Ever have a patient work your very last nerve? - page 3

by proud nurse

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I had a patient yesterday that truly must've thought I was his audience at the comedy club. He had such a snarky sarcastic attitude, a really dumb sense of humor, and wasn't funny. He made obnoxious comments and was clearly... Read More


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    I didnt have this pt , but my co-worker did. pt is 90 something yrs old. family member makes it very well known she is a lawyer. says if anything happens ( ie- pt dies) you will all have he double hockey sticks to pay!! Really?????? That worked my nerve and they werent even mine. But I guess had they been mine, I would have had to offer the blank slate/face treatment, and proceed to document my behind off.
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    My nursing motto is "never let them see you sweat." With obnoxious patients or family, I go into servant mode; cool, efficient, and utterly unshakable. Sometimes it makes people madder, but most people stop trying when they can't get a reaction.
    Rensoul likes this.
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    Quote from proud nurse
    I had a patient yesterday that truly must've thought I was his audience at the comedy club. He had such a snarky sarcastic attitude, a really dumb sense of humor, and wasn't funny. He made obnoxious comments and was clearly trying to see how far he could go before he ticked me off.

    When he could tell he was skating on thin ice with me, he even said "don't go into some corner and cry now, I was only joking." I told him, "you're giving yourself too much credit, my skin is a lot thicker than that."

    2 hours into the shift I couldn't stand this man, and it took all my mama taught me to keep from telling him something.
    We recently got a patient to the floor that was transferred from another floor because they couldn't take anymore of this patient. Her nursing home won't take her back because she called 911 for herself without notifying the staff. The nursing home won't take her back because they considered her move to be going AMA. She is a quad and can tie up staff for long periods of time. If she doesn't get what she wants, she will lay on the call light every minute until someone comes in to attend to what capricious demands she has for that moment. She will tell the nurses how to administer her meds through her IV and even how to mix the med and diluent. She won't eat the hospital food but wants some to feed her chips one by one. Nursing homes in five counties won't take her in either; she's burned a few bridges. There is little can be done to apease this patient. Personally, I've taken up praying for patience.
    motownmama27 likes this.
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    I've had patients like that, though usually it's the family members that get me going. I've also had a Dr. come to my "rescue" with a family member who thought that his wife getting discharged right this second was a higher priority than a code that had been occurring earlier and had delayed their d/c. Pt husband was getting all nasty and snarky with me & I was desperately trying to get things done so I could get the man out of my hospital. Dr. overhead him giving me a hard time and just flat went off on the man and told him to sit down & be quiet and that he better be nice to the nursing staff.

    Made my day to see the look on the mans face.
    motownmama27, C-lion, uRNmyway, and 1 other like this.
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    I wonder about patients like the OP described. I think that the particular patient, that is how he is (sadly). He knew how to (try to) calm her down about crying in the corner so he knew what he was doing. I have an huge interest in Psych and these types make me wonder if they might have Borderline Personality Disorder or maybe Narcissistic Personality Disorder. Sure, patients can be cranky they are sick but these ones cross the line.

    Just a thought. I am NOT diagnosing anyone!!!
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    A couple of days ago I typed out a long answer to this post but deleted it because I felt it was too much info/too negative but legendarylady's post reminded me of this patient so strongly I will share just a tidbit. This patient was fully able to feed herself but insisted that a nurse had to stand at her bedside holding her pills (approximately 97 of them) a cup of juice and a cup of milk. She would only put one pill in her mouth at a time and insisted on having a sip of juice and then a sip of milk after every individual pill. If the nurse refused these shenanigans she would call her family and tell them that we were denying her her medications. Never mind that this person was in the hospital basically because her family couldn't stand her anymore, they would come in and scream at the poor soul who was saddled with mom. Oh, and we were the second floor to have her, and we received and transferred her for the express purpose "we need to give the nurses on X a break." Lol, the memory still gives me a feeling of helpless rage, and this was probably 5 years ago.
    motownmama27 likes this.
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    I wish I could have been a nurse back in the old days, when this type of crap wasn't tolerated. This new customer service model of health care is a load of crap if you ask me.

    I had a patient the other night whose family was a nightmare. Nothing but trash. I was warned by the previous nurse that they were difficult but she really gave me the shaft by writing the patient's PRNs on the white board with a SCHEDULE of when they were "due" like they were scheduled meds and not PRNs. So, when I arrive on scene 15 minutes after the PRN was "due" the patient and the family was freaking out. I couldn't get these idiots to understand the difference between PRNs and scheduled meds. I finally just started totally ignoring the family. I wish I could have ignored the patient, frankly. She was hateful, rude, and non-compliant with all aspects of care aside from pain medication administration.

    The situation was awkward since I was basically ignoring their existence but I think I did an okay job of acting like I was unruffled. By the way, the son (or whoever he was) looked just like Dog the Bounty Hunter.
    motownmama27 and jrwest like this.
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    What's bad is when they demand a different nurse for no reason other than because you try to ignore their obnoxiousness.
    Not_A_Hat_Person and bridges12 like this.
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    My dad was a GP and on hearing that his patient was harassing one of the nurses he marched right down to the nursing station and discharged the guy. I find usually it's the families that take the cake though.
    proud nurse likes this.
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    Quote from judybsn
    My dad was a GP and on hearing that his patient was harassing one of the nurses he marched right down to the nursing station and discharged the guy. I find usually it's the families that take the cake though.
    Your Dad sounds awesome! I had a doctor do this for my new staff orientee once and I will always admire him for it.
    judybsn and motownmama27 like this.


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