I Feel Like An Oddball - page 3

So often, I find myself upset that other people on the threads are expressing what I find to be judgmental, critical attitudes toward patients, especially the poor ones who generally use the ER's. ... Read More

  1. by   scrmblr
    I like most of my pt's in the ER. I really really like to be able to give comfort to people when they are scared or hurting.

    But, as everyone else has said...I am not a "waitress" Nor am I someones personal assistant. I worked so so hard yesterday. I had a triple A in one room and a pt with sats in the 60's next door. But in my third room I had a toddler that had been on abx for 3 days and now had diarrhea. This toddler was running laps around the hospital (and eating cookies and drinking juice). I asked his mom (very politely) to contain said child. after the third time of almost running him over with a gurney I was not so polite. Mom scooped him up-parked him in the bed in the room and forced him to stay in the bed while he SCREAMED the entire time. I brought coloring books and suggestions for entertainment (hey, I see you have brought toys and books maybe he would like it if you read to him) But no. If she was going to wait she was going to make everyone suffer with her. When the doc got in and gave her the abx do this and baby needs a bland diet with lots of good fluids speech she complained that the nurse "hurt the kids feelings" and told the doc that she expected an apology from all of us for the wait and the treatment she recieved.

    I hear her say this while I am next door breaking down the crash cart.

    I did NOT apologize. I did not like her and I was not overly polite to her as I took her out to sign out.

    I do not expect my pt's to be my biggest fans. I expect human decency from them. I have seen people with amputated limbs be POLITE. I do think some ER nurses are mean and bitter. They have seen too much and been treated poorly for too long. I hope if I ever hit that point I find another line of work.
  2. by   TrudyRN
    Quote from TurtleSoup
    My husband and I don't have insurance and had to go to the ER once. After waiting 6-7 hours and not seeing anyone go back, he walked out saying he wanted to die at home. I don't know how he even walked out. I really thought he WAS dying.

    He had gone to regular MDs several times over the past few months due to severe abdominal pain and had eventually been referred to a specialist. The soonest appointment was over 30 days away. They said if he couldn't wait 30 days to "go to the ER".

    At his appointment 30 days later, he was told his urinary bladder and colon had ruptured and fused together. He got admitted for diagnostics and surgery the same day. Everything was sewed up and about a foot of his colon had to be removed. It was a humbling experience for us and changed my attitudes about a lot of things I had been critical of.
    Sounds like lawsuit material, big time.
  3. by   TrudyRN
    Quote from LeahJet
    The last time I worked, I was triaging a 6-7 yr old girl. The child coughed in my face. (enough to blow my hair and I felt her saliva hit me on the cheek) I said in my most sweet voice "Honey, could you please cover your mouth when you cough?"
    The "mom" said to the child.... "You don't have to....don't worry about it".

    This is what we get all the time.
    Ignorance and disrespect.

    Yes, 99% of the time I suck it up and keep my mouth shut and do my job to the best of my ability. But the other night accounted for that 1%. That "mom" knew exactly what I thought before she left that room.

    Sorry. I am not perfect. I am human. I get abused. I get aggravated. I get over it. I go on.
    It ain't for whimps.
    You should have called the mother on it. You should have pulled HER aside and explained to her that you are human, you catch illnesses, too, and, while she might not think you are very important, you will not be there to help HER DTR if you're out sick. Now if the little girl was just totally sick, I can feel the mother's pain. Still, she herself, if she were any kind of mother, would have covered the girl's mouth, turned her head away, whatever. Don't think, though, that is really has anything to do with you personally. The woman is either just ignorant or she's drunk or whatever.
  4. by   TrudyRN
    Quote from Miss Mab
    I find this thought interesting as many of the "older" ER nurses express many of the same frustrations as the "newer" kids who work that unit.

    Perhaps one difference might be, for the older and wiser, is unless you currently work in an ER or have been a patient there recently, you may be surprsised at the changes that have taken place there---and not for the better--in the last five to ten years or so.

    This is isn't the ER that you go to because you are feeling truly sick and need care--at least for many pts.---it is the place i go because I don't want to see my PMD, don't want to go through the hoops it takes to get a PMD, don't want to get connected with the MANY available services of a PMD for low fee/sliding scale for uninsured, REALLY think the ER pregnancy test is going to be more accurate than the 5 I just took at home, wanted an exciting ambulance ride for my sore throat or I just really need a sandwich.

