Have you ever been a patient? - page 2

If so, what changes did you make in your care for patients as a result of your experience?... Read More

  1. by   hikernurse
    I try to sit when I talk so it doesn't look like I'm just running in and out.

    I try to be as quiet as I can when I'm in the room at night. I had an aide once with my little boy who rattled the BP machine in the room then spent, I swear, 5 minutes messing with the velcro with full lights on in the room. We'd been admitted from the ED with very little sleep and all that seemed unnecessary.

    I try to touch patients as much as I can (without being weird, LOL) because most of what we do is uncomfortable and intrusive and I think a positive touch helps counteract that. Little things like put my hand on their shoulder when I'm listening to breath sounds, things like that. Some of my older patients live alone without family near and I doubt they get touched much by others at home, so I make sure they get a back rub; that kind of stuff. I think that helps connect on a human level, not just a medical one.
  2. by   atwtrn
    I can't count the number of times I've been in the hospital. I was a NICU baby for two months. I have Cerebral Palsy and Crohn's disease. So, I remember my first hospital experiences at four or five years old. I would be admitted for vomitting and dehydration at least twice a year until i was 11 or so. I've had bilateral hamstring and achilles tendon surgery and hip surgery. I've also had EEGs, MRIS, GI scans, Xrays, appendectomy, two colonoscopies, approx 18 Remicade infusions..can't think of everything but in my 22 years of life, I've had a lot of hospital experience.

    It was this experience that led me to seek a nursing career. Sure the docs were there some of the time, but the Nurses were the ones that physically cared for me. I think my experience as a patient will be an asset when I care for patients. Afterall, I have been in their shoes.
  3. by   JeanettePNP
    Quote from SethJ
    I can't count the number of times I've been in the hospital. I was a NICU baby for two months. I have Cerebral Palsy and Crohn's disease. So, I remember my first hospital experiences at four or five years old. I would be admitted for vomitting and dehydration at least twice a year until i was 11 or so. I've had bilateral hamstring and achilles tendon surgery and hip surgery. I've also had EEGs, MRIS, GI scans, Xrays, appendectomy, two colonoscopies, approx 18 Remicade infusions..can't think of everything but in my 22 years of life, I've had a lot of hospital experience.

    It was this experience that led me to seek a nursing career. Sure the docs were there some of the time, but the Nurses were the ones that physically cared for me. I think my experience as a patient will be an asset when I care for patients. Afterall, I have been in their shoes.
    Wow! So, with your health history, how have you been finding the stresses of nursing school?
  4. by   atwtrn
    It has been rough. But, I loved my first semester of nursing courses. I'm trying to complete as much of my degree as possible on my own. I've taken online courses and I'm studying for CLEP exams. My approach is that I reserve my energy for nursing courses and try to finish the other requirements through other means.

    I did have an issue with a Prof. She dropped my grade by a full letter b/c I informed her of my absence an hour after I missed class instead of before. (I have a book of doctor's notes just from last semester). MOST of the profs have been great and very understanding. I guess I just came across one who didn't know what it was like to be a patient. I do have to say though, she is a great prof. So, I'm taking three more courses with her and I know now to call her at 3am if that means I keep my A. lol
  5. by   911fltrn
    I have been a patient. It changed me in the way I handle pain relief. I suffered for 24hrs after surgury do to inadequate pain control. I now longer doubt peoples pain, if they say they have it they do. I will advovate for you with your doc to get you whatever you need.

    Even worse the post op pain is chronic pain, it destroys your life.
  6. by   MarySunshine
    I was 18 years old recovering from sepsis and a rather traumatic experience and I had been laying in bed all dirty and sore for a long time. I was very sore and had a high fever. I had sweat and grease and dried blood all over me. A nurse not much older than me came and gave me a full bed bath and I really almost cried I was so grateful (but too tired to literally cry). She even washed and brushed my long hair. In retrospect that was even more generous of her than I realized at the time -- plenty of nurses would have thought that I could deal with it on my own given my age and baseline good health. But I could barely move from grief, let alone being sick. It's just hard to put yourself in that place when you're feeling fine and if you're normally an independant person.

