Survey:When you are the patient or family member, do you identify yourself as a nurse - page 6

Here are the results of last months survey question When you are the patient or family member, do you identify yourself as a nurse? : Please feel free to read and post any comments that you... Read More

  1. by   Aussienurse2
    Like most of you I don't have to tell. When I had my first son it was in my home town, the DON came down to the maternity ward and announce loudly that I was sister paulines daughter and if anything was not to her satisfation she woud hear about it!! LOL!! Of course this came after the hodge-podge job they did on the delivery! Then in Sydney my brother-in-law was the head of the trauma dept. so I got the royle treatment. When the last one was born I got up the next day after the c-section, made my bed and went down to have a shower when I came back the sister looked at me with daggers in her eyes and said " Your a nurse! Here the nurses who give birth do NOT make their own beds!" LOL!! They were so great I sent them a huge box of Cadburys when I left. I apparently look like a nurse, not quite sure what that means though.
  2. by   NotReady4PrimeTime
    Like Cheerfuldoer, my real answer is "Maybe". I tend not to offer it up at first, because there are a lot of side effects to doing so. It puts people on the defensive, it leads to assumptions on both sides, sometimes it results in a longer wait ("You can see how busy we are, surely you don't mind monitoring your family member's condition until we can get to you."), or out-and-out neglect. The last time my son (who has a very complex medical history and ongoing needs) had day surgery, I lost count of the number of times I refilled the chamber on his IV when it was dry and the tubing half-filled with air. I've been asked to draw his blood for tests when the nurse wasn't able to find a vein, to give IV meds, to d/c IVs and countless other tasks that I would not ask a family member to do. On the other hand, he received top-notch care in the recovery room because the admitting nurse knew me well. It's a double-edged sword at times, and I try to be careful when I use it.
  3. by   rncountry
    Two years ago I found out my dad was ill with melanoma that started on a small bald area on the top of his head. Then Mets to the brain. He had not initially treated it because he was a Christian Scientist, but after seizures my stepmom begged him to begin tx, and he did. He never told me until after he started radiation. He was an intensely private man, and I tried to respect that, so unless he brought up what was going on I rarely asked except to see how he was feeling. He was in TN, me in MI. This situation stopped when I got a call from my stepmom in tears because my dad had such pain in his Left leg that he could not support his weight, she told me that an xray had been done as the doc felt it was more mets, however that was not the case and my dad was sent home with no dx. At that point the symptoms had been going on for 6 days, many calls to doctors office with no result. She then told me he seemed thirsty all the time, and was urinating very frequently. The alarm bells were chiming so I asked to speak to my dad. I asked for him to please answer my questions honestly even if they caused him some embarrassment, he was a little hesitant at first but did it. He had the full blown s/sx of DM, and when I asked for my stepmom to do a Homan's sign I could hear my dad yell.
    Next morning I was on the phone to the doctors office. Dragonlady keeper of the gate receptionist tried very hard to put me off about speaking to the the nurse, wanted me to give her s/sx, she would have the nurse call me etc... that was until I finally got very angry and told her I was a Registered Nurse calling from Michigan, that my dad had some things going on that led me to believe that he care was less than adequate, and that if I needed to come down there from Michigan to straighten it out neither her or the doctor was going to care much for the result. I immediately got the nurse. After again identifying myself as an RN I asked if they had been doing routine blood sugars on my dad, after all he was on massive doses of steroids. NO. Had anyone done a doppler? NO. I got this damn code talk about limited time with patients, doctor had many HMO patients. I knew exactly what she was telling me, and didn't give a damn. After all both of these things are standard, no brainers. I explained that I was a 12 hour drive from Memphis and they should expect me in about 14 hours. That gave me time to get home from work and pack to get on the road.
    By the time I got to Memphis my dad had already had emergency surgery to try a bypass on his lower leg, that had been without blood flow for 7 days by this point. It was unsuccessful. His blood sugar was running around 500, how was his body supposed to repair anything? He was on a surgical oncology unit, nurse had 14 patients. I am not exaggerating. Later in the day a junior resident(pockets full of books) came in and explained to my dad that he would need an amputation, blew off questions, making it sound like all would be well. I followed the **** out into the hallway, explained I was a nurse and that he would march his ass right back in there and explain to my dad that he would have much difficulty healing if he opted for amputation, and why. He stood there and stammered and stuttered, I looked him in the eye and said I F***ing mean it. And next time I want the doctor who created this mess to begin with!