    That's who is clogging the ER and causing the waits, back-ups and all of the other things that frustrate so many. If you're really sick, thank god you came in. We are here for you. But, we are also here for the rest of the folks and must see every one of them. Guess what, your half hour wait just became six hours. Sorry.
    I worked a "junk" ER 30 years ago. Same social, societal, insurance problems back then. People with basically colds came in, along with those who needed stitches, had foreign objects up their butts or in their weinies, AB's, rapes, broken bones, various traumas, and lots of stuff I'd have cared for at home - fever or mild to moderate pain. We had peoople back then, too, who'd call an ambulance for their sore throat. They had no other way to get there. So not that much has changed.
  5. by   TrudyRN
    Quote from scrmblr
    I like most of my pt's in the ER. I really really like to be able to give comfort to people when they are scared or hurting.

    But, as everyone else has said...I am not a "waitress" Nor am I someones personal assistant. I worked so so hard yesterday. I had a triple A in one room and a pt with sats in the 60's next door. But in my third room I had a toddler that had been on abx for 3 days and now had diarrhea. This toddler was running laps around the hospital (and eating cookies and drinking juice). I asked his mom (very politely) to contain said child. after the third time of almost running him over with a gurney I was not so polite. Mom scooped him up-parked him in the bed in the room and forced him to stay in the bed while he SCREAMED the entire time. I brought coloring books and suggestions for entertainment (hey, I see you have brought toys and books maybe he would like it if you read to him) But no. If she was going to wait she was going to make everyone suffer with her. When the doc got in and gave her the abx do this and baby needs a bland diet with lots of good fluids speech she complained that the nurse "hurt the kids feelings" and told the doc that she expected an apology from all of us for the wait and the treatment she recieved.

    I hear her say this while I am next door breaking down the crash cart.

    I did NOT apologize. I did not like her and I was not overly polite to her as I took her out to sign out.

    I do not expect my pt's to be my biggest fans. I expect human decency from them. I have seen people with amputated limbs be POLITE. I do think some ER nurses are mean and bitter. They have seen too much and been treated poorly for too long. I hope if I ever hit that point I find another line of work.
    I don't think ER nurses who are mean and bitter necessarily got that way just from the one source (ER work). Maybe but not necessarily. As for the nincompoop mother you mention, just send her back to the waiting room if she wants to let the child run wild. Let him get hurt out there, not run over by your stretcher. Too bad the doctor or pharmacist who gave the original Rx didn't do a little better teaching and prepare the mother for the possibility that diarrhea might occur, didn't teach to give yogurt and something binding, like cheese. Or maybe the teaching was good but Mom forgot? Hard to believe that people are really so uninformed but I guess they are.
    Last edit by TrudyRN on Jan 14, '07
  6. by   TrudyRN
    BTW, age of the nurses is not necessarily the key factor in all of this. What disturbs me is that there are just so many bitter, angry people in the world. And a lot of them are nurses. In different specialties, to be sure. It just seems like a lot of them are in ER.

    I had an experience in ER many moons ago as a new grad.

    I had a rape victim and, per our routine, asked the person accompanying her to wait in the waiting room. We had an extremely narrow hallway and had to fight all the time to keep one lane open for gurneys, pedestrians, carts, portable Xray machine, etc. So we always asked everyone extra to wait in the WR. In those days, no one came in w/ patients, not even parents with their kids getting stitches. It was pretty barbaric but that's how it was. I guess it was the old paternal way and it seemed right back then.

    Anyway, the woman waiting was, I learned after the fact, a rape crisis counselor. When I learned that, I told her I was sorry that I had asked her to go the WR. She just glared at me. I've wished, 1000 times since then, that I'd had the courage to say what I was thinking - that she should have, could have just simply informed me. How was I supposed to know? It's not like she wore a sign or was someone I knew.
  7. by   TrudyRN
    Quote from TurtleSoup
    This happens at the animal ER, too. People will complain about a "hit by a car" dog going strait to the back because THEY have already been waiting for a rabies vaccination for 20 minutes and THEY arrived FIRST.
    On the one occasion that I took my child to the ER, he had severe abdominal pain. The clerk told us to sit down and wait. I said, "Oh, no, this child is sick. I think he has a strangulated hernia, which means his bowel is losing its blood supply and will get gangrene. He needs help now. Please." And that is exactly what was wrong. And that did get us in immediately, seen very fast, and up to the OR within 45 minutes.

