Bad Clinical Experience!

  1. Help! I need some encouragement and motivation. I am close to completing my first clinical and so far it is been great! I had alot of great experiences with patients and staff ... until last week.

    I had a patient who was very grumpy and upset and just wanted to die. She was not diagnosed as depressed and she was quite alert. My week with her went well until the end of my last shift with her. My instructor was showing me a how to set up a kangaroo pump for her NG tube and then once she left, my patient got upset with me because she had to continue her tube feedings. The pump was not working and as I was trying to fix it, she became more irate. She then said that she felt sorry for all my future patients. I was so upset although I managed to stay calm and tried to talk to her. Once I left, I was shaking. I still cannot get what she said out of my mind!

    I am now rethinking my skills and my nursing abilities. I feel really turned off from going back to this unit and I feel embarrassed because the patient knew what she was saying! I felt very confident before about choosing the right profession but now I am not so sure....
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  2. 7 Comments

  3. by   Altra
    Nurse05, I hear ya ...

    I had my first *difficult* patient earlier this semester. There was nothing, and I mean nothing I could do that was good enough for her. She was in major denial about her condition and the treatment needed. At one point she actually pushed my hand away from her. A very, very long day. Oh, and after about 4 hours, she suddenly said to me, "I was an LPN, so don't think I don't know what a bad job you're doing." <sigh> A very, very long day.

    But she didn't treat anyone else, including the MDs, any better, so it wasn't just me. She was still on the unit the following week - I went to get my assignment for the next day and when I came around the corner of the hallway the first thing I heard was her voice, still *****ing and moaning. Thankfully, I wasn't assigned to her again!

    The point is ... there will be patients, and days like this, but a lot of better experiences that will make up for it. Hang in there!
  4. by   NsgTiger
    I understand that this was upsetting to you but really just try to blow it off. This may have been your first time to be treated like this but it certainly won't be the last. Sometimes these things happen because the pt is stressed and takes out their emotions on you...blah blah blah. But there are also just some pts who are jerks and will be jerks no matter what you do for them, in fact I had one of these pts today and it's not fun but it's not the end of the world either. Rather than foucusing on this situation, think about the experiences that you've had that make you smile b/c that is why you're in nursing. Seriously, it'll be okay. It was your pt who had the problem, not you...but kudos to you for keeping your composure, I know how difficult that can be! Good luck!
  5. by   Carolanne
    People who are very ill are often very angry as well. Since you're working so very close to them, you will often get the brunt of their anger. It's not you they're angry at, it's their disease and pain. Please know that you are helping these patients and your work is very much needed (and appreciated!) Try not to take it too personal if they lash out, I know it's hard sometimes and your feelings get bruised, but unfortunately sometimes it's just part of the job. Hopefully the times you feel rewarded will outweigh the negative ones, so don't get discouraged!
    Last edit by Carolanne on Mar 24, '04
  6. by   Morguein
    She may have also been upset, because it was the end of your time with her. She may have actually really liked you, but because you were ending your time with her, she may have been upset and wanted to get back at you.
  7. by   Energizer Bunny
    Boy it's a good thing you never encountered my FIL. He was a real piece of work even when he was healthy! BUT when he was sick, did he ever terrorize the nurses on his floor right until the day he died. Anyways, I'm just a student but my thought is that she wasn't really angry at you. She was angry at her circumstance and just took it out on you because you were an easy target.

    JMHO....
  8. by   athomas91
    don't take it personally...i am sure you did a wonderful job...
    but my question is...if she is that ill...and didn't want the feeding...and wanted to die...why were you all continuing?
  9. by   FutureNurse2005
    I agree with the others! Dont let it bother you! But, if it is still getting to you, why not try writing a letter to her (BUT DONT GIVE IT TO HER!!). Just vent everything and then throw it out or mail it to a friend and have them throw it out! It'll be a great release for you!

    Hugs for you!!!

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