I have been an LPN in LTC for 8 years now.. I have only done SNF work since I graduated. I can honestly say that I know exactly where you are coming from. Every last word of what you said was true and it is sad.. I guess I can say I am lucky because although I have been pushed to the max, annoyed to hell and back, and treated like crap in the same way that you have, I took it all in stride and learned from it.. I feel like every crappy situation has just made me a stronger nurse..
There were and still continue to be, days that I come home and cry my eyes out.. I just happen to Love Nursing so I think that is what kept me strong through it all.. I have always wanted to be a nurse and I don't think that will ever change.. There are days where I think.. Wow.. is this really what I will be dealing with until I retire.. but I do know in my heart that I could never do anything else... Nurses are some of the most caring people in the world and it is awful when we are treated like crap on the bottom of someone's shoe..
Just last week I was suspended from work so that my D.O.N. could investigate a situation in which a patient's son said I abused his mother... I will make a long story short.. Anyone who knows me knows that I am NEVER mean or talk down or scream at a patient.. I love my patients and usually I am the nurse that ends up loving the most difficult patients like they were my own family.. So this new patient was in her room and I was passing meds.. As I neared her room with my cart to take her blood sugar, I could hear her screaming at the CNA..
I approached the room and asked, Is everything ok? The patient turns her aggression towards me and starts screaming and ranting about how the previous shift did not do anything right.. After she vented I was able to calm her down but she was upset that it was 4:30 and I had not taken her blood sugar yet.. Mind you I had came to her room with that intention but I let her rant and this made her even more mad because now I didn't take her blood sugar EXACTLY when she wanted it done.. by the way.. it was scheduled for 4:30.. anyway.. her bs is 120.. Great, right?? Wrong.. she starts freaking out saying it is way to low..
I calm her and take her to the dining room. She fussed about her seating arrangement and I tried to accomodate her but she was not having it. I took her back to her room at her request and she continued to rant about dietary, the cna, and anything else she could think of.. I brought her a room tray and she calmed down and ate. I thought it was all over with.. Until I get a phone call from her son accusing me of not taking her blood sugar until after she ate. I assured him that this was not the case and that a CNA was even present when I took the blood sugar.. He proceeded to tell me that I was lying and hung up the phone. I called the DON and told her what was going on because this was the first time I worked with this patient and I had received report from the day nurse that she was rather difficult to deal with on day shift as well.
I continue through my shift and in all honesty the patient had calmed down and was actually rather sweet from that point on. At around 8pm I am doing my last med pass and I hear a man screaming in her room. He was going on and on about how the staff cannot tell her what to do and that we should be on top of her blood sugar and dietary should give her more carbs.. blah blah blah.. he was really mad and I knew that he was going to come take it out on me.. He came stomping out of her room and instantly starting grilling me about her meds, her care, her sugar, and anything else he could think of. I tried to answer his questions but he had the "google" bug and was telling me what I needed to know about Nursing..
He actually at one point got on the phone and called a pharmacist because I mentioned that xanax was kept in our narcotic box. He wanted to have his pharmacist teach me that xanax was not a narcotic it was a controlled substance. Which by the way, I was not really arguing with him I had only mentioned that we keep it in a narc box. Like I said, he knew it all and I was never going to be able to tell him anything at all he was super defensive. Either way, as I went into the room to assess his mother for pain he interrupted me with everything I said to try to "teach me" the correct way to do it all.. I then asked that he let provide care for his mother and he hit the roof.. In all honesty I was doing my best to not sound sarcastic or rude in any way.. It was very hard but I really believe I did a good job considering..
Anyway, He then goes on a tangent about how I am not a good nurse because " I lied to him about his mother's blood sugar" he then proceeds to tell me again that I had not taken his mother's blood sugar until after she ate. At this point I turned to his mother and said " mrs. ******** can you please clarify if I did or did not take your blood sugar before you ate. She then stated that I did indeed take her sugar but that she had to ask me to do it.. Again, I had came to the room with full intent of taking her sugar before her hissy fit but I didn't even bring that up to him.. I just said thank you for being honest or something like that to the patient and because he was still in argue mode I told him I think It would be best if I get the supervisor.. I got the In house sup and she took over from there.
I knew that he had filed a grievance but it was not until the next day that I found out what it had said... He said that I was very rude and nasty with.. get this.. His MOTHER... and that I put my finger in her face and screamed at her about her blood sugar.. Honest to goodness none of that was the truth.. I am not that kind of person and I did not even yell at him (although I really wanted to). I simply got the supervisor before I did get nasty. I knew that my patience was wearing thin and I thought i did the best thing I could.. Well, I was immediately suspended and told that after the investigation I would either be brought back to work with pay or I would be fired if found guilty of the accusations.
I was afraid!!! Not because I was guilty.. but because I was thinking.. "Wow.. I can be fired, possible lose my license, and even go to jail for assault.. for something I did not even do." all based on the fact that a patient's son had a bug up his hiney and decided to lie about the real events that took place. I was beyond shocked when I heard what he had accused me of.. but either way.. I felt confident that my DON would talk to other patients as well as the CNA's who worked with me that night and find that I have never ever been rude to a patient nor to staff and that the CNA's had heard him screaming and saw his demeanor that night...
I am very fortunate because the DON did talk to other patients and they all stated that I was very kind to them and had never mistreated any one of them.. she then spoke to the patient in question and Thank God she told the truth.. She stated that "she was not privy to the conversation between her son and I that took place in the hall however I did not mistreat her in any way.. I did not point my fingers in her face, nor did I scream at her or belittle her in any way.. She did state that I had asked her about the blood sugar incident but that I had not done it in a nasty way.. So that was all it took for me to be exonerated.. I am sorry I said I would make it a short story but I ended up needing to vent after all...
The point I am trying to make with this lengthy post is that Nurses are often treated poorly by family members who are at times feeling guilty or may just be having a bad day or having difficulty coping with their family member's illness. No matter what the feelings of the family member are.. we as nurse's often end up getting the thrashing from all angles.. Often if things go wrong, whether it is our fault or not.. family members, doctors, and even other staff members tend to take it out on A nurse.. So i can completely understand how a nurse can become burnt out and not want to practice any longer...
I know that each and every one of us who have been a nurse for some time have experienced a similar situation at one point and may have questioned our profession.. I literally started thinking.. Wow.. is being a nurse really worth the possibility that a lie can lead to my arrest and loss of licensure? I mean.. come on.. how could you not be stressed out and angry after a situation like that... So I will gladly have the original poster's back and say I know where you are coming from and I myself have wanted to tell a patient's family member that if they think they can do better.. take him/her home and do it your DAMN SELF!!! but that does not mean that I would ever say it...
So please.. let us vent.. do not judge.. because we are all human!! We all make mistakes.. and we all have not so nice thoughts sometimes!~