Hello Mr. VIP! I'm your servant nurse for the night!

  1. So, yeah... VIP patients. I had one for the last two nights and let me tell you how much I wanted to pull my hair out.

    Old dude, post exp. lap. w/ lysis of adhesions, stable to the point of taking PO, one maintenance IV, lotso runny diarrhea (15 times the first night with 5 total bed changes :uhoh21: ), you get the picture... sorta kinda COULD be ICU material but not really - but his son is a MAJOR bigwig for our hospital so he got to stay for the better nurse/patient ratio.

    He was CONSTANTLY on the call light.

    Some of the reasons he called me:

    "I need a sip of water." (Cup within reach on bedside table, he wanted me to hold it to his mouth.)
    "I need you to pull my blanket up ONE INCH. It's a little chilly in here."
    "Can you turn the thermostat down? No, not to 65, that's too much. How about to 66."
    "Move my arm up on the pillow."
    "Can you turn the thermostat up? No, not to 70, that's too warm. Go to 68."
    "My room needs to be cleaned. Get some wipes and clean the area by the window, and get the floor mopped." (This was at 2am. I refused, as I was busy with my second, REAL ICU patient.)

    This was ALL FREAKIN' NIGHT, both nights... and my second patient was truly sick (bivad, drips, lines, etc.).

    Add to this the CONSTANT harassment of all the doctors and residents who were wanting to brown nose, so they came by out of "concern"... The poor dayshift nurse had FIFTEEN pages of BS orders and looked like she wanted to cry when I got back the second night. He drove her insane as well.

    I cannot stand a "VIP" desgination. ALL of my patients are treated with the same diligence, compassion, and respect... and it irks the crapola out of me to be made to feel like I have to serve someone or I'm going to get in trouble. This old fart made it clear, in no uncertain terms, that the "head of nursing" would be coming to see him to see how his care had been. GRRRRRR... administration just perpetuates this superior attitude and I can't freakin' stand it. BY the time my shifts were over I wanted to stick a straw in his eye.

    Have any VIP stories? How do you feel when you're told that a patient is a VIP?
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  2. 64 Comments

  3. by   GrnHonu99
    Ive had pts like that and they arent even VIP status.

    I work in the neuro ICU so we don't get many pts that actually use the call light but when you do they are usually on it the entire night. Exs of why ive been called:


    1. can you scratch my head-pt totally intact and able to do himself
    2. Can you feed me a sip of water-totally intact 15yo
    3.I want to go smoke by the window, if you just open the window ill just have two puffs
    4.My SVNs are making my teeth hurt

    just a few
  4. by   dekatn
    Had a night very similar to yours night before last, was off last night and I'm still exhausted. This wasn't VIP either. The 13th time I went into this dudes room, about 3am, he wanted a sherbet sp?, couldn't tell me that over the call system, waited until I got to his room. I told him this isn't the Dairy Queen. I assumed I would be called to the "principles" office in the am, but haven't heard anything from it yet. At that point, I really didn't care!!! I know exactly what you are talking about!! Twelve hour shifts with jerks like this should be against the law.
  5. by   ElvishDNP
    Really twerks me off. To me it doesn't matter if the patient is God Himself or a 16yo druggie giving birth to her 7th in as many years. They all deserve the same.

    Had a patient a few months ago who was good friends with our COO (or something like that) and the COO & his wife were going to be the godparents for their baby. (I do OB.) Although I had the good fortune NOT to be assigned to her, I heard several of her call bell requests & they were totally princessy. "I need the thermostat turned down/up." (She was perfectly capable of walking.) "My son can go to the nursery now." (Not, "can you please take my son to the nursery?" or "I'm really tired, can he go to the nursery?")

    I have a HUGE issue with someone who thinks they're entitled to certain special treatment for anything. I treat everybody the same, regardless of who they are and I wish everyone else would too.
  6. by   dekatn
    BTW, this guy was admitted for ETOH detox,,,, with an ETOH level of 0. Don't know how they justified this one. It was cold outside, I think he just wanted a warm bed and someone to wait on him. He thinks Hospital means Howard Johnsons. Doc caters to him, frequent flier!!!
  7. by   RNperdiem
    In SICU there is a rough equality in patients (mostly). We are more concerned with a person's vital signs than in their occupation. The rooms are the same. Patients wear the same plain hospital gowns.VIP Status is no shield to fear, pain or loss.
    Luckily the type of patient you describe is not the norm.
  8. by   MaryPush
    Just curious...was this fella experiencing any s/s of withdrawal? Sometimes hospital detox can be justified if the patient has BAC of zero but is showing withdrawal s/s. (Not going to have s/s until BAC starts to drop)

