Why do Nurses do this?

  1. Scenario: Two nurses talking. I'm doing vitals, have an abnormal which I am obligated to report to the nurse. Half of my shift, I can't find the nurses when they're needed for things like patients asking for pain meds, IV's running empty, etc.

    I approach nurse in conversation with another nurse. I stand off to the side just in the field of vision so I'm not horning in or overhearing the conversation with the other nurse. Conversation continues... and I'm being ignored. Conversation ends, and both nurses walk away leaving me to chase down the one I had to report to. Why does this always happen? And it's not just one nurse in particular, it's every nurse on the unit. Obviously, I need to tell them something, but I'm repeatedly ignored. Does anyone have any way for me to handle this? This happened to me 3 times last night. :angryfire:angryfire:angryfire
    •  
  2. 31 Comments

  3. by   Evangeline2000
    Walk up to them and say,
    "Excuse me, but I have an abnormal BP you need to know about."

    Whatever they're talking about is secondary to the patient's abnormal BP.

    Be assertive for the patients, you're just doing your job.

    If you're leery of interupting the conversation, there are other ways. It
    might be a good idea, for you to use a VS sheet and when you have an
    abnormal reading, circle it in red, and take it to the RN. Have her initial
    beside it - that way, she cannot say you didn't notify her.

    You sound like a dedicated worker which we surely need more of....
    Last edit by Evangeline2000 on Oct 29, '07
  4. by   herecomestrouble
    Try just saying "excuse me" as a way to let them know you need one of them,don't wait until the conversation is over.
  5. by   santhony44
    You're trying to be polite, and they are being rude, or else dense.

    You'll probably have to be more assertive and interrupt.
  6. by   Altra
    Quote from santhony44
    You're trying to be polite, and they are being rude, or else dense.

    You'll probably have to be more assertive and interrupt.
    Agree -- sounds like they could use some work on their people skills. But you can't do that for them, so you're going to have to be more assertive.
  7. by   NooNieNursie
    Quote from Kylee45
    Scenario: Two nurses talking. I'm doing vitals, have an abnormal which I am obligated to report to the nurse. Half of my shift, I can't find the nurses when they're needed for things like patients asking for pain meds, IV's running empty, etc.

    I approach nurse in conversation with another nurse. I stand off to the side just in the field of vision so I'm not horning in or overhearing the conversation with the other nurse. Conversation continues... and I'm being ignored. Conversation ends, and both nurses walk away leaving me to chase down the one I had to report to. Why does this always happen? And it's not just one nurse in particular, it's every nurse on the unit. Obviously, I need to tell them something, but I'm repeatedly ignored. Does anyone have any way for me to handle this? This happened to me 3 times last night. :angryfire:angryfire:angryfire
    Hi Kylee,
    Are you a new nursing student? I'm third semester so I'm used to having to "deal" with the nurses . Not all are as ...helpful... as some. Most nurses WILL ask you if you need anything (if it looks like you are standing there trying to get their attention) but you shouldn't depend on this method of "hoping to get noticed" to report something significant about a patient. If two nurses are standing there chatting, wait for an opening and then say "excuse me nurse x, but I wanted to let you know something about the patient in bed x room xxx"... . This is not rude, it's just necessary in a busy hospital. All staff - from personal care providers/nursing assistants to surgeons... they are busy doing their thing and they won't really stop to notice little old you standing there . You've got to learn to be assertive in communicating what is i mportant. It's one of many skills we need to master in order to be an effective health care provider (and it is one of the more difficult tasks for a lot of us; many of us enter the nursing profession because we tend to be more others/caring oriented, so learning to be assertive and occasionally "inconvenient" doesn't come naturally).

    I have a very difficult time being assertive in all kinds of communication... I"m actually very shy and standoffish... but after 3 semesters of nursing I am much better about being confident and proactive in communicating regarding my patients. It will get easier with time... when you begin to feel comfortable in the hospital, with taking care of patients, when you learn more about diseases and interventions and you feel less OVERWHELMED being able to speak up will come naturally.
  8. by   Jo Dirt
    This happens to me all the time at Wal Mart, Lowe's, Home Depot, etc.. I know they see me standing there, but they ignore me and take off with the speed of light and are gone around the corner out of earshot of my calling out to them. And by the time I run to where they turned off to they have vanished.

    How convenient.

    I guess you just can't play Ms. Nice Guy anymore. When you need something just butt in, and if they get huffy about it I'd remind them how polite tactics didn't seem to work before.
  9. by   Pepper The Cat
    Rather rather standing off to the side "just in the vision field" speak up. Perhaps you weren't seen. I know that I have decreased peripheral vision on one side. What is the normal vision field for most people is not for me. You could be standing there and I can't see you. I don't go around telling people this though because I don't like to share my problems with just everyone. So if you are standing there, speak up - make sure you are seen!
  10. by   RN1989
    Just walk up and say "Hey guys, I need some help with (whatever). Can one of you help me please". If they are goofing off and not talking about important patient care, then there is no reason for them not to help. If they are discussing patient care that they must do immediately, then they can say "Hang on, be right with you" and you can stand there until they help you. Don't be afraid to butt in. You have people who get so engrossed in things that they don't see you and then there are those who know you are there and purposely pretend they don't see you so they don't have to work. In either case, every one is at work to do work. I know, can't imagine what else you'd be doing there.....So they should give you the same courtesy they would expect from you if they needed assist.
  11. by   NurseCard
    I have three reasons why the nurse who you wanted to talk to may not have responded to you:

    1) Nurse is having a rough shift and is mentally exausted and at the time perhaps is having a "duh" moment. :spin:

    2) Nurse is having a rough shift and knows in the back of her mind that you probably have bad news and therefore is waiting for you to speak up instead of asking you herself what is wrong. If you don't speak up, then maybe you don't have any bad news to give her. No news is good news.

    3) Nurse and her buddy are having an interesting conversation and think that you are simply eavesdropping, or something like that.

    Call me a bad nurse if you want, or someone lacking people skills or whatever, but I will stand here and admit that there have been times when I have been the nurse in scenarios 1 and 2. As far as 3... well, I actually tend to be the one who kinda eavesdrops. Not necessarily because of juicy gossip, I just tend to like to listen to people's conversations, even about mundane things. But I digress...
  12. by   ldh
    Yeah, this sounds like a very familiar scenario. And wait, here's the best part....when you graduate and you are a new nurse working as part of the staff, it continues. I guess my advice would be to just plain interrupt. Or, you could spend a while trying to find your clinical instructor, poking your head in and out of every room on the floor, and then, exhausted, having to resort to paging him/her. Hehe.

    I remember having to literally run after a nurse on several occasions just to grab her attention. You know, there's a really funny "Nurse Toons" cartoon that addresses this issue. It pictures a group of nurses standing and talking. One of the nurses whispers to her co worker "Here comes a student. It looks like she wants to ask a question. So when she gets closer let's all just disappear really quickly...." Sometimes it helps to laugh about the situation.
  13. by   meandragonbrett
    Be more assertive and proactive. I would politely interrupt them in a heart beat.
  14. by   ebear
    How 'bout EXCUSE ME! YOUR EPIDERMIS IS SHOWING!!!! That will probably startle them for a moment so at least you can get their attention! SPEAK UP!!!

close