So, I go to get a patient from the lobby. She's a chronic low back pain, low acuity, recently seen for same with instructions to follow up with her PCP, returning today.
Ambulates with steady gait to room. I ask if she'd like the head of the stretcher up, down, or somewhere in the middle. "In the middle", she says.
"Like this?" I ask.
She indicates this is satisfactory. "Does this stretcher go any lower?", she asks.
"No, that's as low as they go" I respond. "I'm going to put your chart up for a doctor to come see you."
"Okay" she says.
I walk out of the room, closing the privacy curtain behind me.
An hour later, after the doctor's exam is complete and discharge orders are written, I go into the room to discharge her. I hook her up to the monitor to take a set of DC vitals.
"I want to make a complaint", she says.
"Okay", I respond.
"The nurse who brought me back here didn't help me up onto the stretcher. I told her I needed help onto the stretcher and she didn't say anything and just walked out and yanked the curtain closed behind her."
Now I'm wondering if she realizes that *I* am the nurse who brought her back.
"She left me standing here, and I couldn't get on the stretcher until my son came in and helped me. I could have fallen or something!", she continues. She then gives a physical description of this nurse, which is nothing like what *I* look like.
At this point, I'm not sure how to respond. Do I tell her that I was that nurse, and that she did NOT, in fact, ask me for assistance? Am I just supposed to automatically know that "Does this stretcher go any lower?" is interchangable for "Will you assist me onto the stretcher?"?
Also, there are two chairs in the room. Why couldn't she just sit in one of those if she couldn't get on the stretcher? Or, why couldn't she do what everyone else does and come out into the hallway and ask for help?
Clearly, if it were someone with an obvious physical limitation, such as an elderly person, or someone suffering weakness, or a person that uses assistive devices, I would assist them to the stretcher without even being asked. But this was an otherwise healthy, physically capable middle aged woman.
When I went to the cafe on my lunch break, she came into the cafe a short time later, walking without any difficulty, ordering food, sitting at a table and eating it, in no acute distress whatsoever.
Sounds like a psych patient to me....LOL!! Don't worry too much about it - sometimes you're going to come across people in this job who are INTENT on being miserable. If nothing is wrong, they will COME UP with with something that's wrong. Good for you, holding your tongue!
Last edit by tnbutterfly on Jan 8, '12
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