Patients thinking others are their nurses?

  1. Do you have a problem with, and how do you handle, patients and family members who think that the aides, etc. are actually nurses and no one corrects them? Example, you go into a patient's room and they say something about the "nurse that was just in here"...do you say anything or just let it slide.
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  2. 16 Comments

  3. by   Katnip
    I let them know that so-and-so is a tech and performs valuable duties as part of the healthcare team, but each patient only gets one nurse, and that would be me. If patient has any questions about meds, treatments, procedures, I'm the one to go to. If they need assistance with ADLs or whatever, they can call on either of us.

    I do not do it in a way that disparages our techs. They are a part of the team and they are worth their weight in gold as far as I'm concerned. But I have been in places where a tech or aide will give advice on over the counter meds, prescription meds, and on what they should do about edema. All of which was very wrong and sometimes outright dangerous.
  4. by   Jailhouse RN
    I correct the problem with a simple explanation.
  5. by   SmilingBluEyes
    cyberkat said it well.
  6. by   prmenrs
    You can put a small dry erase board in the room. Permanently afix things like the phone # to the room, the word "nurse", etc. Then, at the start of every shift, write (dry erase markers) the name of the nurse du jour. That may help, but it's hard when you're in an unfamiliar place, not feeling well, worried about yourself or your loved one, to then try and figure out who's who in the zoo. Thinking everyone who comes in is a nurse is not surprising.
  7. by   BabyRN2Be
    I know that's a gripe among some patients. With everyone dressing nearly alike, people who are not familiar with hospitals may get confused.

    One of my best friends from church was by her mom's beside when she was in the hospital. I went up to visit both of them, and one of my friend's problems she had with the staff was a tech who did introduce herself as the pt's actual nurse.

    I will greatly appreciate the techs once I become a nurse. They are an invaluable asset to the healthcare team. If they are there for me, I'll be there for them, but when a tech confuses matters saying that they are the pts nurse, that's not honest behavior.
  8. by   memphispanda
    It sort of depends on the situation...
    If the family just doesn't understand that people have different duties, then I try to carefully explain..."Jane is the medical assistant, she will do your vitals, but I am your nurse and take care of medications" or whatever needs to be said.
    The elderly confused patient with no family present--I just leave it alone.
  9. by   Ortho_RN
    Quote from prmenrs
    You can put a small dry erase board in the room. Permanently afix things like the phone # to the room, the word "nurse", etc. Then, at the start of every shift, write (dry erase markers) the name of the nurse du jour. That may help, but it's hard when you're in an unfamiliar place, not feeling well, worried about yourself or your loved one, to then try and figure out who's who in the zoo. Thinking everyone who comes in is a nurse is not surprising.
    Yep, that is what we do... Only problem is getting the board filled out
  10. by   happystudent
    This happens to me all the time in the ED. If I walk past a pt or family member and they will say "excuse me, Nurse?" I always reply, Hi, Im one of the techs here, do you need something? Its not the pt fault that they dont know whose who. It such a chaotic atmosphere and they need attn asap! lol
    Even the male nurses are called "Doctors" They respond by saying, Im one of the nurses here.

    Not a big deal,not an issue for me.
  11. by   winstonsmom07095
    Quote from maddiecat
    Do you have a problem with, and how do you handle, patients and family members who think that the aides, etc. are actually nurses and no one corrects them? Example, you go into a patient's room and they say something about the "nurse that was just in here"...do you say anything or just let it slide.
    I know what you mean, they think everyone is "the nurse". I simply explain who is who, they usually understand. These days it is difficult to recognize and differentiate between different staff members due to relaxed uniform dress codes it causes alot of confusion and frustration for everyone.
  12. by   rebel_red
    Yet aides/techs, as happystudent pointed out, we have a responsibility to make the pt/resident aware we are not the "Nurse". When I have new residents I am always careful to introduce myself as "Tres, the nursing assistant." Then two seconds later when the resident asks for pain meds I usually say "X is your nurse tonight, I will go tell her." It is really difficult for pt/residents to differentiate between techs, cnas and nurses Sometimes when I am going through the intro bit, making sure they are comfortable and have their call light in reach I feel a bit like a stewardess and have to repress the urge to say "The exits are located here, (point to door) here if you are extremely desperate (point to window), in case of emergency oxygen is located here
    (point to wall mount above bed.) See what working overnights will do to a girl?

    Be well,
    Tres
  13. by   Marie_LPN, RN
    I politely correct them.
  14. by   MandyInMS
    I always introduce myself..and explain that I will be their nurse for the night until 7 am. Guess a lot of folks don't do that anymore...they laugh when my pt calls and says " I need nurse Mandy pleaseeeee" ..lol

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