I Feel Like An Oddball

  1. 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?
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  2. 35 Comments

  3. by   SuesquatchRN
    I guess what I've found is that I gravitate to the older folks on the board because the kids are - well, kids. Less tolerance, more knowledge - you know the drill.
  4. by   Soup Turtle
    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.
  5. by   JeanettePNP
    Turtlesoup: Why does it say "exiled" under your username?
  6. by   clemmm78
    I agree with you. Although postings say that they only vent here, I find it difficult to grasp if someone can post with venim here (which happens), that it not shine through at all in patient care.
  7. by   Miss Mab
    Quote from Suesquatch
    I guess what I've found is that I gravitate to the older folks on the board because the kids are - well, kids. Less tolerance, more knowledge - you know the drill.

    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.
  8. by   moonchild20002000
    Miss Mab,
    Do you think the problem is that our health care system is "broken"?
  9. by   Miss Mab
    Broken? Without a doubt. Like everyone else I have my ideas of ways to fix it. Problem is, I'm too busy each day trying to keep myself and my patients---whoever they are and why they're there---alive and above water 'till the next shift. Not a lot of time for lofty reform thinkin

    Also, I wanted to add that I do not feel bad at all about the need to vent here and know that it does not negate the knowledge that I am a decent, caring, intelligent RN who show up everyday knowing what I'm in for. Can I do this forever, huh-uh, I will be voting with my feet out of the hospital arena very soon.

    Also, someone else on the board pointed out another reason for us ER types not to feel guilty about our frustrations and rants. Many of the floor nurses have SO MANY of the same gripes about the way the system is setting us up to fail. At least in that case there is likely a legitimate medical reason to be dealing with those patients--they have actually met criteria--of some sort anyway--to be admitted. 30-40% of my patients a night have no medical reason to be there. Do they have other needs? (Pscych/social)etc? Sure. Would I love to help them with those? You bet ya. I am just not given the time and more importantly, the resources, to do so. I refuse to feel bad about myself as a person or a nurse because I can't singlehandedly solve society's problems during my shift.
  10. by   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.
    Last edit by LeahJet on Jan 14, '07 : Reason: spelling & typos
  11. by   TazziRN
    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.


    Could not have said it better. I've worked my entire career in ER and love it, but I get frustrated with having to make an urgent case wait because all my beds are filled with non-urgent cases that got there first. Or having someone with an earache for a week cussing me out because the doc's tied up with the MI two beds over. I could go on and on. And yes, even though we vent pretty hard here, we are actually capable of going back to work and treating our ER pts the way we should.......because we have this place to vent.
  12. by   LeahJet
    Oh, and I've been doing this "drill" for over 10 years. I have seen the weak come and go.
    Thank God for us strong ones or you wouldn't have anyone taking care of the truly sick in the ER.

    So.... if coming here and venting (and relating and laughing) helps keep us from burning out and quitting.... then so be it.
  13. by   SuesquatchRN
    Quote from Suesquatch
    I guess what I've found is that I gravitate to the older folks on the board because the kids are - well, kids. Less tolerance, more knowledge - you know the drill.
    This quote was largely kidding with Tazzi.

    It was also a very, very general statment meant in a very general way about the difference in attitude I find here, again, very generally, between older and younger people. Or that I find anywhere between the generations.

    I don't know enough about working in an ED to express an opinion about it. I've been in them, though.

  14. by   LeahJet
    This is just out of curiosity.........

    If there is anyone that has been an ER nurse for over a year and thinks that we are totally out of line and incorrect...... please speak up.

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