    Yes, Nurse Mom here knew what was up and exactly what to say. Unfortunately, my son did need surgery. Did I get special treatment? No. Would I have taken "no" for an answer except from God Himself? No. I'd have phoned Administration before taking "No". Because my boy was sick and I would be damned before letting ANYONE, nurse, doctor, clerk, other patient or parent, ANYONE keep him from getting help.
  8. by   Marie_LPN, RN
    Quote from TrudyRN
    So often, I find myself upset that other people on the threads are expressing what I find to be judgmental, critical attitudes toward patients, especially the poor ones who generally use the ER's.

    I just don't like seeing the attitude that I see here so often lately, which I'd describe as finding ER patients demanding, impatient, and unreasonable. Maybe it's because I'm older and have experienced pain and sorrow that I can relate to some of our less fortunate fellow travelers.

    I just wish every nurse, every anyone who thinks it is easy to be an ER patient could experience going to the ER and having to wait for several hours, only to be given what one does not think is appropriate care.

    Am I the only here who senses the described attitude?
    No i wouldn't say you're the only one that notices it. I mean some posts/threads truly do come across as venting, other, well, leave me with a picture of a poster that's full of hate and spite.

    Disclaimer: Anything i say in this post does not apply to all ER nurse or all nurses, nor does it apply to all the nurses i work with or all the ER nurses at my facility.

    I did PRN in the ER for a little over a year now, along with OR, and i put in my notice that my last day in ER will be the last of this month. Has nothing to do with me being weak whatsoever. And i had my share of weekend pts. who acted like the world owed it all to them, people who saw a trip to the ER as Disneyland, alcoholics, o/d's, gunshots, farm accidents, stupipd college student tricks, and worse, but those didn't nearly make my shifts hell as the coworkers. Some of them seemed like they had a God complex, major amounts of sel-entitlement, very arrogant, the way they talked about the pts. was graphic and beyond vulgar, etc. The final straw was when one wore his "Nurse, here to save your *** not kiss it" (his version had the real A word on it) shirt while working, which i though was a bit much along with his whole attitude.

    And before anyone (stereotypically) attempts to chalk up what i experienced to women being this or that, young or old, etc, here's a curveball for you: The majority of our ER nurses are male, between the ages of 30-45. (and that's not me saying that this is a gender or age-based problem, that's me saying that there's usually at least one person on any "problem nursing" thread that has to throw in the stereotypes)

    Would i ever work in an ER again, sure, but not this one. I do not think all ER nurses are like that, we just seem to have a higher concentration of the burnt out ones.

    Supposedly our ER's getting a new supervisor in March. We'll see if anything's different by December.
  9. by   bethin
    Quote from LeahJet
    The last time I worked, I was triaging a 6-7 yr old girl. The child coughed in my face. (enough to blow my hair and I felt her saliva hit me on the cheek) I said in my most sweet voice "Honey, could you please cover your mouth when you cough?"
    The "mom" said to the child.... "You don't have to....don't worry about it".

    This is what we get all the time.
    Ignorance and disrespect.

    Yes, 99% of the time I suck it up and keep my mouth shut and do my job to the best of my ability. But the other night accounted for that 1%. That "mom" knew exactly what I thought before she left that room.

    Sorry. I am not perfect. I am human. I get abused. I get aggravated. I get over it. I go on.
    It ain't for whimps.
    I don't work ER except for the occassional shift where I help out doing vitals, paperwork, etc. I primarily work on med surg and I have learned this: nursing isn't for whimps. Sometimes you got to suck it up and sometimes you just have to let it out. Unfortunately, we are in the position where the public thinks we should all be so cheery, friendly and greet their bad attitudes with bells on our feet. THEY need to realize that underneath the scrubs lie hearts and we deserve respect.

    I swear, everyday I am amazed at how people behave, just as you described. Smoking in the room with a child that has pneumonia ? What people need is a 1000cc dose of common sense.
  10. by   Soup Turtle
    Quote from TrudyRN
    Sounds like lawsuit material, big time.
    I was so grateful to have everything taken care of, eventually. We only had to pay about $4000 for everything (we're still paying) and he is good as new, now. That's a big part of the reason I decided to be a nurse. I have RN relatives who have been encouraging me for years and I always thought NO WAY!

    Every nurse and doctor we encountered was great. No one was ever rude, but yes, there were a million people at the ER and it seemed like a normal "outing" for many of them. Of course, I'm sure there were people there who were worse off, too. :angel2:

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