my first patient last semester, was a middle-aged gentleman (and i use that word loosely...lol). i went in to visit with him the day before clinical, to introduce myself and make sure it's okay with him for me (a student) to take care of him. he says that's fine...he has no problem. next morning...0700, go in again introduce myself, do assessment, etc. pt. is pleasant enough. go in at 0800...pt. agitated...needs an iv line...he informed nurses "yesterday" that he is hard stick and will need a line subclavicle. oh yes, he has been placed on npo for stress test this p.m. finally, dr. shows up at 1200 and is going to try to do line (not subclavicle, but still in arm). pt. has become more agitated, and begun cursing and screaming at me every time i walk into room. none of the hospital staff (aka primary nurse) will go into room. dr. finally decides pt is right and does subclavicle line. tension eases some. stress test is scheduled for 1400. pt is begging for dr. pepper and food. 1400 comes and goes with no transportation to take him for test. at 1405, he calls me into room. if they are not there by 1415, he is going to get dr. pepper. i call and "they are on their way up" i tell pt. he says good. at 1415 still no one to take him down. he walks off the floor. i stop him. he says that he won't drink until he gets back to room..."they should be up here, by the time i get back" well, guess what?? they still were not up there. i call down again trying to stall pt. "they are on their way up" is the response i again get. i go into pt's room...and he has drank 1/2 of 1 of the 2 drinks he bought. *&^% going to have to start npo all over again!!! they finally make it up with w/c. he goes down for stress test. as a student and only one pt, my instructor allowed me to go down and watch as much as tech would let me. tech said we'd try to do test even with drink. i'm sitting in the room w/pt waiting on dr to show up. test goes well. pt. comes back to room. apologizes for behavior, but tells me he won't be the last that acts that way and if i believe that he will be, i am really naive. i was never in such shock/fright/scared in my entire life. it was almost enough to make me walk away. but before i finished for the day...he opened up to me and admitted he was scared!!! his father was younger than him when he died of an mi. i realized that he was just as scared/shocked/frightened as i was that day last september.
sorry this is so long. good luck to everyone.