Overdoses... - page 3

Hello...Just curious if you happen to get alot of illegal drug overdoses that you have to deal with....what kind of drug, and what is done when the patient comes in?... Read More

  1. by   Rena RN 2003
    did i miss something? did any one of the posters say he/she gave UNcompassionate care to an od patient?

    posting on a message board and giving real life human nursing care are two different things. here we are anon and can vent to the realities of our jobs.


    that being said, i don't think a shift goes by that i don't see an OD in my ER. we see a lot of tylenol pm and methadone. alcohol ranks way up there too. surprisingly, we don't see many illegal drug ODs.

    mucamyst is gross for everyone involved. that stuff smells like rotten eggs to me. narcan is always fun.

    our age groups tend to be 16-25 for pills and usually around 25-35 for alcohol.
  2. by   gwenith
    I think that this thread reflects a natural coping mechanism that of making light of a difficult situation it is also called dark or black humour.

    We all are sympathetic and even empathetic to genuine overdoses who have been driven there by disease and or circumstances but it is difficult to maintain this with those who merely attention seek. Neither is it truly appropriate to give too much sympathy to attention seeking behacviour as it only reinforces that behaviour.

    Nurses are very very good at identifying attention seeking behaviours and differentiating them from those in need. A good nurse gives what is need not what is wanted a great nurse knows the difference.
  3. by   catz
    sorry no noone said they gave uncompassionate care and yes u r right message board venting and real life care are two different things but

    "love it when we have to give mucomyst for acetaminophen od's. Before I am branded cruel, one has to understand that the vast majority of them are young people (18-22 or so) who had some stupid romantic notion about a boyfriend rushing back to them when they found out about the attempt, or a way to temporarily get them out of desperate academic straits"

    the point i was trying to make - obviously not bery well, i didnt mean to come across as attacking - is who are we to decide that a patients od is due to some stupid romantic notion or academic stresses. we as nurses do not know wat was going through the patients mind at the time of the od. often (in my experience) od is an impulsive reaction to being pushed slightly too far and the compliance wth treatment is because in reality the persn never wanted to die in the first place. yes its a cry for help. those that do want to die and have seriously planned it dont make it to er till it is to late.

    again i apologise for seeming offensive......i am/was a nurse, and have been treated at er (in the uk) for od, not by choice but because a friend made me go. i wont go again, the nurses assumed i was attention seeking. so yeah sorry.
  4. by   catz
    A good nurse gives what is need not what is wanted a great nurse knows the difference.


    well said! very true gwineth
  5. by   gwenith
    No problem but having just defended this thread I am reminded of many years ago in a lecture being told that 75% of overdoses never do it again and when the class still looked sceptical the lecturer added "and how many other diseases can we claim a 75% cure rate for?" Up until that time I had a critical care nurses jaundiced view of the frequent flyer overdose but that statement stopped me in my tracks and I thought long and hard about them especially those who have reashed the point through no control of thier own but I will admit that I find it hard to empathise with the experimenter who wants to find out what makes them "high". Did I mention licking dried cane toad skins??

    http://www.jcu.edu.au/school/phtm/PHTM/staff/rsbufo.htm
  6. by   Kayzee
    I can understand those that are upset by some of the posts. The attempt of suicide is something that should be taken seriously. It doesn't matter if it is because of a boyfriend or whatever, it is still a cry for help. It appears that many nurses feel this is attention seeking behavior, and your right. Usually these are young people who haven't matured enough to cope with problems in their lives. The statement " NARCAN IS FUN " even bothers me. Hopefully your children or grandchildren will never be in a situation such as this, for I would worry about the sincereity of the care they receive.
  7. by   Nurse Ratched
    Since I appear to have upset some people with my earlier comment on this thread, I will add that, at the time when this was originally posted, those were exactly the kinds of OD's I was dealing with. I never gave those patients anything but compassionate care.

    Again, it's important to acknowledge that we can be good nurses with legitimate rights to opinions as long as those opinions don't impact our care of patients.

    I do my best on this board not to fall into the trap of implying that someone's professionalism or nursing prowess is judged by what they are, do, or think when they aren't on the clock.
  8. by   catz
    i am glad to hear that ur opinions dont interfere with ur compasionate care for these patients.

    i have to admit that in the past i have been one who jumped to conclusions about youngsters oding for supid (imo) reasons. whilst i tried not to let my opinions interfere with my care of them, i now doubt very much that my opinions did not interfere allbeit subconsiously.

    as for the experimenting to get high thing, i too would find that hard to deal with but i also now recognise how easy it is to go down the addict path. i very nearly did so. thankfully i had friends who stepped in and stopped me before i went that far.

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