Have you ever been a patient?

  1. If so, what changes did you make in your care for patients as a result of your experience?
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  2. 32 Comments

  3. by   jamonit
    i took care of my sister after a terrible mva. i was a newish nursing student at the time and i saw the lack of holistic care provided. i had to remind nurses to give her pain meds....not to turn her to put her on the fracture pan (she had a shattered pelvis) and to change her sheets (as she was in glass-sprinkled ER sheets for 3 days). this really changed me and i realized what kind of nurse i want to be--one that pays attention to the person, keeps their comfort in mind, and to treat the patient (and their family) as if they were your own. i know how busy floor nursing gets, but i still think it's worth scheduling 'caring' into your busy patient load.
  4. by   TazziRN
    Most of what I've learned about personal care is as a result of having family members in the hospital. I've learned how to care for families of head-injured pts, and from there pts dying of other problems. Yes, I've been a pt several times myself and I've also learned from that. Biggest thing: don't assume that a pt knows what you're talking about. Ask "Do you understand? Do you have any questions? Do you need help with this?" I've learned that pts who come to the ER with post-op pain did take their pain meds and they don't always help.

    I could go on and on.
  5. by   clemmm78
    I've been in ICU for a heart that decided to go wonky on me, plus I had three children delivered in hospital. I can't recall any particular incident that made me change the way I work. The things that annoyed me as a patient, I knew I didn't do as a nurse - although maybe it reinforced to me that it was a good thing that I did those things?
  6. by   nursekatie22
    Yeah, I was admitted to the ER when I was about 14....it was really scarey. I was at the movies with my dad and siblings and I just started shaking uncontrollably (even my teeth were chattering!) and I physically could not hold still. My dad wanted to leave and take me home, but the 3 siblings that were with us really wanted to see the movie so I said was okay. Then I started burning up and all my bones felt like they were in a vice. It was the weirdest thing!

    I finally got home at about 11:30pm and then extreme nausea (when I was sitting or standing mostly) was added to the mix. I was misearable. My very concerned parents took me to the ER and I only had to wait 2 hours to be seen (I didn't recognize back then what a miracle that was! ). They started an IV, drew blood, did a CXR, and urine cultures. They finally gave me IV morphine and I was able to doze periodically and I didn't hurt as bad (and I realized why people become hooked on MS!!!).

    We were there until about 7am and I was throwing up/nauseated (still) as they DCd me. They never had a dx either, but I'd love to peep in that chart someday! The nurses I had were all so kind and got me all the warm blankets I wanted even though I was burning up and they'd make deals with me like alternating the warm blankets with the regular ones, etc. I can't say that she mad me want to be a nurse, but it definately gave me a postitive perception about them. I remember the doctor through a haze..... (but, grant you, I had seen two GSWs being rushed in as I was being taken to my room! )

    Sorry it was so long!!
  7. by   newbiern2006
    Quote from bluehair
    if so, what changes did you make in your care for patients as a result of your experience?

    actually, it was a few awful experiences with nincompoop doctors and "nasty nurses" that became the impetus for me to become a nurse, something i'd wanted for a long time. those experiences, as painful as they were at the time, i have come to view as welcome parts of my life, because they helped me be a far more understanding and compassionate nurse than i think i otherwise would have been.
  8. by   nursekatie22
    A second thing....I lied about always having a positive perception of nurses. There was one that my mom had after her partial hip replacement (I had just started school so I was all about watching the nurse like a hawk!). I went to see my mom the evening of the day of her sx (it happened early a.m.) and she could barely talk and was fighting back tears. Now, my mom has the highest pain tolerance of anyone I've ever met aside from my grandpa and she doesn't cry over every little thing. Turns out, she said she'd been asking for pain medication for the past 5 hours (every time she would see the nurse) and had received nothing.

    I tell you I was PISSED!! The sight of my mom crying because of someone's negligence is beyond me. She was barely 9 hours post op for crying out loud! I spoke to the nurse and she said she'd "be there in a minute" so I called my dad and he was livid. He drove the 30 minutes to the hospital (while I was on my way home to be with my brothers and sisters) and he's a quiet guy so I didn't know what he was going to do. He must have let into her good, though, because the rest of the time my mom got all her PRNs when she needed them and her pain was controlled.

