Hi, I am wondering if anyone has any advice/tips on how to cope with the stress of demanding patients.
I work in Long Term Care, each shift I am responsible for 20+ patients. I do the night shift, so during the majority of the shift, it is OK (they're asleep), it's just when I have the 0600 med pass that things become difficult. I only have an hour window before and after the meds are due to give them. I start my med pass at 0500 then should end by 0700 when my shift ends. It always seems that the patients complain, need help finding something, or constantly are needy when I am on a time restriction.
This morning when I was giving the scheduled meds, one of the patients wanted a PRN pain med. I told the aid to tell him that I will be there shortly with it (as I was busy with someone else's meds). He then said he won't let the aids help him to the bathroom until he get's his pain med. He then threatened that he will hyperventilate if he doesn't get his pain med. When I go in there, I see he threw his Nasal Cannula on the floor on purpose (and told me he did). So he was sitting on his bed and having difficulty breathing. SERIOUSLY? I don't understand why people are trying to be so manipulative. It's like they expect me to drop what I am doing and cater to their every need. I understand pain meds are important but if I am busy getting meds out for another patient, I will NOT bring someone else's meds out onto the cart. I do not want to make med errors.
Another patient, I take all her meds to her and she says that she wants yogurt to eat hers with. I then have to waste my time looking for yogurt, which the pantry doesn't have. Then she fusses about not having any.
I then have the people who want to tell me their life story and complain on how bad their life is. I really would love to sit and talk with them, but I have 20 other people to give their meds to in two hours. Is there a polite way to tell them I am busy? I don't want to damage my relationship with the patient but it's not fair to the next nurse when I am running an hour behind.
I am just stressed because it seems my patients think the world evolves around them. If they have to wait for something, they get aggitated, complain, do threats, etc. And after I wake them up to give them their meds, they all want to get out of bed and go to the dinning room. I am the only nurse and there are two aids to help me. The aids do good work but the three of us together can't bend to meet everyone's demand. About half the patients are confused and we have to prioritize making sure the ones who are a fall risk are safe first (then the oriented ones complain).
Quote from VivaLasViejas
They may ACT like three-year-olds sometimes, but you cannot treat them that way because they are still adults
who have lived lives, raised families, worked hard, made tough decisions. They have also been someone's child, someone's spouse, someone's parent, someone's friend; IOW, they have been loved, and that alone makes them worthy of respect. There's no law that says YOU have to love them---you don't even have to like them---but you do have to put up with their humanity, because that is what you are being paid
I'll have to disagree with you here. If you are in your right mind, then no- you do not get away with pitching tantrums, screaming obscenities, and generally being ridiculous, just because you're an adult. Sorry. I don't get paid to be treated like a dog.
Last edit by Lynx25 on Apr 22, '12
: Reason: too early for grammar.
I wish I had time to help patients toilet when I wake them up for meds but with 50 who all need meds, BPS, fingersticks, etc., and all up to me, they gotta wait for the aide. It sometimes takes 15 minutes to toilet someone, I just don't have time for that. I will send the aide in as soon as I see him/her though. I know that sounds mean but if I helped everyone to the toilet during med pass I would never finish, and everyone's meds would be late. =/ I wish it weren't so but it is. Granted, many of them want to get up and go but they are incontinent and have already gone (alzheimer's) and I send the aide to change them anyways I don't want to make people wait because it does make me feel guilty, but it is physically and time-wise not possible for me to toilet and do med pass on 50 people alone. On top of that, I also don't feel "above" toileting residents like many nurses I have met, but I can only do one thing at a time, and if I have 45 people waiting for meds I cannto justify toileting someone for 20 minutes and making those people all late with meds.
I toilet patients all night when I am not doing rounds, treatments, charts, or med pass.
Last edit by JZ_RN on May 2, '12
: Reason: error