Oh God, A NURSE is my pt!!!!

  1. Ever had a nurse as your patient and really found this quite challenging...thinking she/he is questioning your care/assessment/priorities... or God forbid reporting your conduct to your shift leader :-(
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  2. 56 Comments

  3. by   SchizoDsy
    I've had plenty of nurses as pts, or family members. I just try to treat them like everyone else. When I make my initial introduction, I make sure they know that they are welcome to ask me questions, or give me advice as the day goes along. I've learned alot of tips from visiting family members. Actually, they probably are more focused on getting better, or their sick family member than how you are preforming.
  4. by   mamason
    I took care of quite a few nurses. I didn't have any problems though. But, did feel, in the back of my mind, that they just might be watching my every move. Probably my own insecurities though.
  5. by   clemmm78
    Oh my, I can't count the number of health care professionals from the entire spectrum that I've nursed. I've never had a problem with them at all.
  6. by   GardenDove
    It's like a waitress having another waitress as a customer. They are the best tippers statistically. They understand exactly what you are going through
  7. by   oncomom
    Ive taken care of many nurse patients/doctor patients. I usually start out by asking them about what type of specialty they are in and letting them tell me all about it, like a normal conversation with a colleague. I dont know why but I think this helps to break the ice. I work oncology though and many medical professionals are a bit intimidated by the field if they have no direct experience with it so I rarely get specific advice on how to do my job. Ill tell you though, you have never experienced fear until you have taken care of the CEO's mother
  8. by   Antikigirl
    I have cared for nurses and doctors...some retired, others not. I don't seem to have any probelms with it, even though I will admit sometimes I do wonder if they are taking mental notes..LOL!

    Most of the time I avoid treating them differently unless they tell me otherwise. I had one doc tell me "you are treating me like a patient" and I wanted to say "duh!!!", and I wound up asking him how so? He admitted quickly that I was doing a fine job, but he didn't like being 'on the other side of the bed'. I sympathized with him, told him I am the same way, and did a few communication/socialization tricks to keep him feeling in control. He felt a lot better. (just like any other pt, some like lots of control, some don't).

    I think I would be really cool with nurses as a patient, but I know I would hate being a patient! LOL!

    OH and I really am not sure if it really had much to do with it...but my all time biggest needy and whiney (not sure a pc word for whiney but whiney is so descriptive of the situation) pt was an MD! Noncompliant, like to shout out orders to everyone, had to have her chart all the time, wouldn't get up to do any PT, and generally made her situation worse by not following the careplan! She was quite a challenge I tell you!
    Last edit by Antikigirl on Jan 12, '07
  9. by   Silverdragon102
    I have nursed a few but always try to remember that as a patient you see things differently and try to give as much info as they need without being condesending. Also if they work in another speciality may not always know about whats happening
  10. by   UKRNinUSA
    I've been a patient and was treated very well by the nurses. I had no problem with any of them. TriageRN has a good point about allowing the pt to feel like he was in control. My poor OB doc did that with me in my high risk pregnancy and I sailed thru it no problem.
  11. by   rn/writer
    I have been a patient and have treated medical folks as my patients. One of the biggest challenges is to find out what the patient is thinking, and that is best done by asking.

    When I was in that bed, I didn't necessarily reveal that I was a nurse. I didn't want the caregivers to feel nervous, and, quite frankly, I had other things on my mind. In those instances where I was outed (they knew me from another context, or I asked a question in such a way that they suspected I had a medical background), I asked them to treat me as a patient and not to assume that I didn't want the customary explanations and encouragement. I also explained that I had a different specialty area and presented no threat to them.

    When I have a nurse or doc or other type of medical person as a postpartum patient, I speak with them at the beginning of a shift and let them know that, unless they tell me otherwise, I'm going to look at them as a patient and do all my normal cares and explanations. I may tailor my speech a little to acknowledge that they already understand most of the terminology, but other than that, I want them to be able to get the full benefit of being cared for. This has been very well received.

    I also reassure them that the minute they need something more--a more detailed answer, an explanation for why something is done a certain way, a rationale for a med, etc.--that I will give it to them or find out if I don't know. This goes double for anything involving their baby.

    Once they know that they WILL have access to practitioner-level information if they want it, many of them are content to accept the patient role gracefully and actually enjoy being cared for.

    The biggest factors are communication and trust. This is true with family members as well. As long as they have the feeling that nothing is being withheld, that they can ask anything and get an appropriate answer, they usually relax and focus on their new baby.

    I have even had a couple of patients who tried to reassure me that they weren't critiquing my every move. Much appreciated.

    What I have found is that a new mom is a new mom is a new mom, no matter what her career or educational background may be.
    Last edit by rn/writer on Jan 12, '07
  12. by   brighella
    Im about to enter my 2nd semester of nursing school, but my very first patient was a retired nurse who's first patient was also a nurse. She told me how nervous she had been, and told me not to be nervous about it. Her point of view was that without the bodies to care for, we wouldnt be able to learn much.

    She was very blunt, from Long Island and had no difficulty in helping to teach me as I cared for her. (Are you going to leave this B/P cuff on me all day? You need a string to hang your pen on, youre gonna lose it. You arent a tape person, are you?) In most instances i knew that she was correct in her feedback and told her so, with no ego in it. I was there to learn after all.

    There was a point tho, after getting her up for hygeine, where she was feeling very poorly and the roles really changed from teaching nurse/student nurse to patient/nurse. I was able to help provide her with some comfort, and as my day ended with her, i offered her the opportunity for feedback, and she told me that I was going to be a very good nurse. It made me feel like, if I could do a good job for someone who knew what I was doing, I would be able to effectively "fake it till I make it" with other patients. Its helped me take more of a proactive role in what little patient care I have had to this point.

    ALMOST makes me look forward to being retired and having some fresh faced young thing come in to ask if she can help care for me. I'll have a neat story for them.

    Long story short, use the opportunity to learn from them!
    Sarah
  13. by   SEOBowhntr
    I've taken care of many nurses and doctors and their family members during my career. I've also taken care of several lawyers and their family members, and I treat them just as I would any other patient. One thing I've found that really helps is keeping in mind that you are the subject matter expert most of the time if you work in a specialty, and they are likely going to learn from you. Being intimidated WILL show, be at ease, and treat them like any other patient. The only thing I vary is how I explain things, and I just ask them to stop me if they already know what I am talking about, but usually they don't.
  14. by   NewEastCoastRN
    Recently, one of my coworkers was admitted to our hospital. She had a rough time because the nurses assumed that she just wanted to be left alone and would let them know if something was wrong. They didn't even give her anything to wash up with - we brought it to her from our unit. So, I guess the moral of the story is to treat nurses like any other patient. They need the assistance just like any other patient.

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