    Now, I know you get busy as a nurse, but a post op hip should be more closely watched than that!
  9. by   pink2blue1
    I have been a patient many times (mostly for childbirth but a few times for other random things) anyways, I can't say that it's something that I went through that makes me think about the way i treat my patients, I think, what if it was my family member lying there, how would I want THEM to be treated. Ok sure, we all get patients that drive us nuts, are needy and really don't need to be when there is a more sick patient down the hall who is quiet as a mouse LOL. Also one thing that really makes me sad is when I see people in the hospital for DAYS and no one comes to visit, or when they do, it;s for maybe 5 minuites. I just tend to put my family member in the bed so to speak. I mean, god forbid, but it could be one day!
  10. by   DizzyLizard
    I was in an MVA years ago and experienced both awesome and horrible care. Some nurses went out of their way to help me in any way I needed and others, well....what can I say. They would throw a fit everytime I asked for help to be re-postioned, pain meds didn't come when asked (maybe after the millioneth rqst), I needed help with cutting food (didn't happen until the food was cold & they wldn't reheat it if asked), etc. etc. Unfortunately, there is good and bad care no matter where you go. I've taken all my experiences and hope I don't let the profession jade me.....then it's time to leave the profession.
  11. by   banditrn
    Yes, several times, both in 'my' hospital, and another. In the hospital where I worked, I had no problems - I already knew the routines, and as an old ICU nurse most of the gals on the medical floor either knew me or knew of me.

    It's when I went to another hospital that I had problems - it was for neurological surgery that we didn't do at our hospital - the first day I waited over 1 1/2 for pain meds, and then she offered me one Vicodan - I told her I felt that two was appropriate - then she told me that she couldn't call the doctor to ask for more. THEN I told her I was a nurse, and that yes, she could certainly call my doctor and ask for more appropriate orders. He came in shortly after, and he and I worked it out where I could have 1 percocet every 4 hours, 800 ibuprophen every 8 hours, etc. I'm sure that young lady thought I was a tyrant, but I didn't think much of her nursing skills, so we were even.
  12. by   Dalzac
    The one thing I can think of is I answer call lights much faster that I used to.
    I was a pt. and had hip replacement. I had the techs from the ninth He** They would never help me to the bathroom so I decided to use my walker and do it myself. I got all cattycornered in bed and got stuck halfway in and halfway out. They wouldn't answer the light and I was stuck that was for an hour just yelling for help and they still didn't come. The best part of it was my Doc came in and helped me and he was way pissed off. I was it no-mans land room wise and I could hear him just screaming and then all of a sudden there were supervisors, nurses and techs all over the place. I try to answer lights now with a minute. Even if they aren't mine. I even got a bath which I had ask for for 2 days.
  13. by   southern_rn_brat
    I just got out of the hospital 3 weeks ago for a PE.

    for the first 5 days I was inpatient the nurses and cnas were so good to me! The cnas I had anticipated my needs and if I needed something, most of the time it was allready in my room (fresh ice water, linens). I cant talk enough about how great these guys were. I did send a letter to the administrator praising my fellow nurses though.

    but then they moved me to a medsurg floor 2 days before I was discharged. Wow. The care was so different. I was on the floor about 5 minutes and must have turned on my call light accidentally. Whoever answered the light said "Do you want something or did you just turn that light on?" I kid you not, she said that. In fact, more than once when I had to turn on the call light I was greeted with "what do you want?" Then I had a male CNA that yelled at me over my telemetry. It kept coming loose and they would page him and tell him. He would stick his head in my door and yell at me to fix it. Then I needed a new pad and he just brought it to me. I had to ask "do patients have to do their own care now?" I did finally talk to him about how he was treating me and he and I got along just fine after that.

    What I learned while I was there were lots of things.

    If you have to go in a patients room early in the morning, remember they are sleeping! Dont flip every light in the room on, dont throw the door open. Respect their privacy.

    Always ask if they want the door closed back. I hated it when they left my door open. I felt like an exhibit at the zoo. People walking by could just look at me. I was in my pajamas! I dont let anyone but my family see me that way.

    Dont talk about other staff members!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! It was horrible to hear that crap.

    When I turned on my call light, there were a few times that I just simply asked to see my nurse. I didnt want everyone within earshot of the desk to know I needed some bisacodyl or I was coughing up blood. They would say "you need to tell me what you want". It was very demeaning to be treated like you have no privacy in the world.

    I tried not to let people know I was a nurse but I work for the hospital so it was hard. I was sick, very sick, I just wanted to be a patient. does that make sense?

    and oxygen dries out your nose no matter how much humidity you have it on! my poor nose I'm still on oxygen at home and my nose is nothing but one huge scab inside . I am definitely going to be using that Ayr gel on my patients with oxygen!

    I know theres more but I'll hush now.
  14. by   bill4745
    I am much more gentle when starting IVs, having had about a dozen. I use Cetacaine and lidocaine jelly when inserting NG tubes (not the most pleasant experience I've had). I always get my pts a pillow (I'm andER RN) and dim the lights when I leave the room. I also make sure the call button ia always in reach (another bad expeience in an ER). And I never tell them I'm a nurse until I'm ready for d/c - I want to see how they do their work on someone they think has no medical knowledge.

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