I have patient gown dyslexia - page 2

Even after 14 years of nursing, I still get confused by patient gowns. What idiot came up with such a confusing design? I have to figure it out each time how to get the correct snaps to line up. The... Read More

  1. by   GardenDove
    Quote from suzy253
    OMG..I thought I was the only one! Hate those snaps. I work tele and then to bring more insult, I have to thread the heart monitor through the stupid hole in the front and then into the front pocket only to find either the hole or the pocket is somehow is too small for the monitor. :stone
    If you disconnect the tele box where the colored connectors plug into the box, you can barely squeeze the wires and connector plug through the gown, then reconnect to the tele box, which goes into the handy pocket. Then, the tele box totally weighs down the pocket, practically causing it to come off. , then the pt spills soup on the gown, or urinates everywhere and you get to start all over again!!!
  2. by   VivaLasViejas
    I've gotta laugh at all this---I thought I was the only one who had trouble with all those snaps and strings and other dooflotchies on patient gowns!!! I've been working with the darned things for a dozen years, and I STILL can't get the stupid snaps to line up or fit the tele monitor through the stupid pocket............:imbar
  3. by   UM Review RN
    Re: tele boxes. Lately I've just been hooking the leads up and then unplugging the box from the leads to put it through the pocket-hole.

    Only one problem with that--if a confused patient sees you do that, he'll think it's ok to do it all the time. I had a couple of poor souls unplug it and try to answer it, thinking it was the telephone.
  4. by   GardenDove
    Quote from mjlrn97
    I've gotta laugh at all this---I thought I was the only one who had trouble with all those snaps and strings and other dooflotchies on patient gowns!!! I've been working with the darned things for a dozen years, and I STILL can't get the stupid snaps to line up or fit the tele monitor through the stupid pocket............:imbar
    I alway feel that my all thumbs appearance makes me look like a total newbie to the pt. If I don't know how to work the gown, how am I supposed to treat their cardiac arrythmia? When ER brings a pt on one of their confusing gurneys, and I can't figure out how to put the side rail down to help get them in bed, what kind of confidence does that instill? They don't know that for some reason management decided to buy a different model ER gurney each time, with a different mechanism to work, and that why should the CCU nurse be an expert in everything?:uhoh21:
  5. by   GardenDove
    Quote from Angie O'Plasty, RN
    Re: tele boxes. Lately I've just been hooking the leads up and then unplugging the box from the leads to put it through the pocket-hole.

    Only one problem with that--if a confused patient sees you do that, he'll think it's ok to do it all the time. I had a couple of poor souls unplug it and try to answer it, thinking it was the telephone.
    LOL!!!!:chuckle
  6. by   SanskeetRN
    Thank you, thank you for your posts! Besides laughing my head off, I am relieved to know that it isn't just me. I will graduate in May and have felt that if I can't even snap the gowns right, how can I be a good nurse LOL

    The other thing that drives me crazy is the overbed table..especially trying to pull out the food tray. I haven't dumped a tray on anyone....yet. I always joke with my pts and say something like "Don't worry, I am a competent nurse, just a lousy nutritional service person " and usually keep joking with them when I see the look of alarm on their faces that seems to say "You can't even operate a tray table and you are supposed to stick that med where??"

    But thanks again for the post, you seriously made my day :flowersfo
    Last edit by SanskeetRN on Feb 25, '07 : Reason: typos
  7. by   GardenDove
    The overhead food tray is almost as mysterious as the secret hidden vanity in it. Why don't they have some instructions on there somewhere? You somehow push the main tray back, I can't explain it, it surprises me every time, it's creepy the way it works.
  8. by   UM Review RN
    Quote from GardenDove
    ....it surprises me every time, it's creepy the way it works.
    Or not. Most of the time.


    I don't know, maybe it's the mfr. I mean, even the trash cans. I can OPEN the trash cans OK, but then the lid sticks open that way.

    So on a busy night, it's fairly easy to find my rooms. They're the ones with the patients that have overbed tables 5 feet high, vanity drawers stuck half-shut, gowns that have q o snap open, the tele boxes unplugged and the trash can open. Add the squeaking wheels of the dinamap and blood pressure cords that want to head straight for the patient's face, and you have the idea.

    Yep. Another challenging, rewarding day in the life of a nurse.
  9. by   careerchoices
    I can handle the gowns pretty well, but the tray tables...they make these new ambulatory/OR "big wheel" gurneys with the one giant roller in the middle. That's great, until you have a patient who wants to eat and you can't get the tray table under the new way-fancy gurney. So then you need to figure out how this poor patient can feed themselves when they're not allowed to sit up more than 15-degrees for several hours after a procedure, yet are otherwise able to go home and bored out of their skull for ten hour.
  10. by   Imafloat
    Quote from Jolie
    I agree that patient gowns should be part of a Mensa eligibility test. Along with newborn wrap-around T-shirts, the ones with ties instead of snaps.

    I started in the NICU as a new grad and had no trouble with vents, art lines, IV pumps, or any other high-tech item. It was the d**m T-shirts that got me every time. My hubby used to ask me if it worried parents that their baby's nurse couldn't figure out how to dress their child. I have to guess the answer was "Yes!"
    I have been known to tie those dang tshirts in the front, so they look like a tie front sexy top, it works great for big kids who are too big for the stupid shirts. My beef with those shirts is that hello...we are intensive care, so lets agitate this poor baby and move him side to side so we can tie this stupid shirt, then let him lay on a knot, because you know he is immobile and nothing says comfort like a big ole knot in your back. It isn't even a big knot, but when you are 4 pounds and 16 inches long a tiny knot seems big.

    Another mystery is the Economy Linen Infant gown with lap shoulders. The shoulder opening is usually wider than the entire infant's length. I tape them shut.

    I guess it is easy to pick out which kids are a part of my assignment, they are the ones sporting the fancy WeeBaby-fied duds.
  11. by   Chaya
    I find it helps to line up the cloth tape "ties" before snapping up the gown. I have to snap the gown up first to see how it goes then unsnap and resnap around the arm on the the IV side!
    Another trick I've found helpful if my pt only needs a quick gown change is this. I take the pt's arms out of the gown and remove any part (s)he is lying on from under their back. I leave the old gown folded to cover the area from armpit to below groin. I take a gown that is snapped together and tie the neck in a loose bow (big enough to fit over the head). Holding the gown facing the pt I gather one sleeve in each of my hands so I can easily slip a sleeve over each of my pt's arms, and can slip the tie over their head with minimal movement on their part. I then ease the old johnnie out from under the new one, keeping them warm and preserving modesty.
  12. by   mshultz
    Quote from Jolie
    I agree that patient gowns should be part of a Mensa eligibility test. Along with newborn wrap-around T-shirts, the ones with ties instead of snaps.

    I started in the NICU as a new grad and had no trouble with vents, art lines, IV pumps, or any other high-tech item. It was the d**m T-shirts that got me every time. My hubby used to ask me if it worried parents that their baby's nurse couldn't figure out how to dress their child. I have to guess the answer was "Yes!"
    I am a Mensa member, but when I was in the ICU, I did not understand my gown (it had a complicated series of snaps in the front), I did not understand my pajama bottoms (they had a drawstring instead of elastic; once I figured that out on the third morning, I was actually able to keep them in place), I did not even understand the toilet (it was mounted on the cabinet door under the sink, and rotated out when the door was opened. Since swivel joints tend to leak, I asked the nurse if I could use it when I needed to defecate).
  13. by   silverhalide
    I would love to see picture instructions of this trick. I have a tough time with gowns too!


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