I walked into one of my patient's rooms yesterday and I see this 70 something year old woman who has been on the floor for 2 DAYS who is extremely nauseated. She has a history of cancer and she's admitted for small bowel obstruction...her stomach was so distended that she looked 8 months pregnant.
The orders on her chart were to insert NG tube for increased nausea and vomiting. The night nurse reported some "small emesis" last night and having to medicate her with anti-nausea meds a couple of times.
I immediately explained to her all about an NG tube and that it would take away her nausea and that the doctor had ordered it for her IF she continued to throw up and feel nauseated.
NO ONE HAD DONE THIS YET. She was actually very receptive and agreeable to it. I put the NG tube in and IMMEDIATELY got 2000 ml output. (by the way, I always bring another RN with me in the room during NG tubes and we work as a team to educate, help and encourage the patient through the procedure!!! In this case I had my 2nd semester nursing student in the room too!!! good experience for her to have!)
Her husband was in the room and got "treated" to a show also. It actually couldn't have gone smoother and she tolerated it very well...and the relief for her...oh the relief!
Anyway!!!! Seriously Folks!!!! This lady suffered for 2 days because, FOR WHATEVER REASONS, no one wanted to put the NG tube down...come on nurses, when something is so obvious, do the right thing...and if you don't feel confident in your skills OR YOU JUST WANT BACK UP get some help doing the right thing...that's how to advocate for your patients.
Needless to say, we had a great rest of the day and she even was able to take a peaceful nap in the afternoon. We got another 800 out the rest of the shift!
Even when things aren't so obvious to you, if you have a hunch
or an intuition
or things aren't adding up
to you or you have a feeling or concern
about something for your patients, RUN it by someone...this is what advocating is all about. We are the chosen ones who have stepped up to the plate to nurse our fellow human beings...I believe we are given hunches for a reason!
Lots of love to you all.