    This is a very long story so to make it short, my dad lost his lower leg, it did not heal and three weeks after the amputation he was in the doctors office after being told further amputation would be necessary because of gangrene, he went to the waiting room, clutched his chest and said oh God that hurts and collapsed. He never woke up, and was pronounced dead shortly after the the ambulance got him to the ER. Sept. 12, two years ago.
    The anger I felt and still do is indescribable. It is most likely he would have died no matter what, the mets was very extensive, but to have him have to lose his leg before hand because of someone's incompetance was more than I could deal with, particularly at the time.
    In the last year my stepdad has had surgery three times, you bet every time I announce from the rooftops I am a nurse. I feel sure if I had not he too would have lost his leg, the care the second time around was atrocious, not from nurses, but from docs. Again that call with the magic I am a Registered Nurse, worked wonders. Mom has been in the hospital twice in the last month, in the hospital where I am, so it wasn't an issue. I picked the docs, they knew I was specifically and all went well. I would bop downstairs to see my mom every couple hours, and I felt much better knowing that she had physicians I knew were good and caring.
    After all my dad went through never again will I not simply identify myself as a nurse right away. It was amazing to watch everyone ******** and getting after they knew that someone who knew what should have been done, understood that it hadn't. I wish many times I had butted in a more with my dad, but I also felt I had to respect his feelings about sharing his bodily functions with his daughter.
    I would wish that no one had to experience this with one of their loved ones, but unfortunatly I know with what is going on out there it is not likely.
  4. by   NurseDianne
    Since we usually use the facility we work at, its a given. But, in cases of being at another facilitly, I don't unless I feel one of my family members is not getting the treatment that is needed. I think that it makes the staff uncomfortable to know that you are watching their every move! I know that's the way I feel when I have a patients family member say they are a nurse, etc.
  5. by   chrisrob
    i agree with heather someone always gives it away
  6. by   chrisrob
    once i had to drive 350 miles to see my dad who had had an acute M.I. when i ot there he doc spoke to me showed me his ECGs explained the treament etc i thought wow thats great went to see dad who informed me he had told the nurses hewas not having any morphine in case he was asleep when i arrived and that i was a nurse in coronary care thats why i got all the info when i was there he kept having burst of v. tach that were becoming more and more frequent and getting longer ( i had of course by now scanned the room for a defib) when i was leaving the doc said that she was sure i had noted the v. tach and they were going to treat it. What i did learn from his ecgs was that he had actually infarctd 2 days earleir his GP had given him a nitrate spray even though he was cold clammy vomiting etc (mum told me this )so went on to extend to quite a large anterior i had the info to wipe the floor with his gp and did made damm sure dad was pt on another docs list same doc had previously tried to give me augmentin or a septic throat even though i had told him i was allergic to penicillin seemed not bothered when i imformed him that he would probably kill me if i took that so glad i had that kowledge so sometimes it does pay to let them know your a nurse and i would now if i thought the treatment was wrong or could be better get more info from other nurses if they know they a talk proper termonolgy with u i know i give better info to a nurse thimk its because we need to know what were thinking aout an illness is true or not
  7. by   purdue91
    Everyone needs a patient advocate with them for any procedure. I believe that more knowledge is best and every pair of eyes is better. I don't always say I'm a nurse up front, but real soon after. Everyone needs to stay on their toes. I find when working with a patient or family member that is a nurse, it makes it easier to explain and or not, what ever the case.
    This is my first post. I'm glad to be aboard.
    Last edit by purdue91 on Sep 2, '02
  8. by   JMP
    Had a family member in a nearby hospital, not the one I work aat. They where getting this family member up out of bed one day post surgery on her hip and leg........this family member mentally challenged and was screaming in pain........I called the head nurse and identified myself not only as a RN, but one that worked in ICU.