    Quote from dekatn
    BTW, this guy was admitted for ETOH detox,,,, with an ETOH level of 0. Don't know how they justified this one. It was cold outside, I think he just wanted a warm bed and someone to wait on him. He thinks Hospital means Howard Johnsons. Doc caters to him, frequent flier!!!
  9. by   dekatn
    Quote from MaryPush
    Just curious...was this fella experiencing any s/s of withdrawal? Sometimes hospital detox can be justified if the patient has BAC of zero but is showing withdrawal s/s. (Not going to have s/s until BAC starts to drop)
    No s/s whats so ever. This was his third day inpt., should have seen something by now.
  10. by   nursechris1
    Oh, yeah. The whole VIP thing makes me want to puke. All patients should be treated the same. I get so tired of "we need a nurse to sit with this patient all night for the next 3 nights. He/she is a VIP, and we were told home health would do this". Wrong! "But, they are a VIP". I don't care, not my problem. It's all about money. Well, this patient is a big donor. I don't care. They should be donating out of the good of their heart, not so they can get treated better. Sometimes, it's administration that expects it, and the patient couldn't care less. Other times, it's the patient thinking they are more important than they are.
  11. by   Natkat
    Ugh! I had one in clinicals last week.

    Put my head up
    Put my head down
    Take my oxygen off
    Put my oxygen back on
    Take my socks off
    Give me the urinal
    Empty the urinal
    Put my head up
    Take my oxygen off

    And so on. The guy had a few chronic problems; CHF, COPD, diabetic neuropathy. But his biggest problem was he was just fat and lazy! Someone, somewhere babied him his whole life, then died and left him for us to deal with.
  12. by   kcalohagirl
    I had a VIP last week. 80-something years old, had been a doctor at the hospital for almost 50 years, had taught at the med school.....some dementia, which was definitely worse t night....I had him for two nights, and they were two of the roughest I've had on the floor yet. Every trip into the room was a 30 minute long ordeal, as he would start in on a long story about how wonderful he was and how much he had contributed to the hospital. (I'm not denying that he may have contributed lots, but when I have 3 other patients significantly sicker that should be busier than him, I didn't really have time to hear the lecture.) He also gave off a definite "dirty-old-man" vibe. He told one of the nurses that he had developed a vibrating tampon, of all things. One of our nurses who has been at the hospital 35 years said he had quite the reputation as a lech when he was younger, as well.

    Additionally, we are on a "dedicated" unit. Generallly, our patients are post CABG and post thoracotomy. Generally we don't take off-service patients unless it is an emergency, the patients need telemetry, and there are no other tele beds in the hospital. However, we have two rooms that are about twice as large as the general hospital room, so we do get off service VIPs occasionally. This VIP was here for pneumonia.

    I'm going to credit the dementia with some of the crazy demands we got. I won't go into all of them here, but believe me, it was a long two nights. I begged the charge nurse to give me a different assignment the following night.
  13. by   burn out
    This is the time I love to pull out all the post op routine procedures. Yes I will pull your blanket up but lets turn first. Lets get up and walk to the bathroom just in case your bowles have to move again. Time to get oob and to the chair again. Here is your incentive spirometer, this time when you get it to 1000 hold it there for 2 minutes...can't hold it that long? Thats why they call it an incentive spirometer. O.K. I'll give you an ice chip if you cough and deep breathe 10 times. You want to go back to bed well let's take two more trips around the unit. Pretty soon you are the last person the patient wants to see.
    Last edit by burn out on Apr 11, '07
  14. by   crissrn27
    I have had lots of "VIP" moms, usually docs that work at our hospital. Some were great, some were a big PITA. I actually had an OB doc that works with us say, you need to go over all the stuff about the baby in detail, I don't remember alot from my peds rotation!! WTH??? She delivers babies for a livin' and doesn't know anything about them!! Not that I minded going over the info, but it kinda freaked me out that this is my back up for a bad baby in a lot of cases. We also put nurses/docs that work with us in a special room on the GYN floor so they can have a bathroom c shower in their room, and we give free photo packs, I think that is kinda nice, but don't expect special tx!

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