, no, you earned that money, remember?" He told me he had been thinking all last night about what I said and that I was right, and he apologized.(my supervisor at the time did not believe me when I told her he had apologized to me. She said, Well, if he did that's the first time THAT'S ever happened") The third visit, I brought the $5 bill...framed! and hung it in his wall. We laughed and laughed over that and forever after we always had the best time when I was assigned to him.....................Oh, and Viva, something you said about staffing reminded me of a quote, which I will have to paraphrase a little since I don't have it handy at the moment: THERE IS NO WORSE FEELING THAN THAT OF THE DEEP-SEA DIVER WHO RECEIVES THE MESSAGE FROM THE SHIP ABOVE HIM : COME UP AT ONCE , WE ARE SINKING.Last edit by VivaLasViejas on Apr 30, '11 : Reason: veiled