    I wanted this family member to get premedicated BEFORE getting her up. She had PRN morphine....I told them to use it ... the head nurse was stunned. My god, it was as if the idea had never occured to them.

    I then went to the hospital and everyone was on their tip toes......... the message had been conveyed I would be watching.

    Worked well in that situation.

    However, we often get family members in ICU who state they are nurses, but few are familiar with critical care. It does not bother us when they tell us.... we welcome the fact we can talk turkey with them sometimes. Just my own opinion.
  9. by   schrandt
    First of all, I am so sorry about what happened to your dad rncountry.

    Last year I hurt my back somehow. We treated according to plan, followed all the steps necessary before I was referred to a neurosurgeon. Had surgery a mere week later. It seems everybody knew I was a nurse the minute I hit the door. Everybody was wonderful. I sat up on the cart going into OR--hurt like H___!! The nurse gave me something & when my tongue felt 10 times it's size I said as much to her. She said that as much pain as I was in I deserved a little Fentanyl (sp?). Even got to touch base with a couple of those I had gone to nursing school with. Looking back, I'm not so sure the surgeon didn't say something-super guy! Incidentally, my family has the "bigmouth" disease you all describe. including my parents.
  10. by   nursedawn67
    I don't tell them unless I feel I need to, or to save them time explaining things to me I might say I understand I'm a nurse, but even that is rare. Usually my family members tell everyone.
  11. by   Stargazer
    Helen, that is a horrifying story. How awful for you and your family.

    I do understand what you mean about walking that fine line between protecting your family member and respecting their privacy. When docs and nurses give me detailed info about my dad, sometimes I almost wish they wouldn't.

    When my dad had his first heart cath 10 years ago, the cardiologist dragged me into the film room and showed me the results. Seeing that huge, boggy, dyskinetic heart and hearing that his EF was in the low 20's due to idiopathic cardiomyopathy was like being run over by a truck. I had a really hard time keeping it together for the next few hours until I went home and cried all night.

    When my dad was in the preop area for his surgery last month and told the admit nurse that I was an RN, she asked if I would like to see his labs and handed them over with his EKG. Labs were fine, but once again I kind of wish I hadn't looked at the 12-lead and seen how W-I-D-E his complexes were. It just scares me, and then it's hard to keep a poker face with my dad.

    I dunno. Anybody else feel like there's gotta be something between too little info and too much?
  12. by   globalRN
    I live in a different country and visit my parents 1-3 times a year.
    I want to know everything that is going on...I have seen too many omissions and errors. When I went with my 74 y/o Dad to see his doctor for suspected pneumonia(my suspicion and I was right) I wanted to know the date of his pneumovax? It wasn't available so the doctor said she would check his entire file. Turns out he never had it...and he has COPD and asthma.
    When my son was being investigated for '?hemoptysis' he was given PPD skin testing. The attending didn't even know what was considered a positive reading....and then had to recant and say '10 mm was positive'. I mean I live in Hong Kong where TB is a real problem! Then in reading the induration....she wasn't sure and asked if I would like to doublecheck...you bet I would rather measure it myself than go by someone who wasn't very confident.
    Anyway, they also did other investigations and wanted to 'call me if there were any significant findings ...and if I got no phone call to relax because that meant findings WNL or NAD'. I said no...they had already lost an EKG that they had taken and didn't look for it until I asked what was the EKG result. I said I will come back for a return appointment to SEE the results.
    Living here in HK, with very variable quality of medical care is one of the BIGGEST reasons I chose to become a nurse practitioner.
  13. by   Teshiee
    I will bring it up if I feel that the floor has some incompetence going on. Other than that I don't go there.

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