Time to admit .. things you've said to pt's/family members that you shouldn't

  1. 0
    In the hospital where I used to work, family members would come up to the desk all the time to say "dad needs a _______ (blanket, cup, straw) and I developed a nasty habit of saying (in a perfectly innocent tone) "Does he know how to use the call light?" Gradually my tone started getting more and more sarcastic. Had to stop that one after a few nasty looks. oops.

    Or "that's not real high on my priority list" :spin:

    I know there's been plenty more....
    At least I knew I had to leave the hospital setting for a bit before my mouth could get me in too much trouble. Feeling much better suited to home health, where you can throw whatever you like at me! I'll be out of your house in less than an hour!
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  3. 184 Comments so far...

  4. 7
    My patients don't talk much (I <3 general anesthesia), but I was speechless when a nurse told me I was a bad parent because my daughter "would not be able to get a bank account" because I refused to fill out a government form about the state of her genitalia.

    This is my 4lb daughter who is currently ventilated and we're worried about her future bank account...Okaaay...
    Saiderap, canoehead, RetRN77, and 4 others like this.
  5. 13
    Quote from PetiteOpRN
    My patients don't talk much (I <3 general anesthesia), but I was speechless when a nurse told me I was a bad parent because my daughter "would not be able to get a bank account" because I refused to fill out a government form about the state of her genitalia.

    This is my 4lb daughter who is currently ventilated and we're worried about her future bank account...Okaaay...
    :redpinkhe Wishing your daughter well!! :redpinkhe
    missdeevah, RetRN77, CrazierThanYou, and 10 others like this.
  6. 84
    Recent conversation I've had with a drug seeking pt:

    Pt.: They didn't come around in the morning and empty all the trash cans. Makes the whole place look dirty, why don't you do it?

    Me (still assessing people and making first med pass): Not high on my priority list, it can wait.

    Pt.: Not a priority. It should be. Its bothersome when people don't want to help you. The heck is so important you can't stop to empty some trash cans.

    Me (mind you, trash cans are not even half full while he is moaning about them): You're right, it is important. I'll tell ya what. Next time you are due pain meds, instead of passing meds, I'll empty all the trash cans on the unit.

    Pt.: Well, its not that big of a deal. Don't do that.

    Me: Guess its not a priority to you either then. Are we done here? I still have meds to pass.

    Pt didn't have a single complaint the rest of the night, just put his call light on every 2 hours for................you know.............said thank you and that was that.
  7. 10
    Had a patient in the ED c/o CP. Prior hx: MI with stent approx 2 years ago, last year had CP; stent found to be occluded = fixed via cath lab (again). Now back in ED for CP.

    As I was reviewing his medication list I noticed he wasn't on a blood thinner (just a baby aspirin). When I inquired further he verbalized that he was a veterinarian and he had "seen those ads on TV about Plavix" and how he didn't believe any of it and he was well covered by the daily baby aspirin. I tried to offer education which was promptly met with further reiteration of how he knew better and more because he was a veterinarian blah, blah, blah. I couldn't resist adding my worth that perhaps lack of appropriate anticoagulation was why his stent had reoccluded for the third time in 2 years.
    Tait, gwlarson, RescueNinja, and 7 others like this.
  8. 12
    I had another patient in the ED who decided to kill herself in the midst of fighting with her husband by OD'ing on his medication. Turns out the medication she grabbed was Keflex. Upon coming to the ED our standard procedure in this particular situation is to change patient into a hospital gown remove all patient clothing and belongings from the room; upon doing so it is especially easy to do a full head to toe assessment.

    The doctor ordered charcoal. As I entered the patient's room (with husband at bedside), and informed the patient of the charcoal order and the ways in which it is administered (drink it down or have an NG tube placed) the patient and her husband both piped up about how she had esophageal problems and couldn't swallow; at one time even required a PEG tube for nutrition. Hmmm. . .During my thorough assessment, I knew that the patient did not have a PEG tube now; the old PEG placement was so well healed the scar tissue was not even pink anymore. Hmmm. . .I casually mentioned that she did not have a problem getting down the Keflex. Her husband again mentioned that she did indeed have a hx of difficulty swallowing. I inquired as to how she receives her nutrition now? How does she survive? What can she eat? She replied that the only thing she was able to get down were poptarts. I handed her the charcoal and suggested that drinking it would be the best of the two options. She was very successful in drinking the whole cup, no problem.
    FutureNurs93, Tait, AprilRNurse, and 9 others like this.
  9. 54
    Probably the thing I've said to patients that I most regret is "Good morning/evening. My name is wooh and I will be your nurse today/tonight."
  10. 2
    Quote from kiszi
    In the hospital where I used to work, family members would come up to the desk all the time to say "dad needs a _______ (blanket, cup, straw) and I developed a nasty habit of saying (in a perfectly innocent tone) "Does he know how to use the call light?" Gradually my tone started getting more and more sarcastic. Had to stop that one after a few nasty looks. oops.

    Or "that's not real high on my priority list" :spin:

    I know there's been plenty more....
    At least I knew I had to leave the hospital setting for a bit before my mouth could get me in too much trouble. Feeling much better suited to home health, where you can throw whatever you like at me! I'll be out of your house in less than an hour!

    My pet peeve is when the families come out to the desk to ask for stuff. I also tell them to put on the call light. I know it is not what I "should say", but it is always at the change of shift when it is super crazy.
    imintrouble and wooh like this.
  11. 14
    I was working on a subacute rehab unit about three years ago and one of my patients had been giving the entire staff a hard time for the entire week that she had been at the facility. She started hollering at me because I obtained her finger stick blood sugar at 7am instead of 6:30. I explained that the result was still a true fasting result because the meal trays had not yet been delivered. She's still griping and raising her voice. She's also hollering that her pills look different. No explanations seem to console her. She seemed intent on being fussy.

    I know that I shouldn't have said this, but I told her, "If you don't like it here, feel free to find another facility!"
    leonurse, gwlarson, imintrouble, and 11 others like this.
  12. 46
    I am a VERY new nurse, but I've already said things I shouldn't have. It's kinda what I do. I say something to the patient, family, doctor, etc that I find out that I should never have said, or have said it in a different way. I'm still figuring it out.

    But about a month ago I had this EVIL, demanding patient who made EVERYONE'S life hell, who wouldn't let us move her the safe way, either by using lifts or team efforts (hurt my shoulders several times moving this dead weight). Just all around unpleasant woman who "fired" almost everyone she came in contact with.

    Well, a patient died in another one of our rooms and this lady got wind of it. When I went in to help her off the commode (for the 5th time that shift) she asked "How old was the lady who died?" and I replied "well, actually it was a man." "Oh, well how old was he?" "He was about your age" LOL The look of horror on her face is something I will remember for a long time.

    I probably shouldn't have said it, but it felt good! Damn, I'm a bad nurse!!
    FutureNurs93, Tait, Lexi86, and 43 others like this.


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