Gosh, I felt so dumb!!!

  1. I have to share this embarrassing moment I had. One evening I had a patient who was diagnosed with colon CA and had post chemo fever and diarrhea. I spent quite a bit of time with him explaining all the meds and procedures. He was quiet and polite. Everything went ok. It was a very busy night and it was until 2 in the morning that I finally had a chance to sit down and pour through the chart. I found out that he was a retired pediatritian. I felt so stupid. I am sure that more experienced nurses would not have, but I instantly turned red and felt that I could die. How do you handle medical professionals as patients? I am still learning myself and felt so uncomfortable. I could not believe that no one had told me or that I just did not know this.
    Last edit by stella123 rn on May 23, '03
    •  
  2. 23 Comments

  3. by   atownsendrn
    Stella - you did exactly what you are suppose to do. He most have felt comfortable with you or he would have told you that he was a retired MD. You should not be embarrassed - but proud of yourself. I sounds like you handled the situation like a real professional!!! Good job
  4. by   Liann
    Medical professionals as patients are the same as other patients. I would suggest that this man, tho a pediatrician, may not have known as much as you did about the nursing of a cancer chemo patient.

    I think that you can take clues from the patient as to how detailed you need to be in explanation. If they look interested and engaged in your explanation, keep going. If they cut you off with a terse OK OK, then stop explaining. You say that he was quiet and polite, and you did your job. He may have been relieved that you treated him the same as any other patient.

    You did good, kid!
  5. by   altomga
    I agree with the above..you did exactly like you should have...you treat doc/rn's, any medical professional the same...just b/c they have a degree doesn't mean they will know or understand everything...
    You Did PERFECT!!!
  6. by   dianacs
    Seconding what has been said above, I've been taught (yes I'm a student) to treat HCPS as you would any other pt and to never assume that they are familiar with their disease, treatment, etc. And when you are hospitalized, you aren't in your calm, cool, HCP "on the job" persona anyway. You are a person who is sick and stressed and worried just like anyone else. About the only difference I can see is that a nurse could provide explanations and teaching using more medspeak than usual. Sounds like you did great!
  7. by   jnette
    KUDOS to you ! Good job ! Seeeeeeeeeee ???
  8. by   igloorn93
    I think you did great!!!! You treated him just like a regular patient which is what you should do. I have been a patient a few more times in my life than I would like, and I hate it when I am treated like a nurse instead of a patient. When you are in the hospital it is because you are really really sick. (As most of you know, nurses have to be near death before they allow themselves to be admitted!). You aren't thinking like a nurse when you are in the bed instead of beside it, so you need to have things explained to you that you might know by heart when you are working, but when it involves you, forget it. Every rational thought is long gone. Keep up the great work and don't sweat it. I think you are on the right track.
  9. by   P_RN
    No reason at all to be embarrassed. You did your job well.
  10. by   James Huffman
    I think it's wrong to assume that nurses/docs/whomever are different from any other patient. In the first place, your patient may be in a different specialty area, and have no knowledge of the treatment being given. We also operate differently when we are the patient, and not the one giving the treatment: our minds get addled just like anybody else. I encourage nurses to give their "knowledgable" patients the same care and consideration you would give to anyone else. If they know what you are talking about, they will probably let you know. But sometimes it's nice to just be able to sit back, "be a patient," and not have to be "the professional" in every situation.

    In other words, Stella, I think you did the right thing. Keep it up!

    Jim Huffman, RN

    www.NetworkforNurses.com
  11. by   Tweety
    I'm sure he was quite impressed and that you taught him a thing or two. The problem sometimes with MD's as patients is that they are too proud to admit they may have questions. You probably did him a tremendous favor. Kudos!
  12. by   gwenith
    Kudos! and ditto the above - it has happened a time or two to me too - found out the person I was talking to was a doctor, specialist whatever. They are usually very grateful for explanation and if they want you to "ramp it up" with a more indepth explanation they will let you know.

    Remember - there is no (virtually) limit on the number of people who can understand a simple explanation which is why KISS (KEEP IT SIMPLE & SHORT) is the first rule of education.
  13. by   AlaskaKat
    Think that's bad! One time I was meeting my SIL's new boyfriend for the first time, I had just gotten off work and had a particularly stressful time with a doc I was working with. So the boyfriend was asking me about work and I just started ranting about how difficult doctors can be sometimes... I realized it was time to shut up so I asked him what he does. He's a neuro surgeon...
  14. by   CraftyLPN
    I agree...GOOD JOB!!!

close