    It's hard to imagine now because I'm perfectly healthy and of course I want to do my own baths, but wow...I now have huge compassion for people who are quite ill and I am keenly aware of how much a bath and/or some mouth care really helps.
  7. by   JeanettePNP
    Quote from SethJ
    It has been rough. But, I loved my first semester of nursing courses. I'm trying to complete as much of my degree as possible on my own. I've taken online courses and I'm studying for CLEP exams. My approach is that I reserve my energy for nursing courses and try to finish the other requirements through other means.
    Smart approach. Sounds like you have a great attitude and you'll make a fabulous nurse! Good luck to you.
  8. by   clyen
    Like some of the replies in this discussion thread, I have been a patient more times than I would like to count. At 15 I had a craniotomy to remove a brain tumor (4 cm deep, 4 cm diameter), and had to have the bone flap removed due to a severe staph infection. Hospital time 3 weeks, IV antibiotics 6 weeks, oral antibiotics 4 weeks after that. Wouldn't you know I got to start my sophomore year of high school that year - new school, nobody I knew. I had a pilonidal cyst removed a year and a half later, thoracic surgery to remove another tumor, numerous MRIs and CTs, as well as a cholecystectomy my freshman year of college (I was 26). While I have my NCLEX yet to take (Just graduated in December!), I find myself treating my patients how I would like to be treated. I had a nurse when I had the brain surgery who kept pushing for me to get up and move, not explaining or educating me as to why I needed to move. All I knew is I had a horrible headache that they could only give me APAP, codeine, or APAP + codeine, and that I didn't feel good. Shortly after that we found out about the severe staph infection. I find myself when dealing with patients trying to educate them as to why they need to get up and walk, or why this or that gets done more than I think I would have. I also am more ambivolent about answering call lights, and making sure pain meds are given as quickly as possible. The more we are the patient, the more we realize how to treat or how not to treat patients when we are back on that other side of the bed, so to speak. It makes us more empathetic, and better nurses in general.
  9. by   P_RN
    Yes a patient back in the fall. I was very unhappy to see that particular facility that usually has good press. The unit I was on was dirty, really dirty. The RNs were competent-but distant. Maybe it was just me, but the roommate I had said the same thing.

    In the PACU they went all ballistic and started sternal rub and jaw lift, and I said what the.......hmmm could my sats have dropped because the POX was off my finger?

    At discharge time it took from 0730 til 1400 thereabouts for the RN to give me a partially filled out discharge paper. It was the one the doctor had written on at 0730. No offer of escort or anything.

    I walked out. I was so disappointed. Back in the day I would have paid a thousand dollars to have had a chance to go to Nursing School there. I didn't get in. Now I know karma had better things in mind for me.
  10. by   bethin
    I have been a pt several times on the same floor where I work. I don't speak as loud as I learned that a pt in a room can hear everything that's going on in the nurse's station or hallway. I pick up the phone quicker, esp at night, because the phones can drive you out of much needed sleep. I treat pts as if they are in pain and don't question if it's true or not. If they say they are in pain, they are. Nurses thought I wasn't in pain because I was watching DVD's on my computer. Ironically, I only do that when I'm in extreme pain to put my mind on something else. I think I'm more compassionate to pts.

    After a lap chole, I was told to walk. I had cold sweats, and just felt horrible. Thought about passing out I felt that bad. Didn't understand why I had to walk and the nurse didn't explain. Now I explain to pts why they need to walk. I spend more time with pts and am more aware of their needs before they are.

    It's not easy being in nursing and being a pt. I don't know about others, but I would wake up in the middle of the night, hearing the phone ring and thinking "I need to get that" and get out of bed. I also had a roommate who was confused and had a bed alarm on. It went off and again I thought I had to help her even though I had two IV's and was seriously doped on pain meds. And I blacked out after receiving a PICC line. I've watched it on others many times and find it fascinating, but when it's me, it's different.
    Last edit by bethin on Jan 2, '07
  11. by   Selke
    I've had several surgeries and hospitalizations, including childbirth, and nearly died once. Yes, they influenced me going into healthcare, although initially I wanted to be a surgeon. You know, all that Wounded Healer stuff. Healers really are mediators between two worlds, and while there are many practitioners out there, there are even fewer healers. I think if you've been a patient and/or sick enough you know this. Western industrial society has shoved transitional experiences of birth, death, and suffering into hospitals, medicalized and de-spiritualized them, taken them out of the home and community. Many interesting, Real, existential, life-changing events seem to occur in hospitals, which I can help others transition through -- pushing paper in an office cubicle seemed like an early grave to me.
  12. by   ewattsjt
    I've been in the hospital on several occations! They range from copper head bite to osteomyelitis and spinal fusion. The treatment is what inspired me to enter into the medical field. I want to treat others as I have been treated (with a couple of exceptions). I will not go into the bad treatment but, I will never treat a patient that way!
  13. by   Quickbeam
    When I was thirteen (decades ago), I cared for my mother who was dying of Hodgkin's Disease. Even up to the day of her death, she got no pain medication. When she'd be hospitalized, the MDs would walk outside the room and discuss her condition which was always dire. I could hear every word.

    In my practice I've been very advocacy-oriented with pain management and extremely careful with anything I say in the halls, elevators and nurses stations. Even at 51, I'm haunted by some of the careless things I heard from staff when I was 13. I've never wanted to perpetuate that.

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