Feeling like a servant - page 4

Do you guys ever feel like the families and sometimes patients treat you like u are the waitress? Or like they are ur only patient? It really irritated me today.... Read More

  1. by   ZenLover
    When I was in my 20's I had emergency surgery and had internally hemorrhaged over 4 pints of blood. Had I not drove myself into the ER instead of staying home sick in bed I would have slowly bled to death and died. This was before cell phones. The boyfriend I thought I loved and lived with did not contact anyone in my family or my friends. I woke up after surgery terrified and alone...for days. No one knew I was in there and I was hooked up to a morphine pump. I could barely remember my full name much less phone numbers. What saved me was the nurse who truly cared for me. She came in on the second evening with a container of warm water and clean towels. She cleaned, rubbed and massaged my legs and feet while speaking so gently to me. I really needed that.

    I learned 2 valuable things. 1) The boyfriend had to go ASAP and 2) Servitude is not demeaning unless you allow it. Servitude is not giving up control or self esteem. To me, servitude is simply being there for another human being at their weak moment, not yours. There are those who will try to abuse and don't physically need it...but they wouldn't be trying if they were not emotionally having issues.

    Maybe I am Pollyana sometimes...but I still believe that deep down people don't really want to hurt each other, they just sometimes get very confused trying to defend themselves. It doesn't explain all the evil in the world, but I think it fits the vast majority of us who are good eggs.
  2. by   CloudySue
    Quote from jrwest
    yeah but home health you're not stuck with them for 12 hours straight, are you?
    Heck yeah, if you are private duty! Some families think they have a babysitter and maid rolled into one! I don't mind doing light housekeeping if it's specifically for the actual client, but when the mom wanted her AAO quad daughter to have her nurse do what would be her share of household chores (like take out the kitchen garbage and recyclables) I drew the line!
  3. by   danielle9824
    LOL - that's AWESOME (your response!) - let their lazy a*** get up and fetch their own drink, smh.
  4. by   martymoose
    ahhh- ok, didnt know that.... yeah ,thats crossing the line...
  5. by   CloudySue
    As a 3rd shift private duty nurse, I've been asked by more than one client to keep an eye to the window on their neighbors' houses while their neighbors were away.
  6. by   applewhitern
    Our patients are not allowed in the refreshment room; they cannot just go in there and fetch their own drinks, ice, or snacks. Almost all of them are either on diabetic finger-sticks, or fall precautions, so we have to dictate when and what they eat, and assist them with any ambulation. It usually works out OK. Sometimes we get the family that wants to live in the room and demand everything. We have a large indigent/poor population, and camping out in the patient's room means free cable TV, free air-conditioning, etc. Plus most demand a free meal tray 3 times per day. I have just learned to deal with the customer-service stuff, since it doesn't look like it is going to change in the near future.
  7. by   ZenLover
    I will have to admit there are limits. I was a little put off when one patient, elderly CHF severely overweight, who was on fall precautions wanted me to hold her 2 week old grandbaby while she was hooked up to a 12 lead because she was having questionable rhythms and angina. The mother was no where to be found...presumably getting lunch in some other part of the hospital. Let me add that the patient in a room just a couple of doors down was c.difficile. I was appalled that the baby was there and was worried about what I could have been possibly passing on to the baby off of my own scrubs. I clean my hands in and out like I am supposed to...but had a wonderful moment earlier in the day with a patient that had CHF and schizophrenia. The grandmother expected that I hand the baby back to her...but it looked very precarious and dangerous because she was not stable and could easily drop the baby. What can you do really? The baby is not the patient. Families are something else and can be ridiculous. This was an indigent family and the daughter was probably enjoying the free babysitting. ugh.
  8. by   nurseladybug12
    Quote from queensara
    I am a waitress going through nursing school and i always say nursing is going to be like waitressing only you get paid much more. Ill take $20+ over $3.85 anyday!
    I was a server too for 5 years and during nursing school, and I always thought the same thing! And I think it does have many similarities , you will have such an easy time with time management which is usually the hardest thing for people. I mentioned in my cover letter the similarities that would help me in nursing and it worked out well.
  9. by   JerzeeMike
    Good answer!! I actually told a patient, "I'm sorry but massage therapist is a licensed profession in the state of New Jersey. I don't give massages & massage therapists don't give you your medications." End of conversation.
  10. by   JerzeeMike
    That sounds like a nurse manager to me!
  11. by   KelRN215
    Yes, most nurses feel like this at some point or another but it's all about setting limits. I have gladly done waitressing duties (making coffee, finding breakfast, etc.) for parents whose children were dying and who were afraid to leave the room, for parents whose severely developmentally delayed children flipped out the minute they left the room or for teenagers/young adults who were alone and were non-ambulatory. Without extenuating circumstances, if an able bodied parent whose child was stable and could spare them for a few moments said "I need a drink" or something, I would say "Oh, do you know where the kitchen is?" and then show them where they could find the stocked refreshments on the floor. What bothered me the most was when people left their lunch trays on the floor in the hallway... like they would in a hotel.

    I do not have any of these issues in home health but I do not work private duty. Doing intermittent visits, I go in and do what I went in to do and leave.
  12. by   momto5furbabies
    I'm an STNA, on a waiting list for 3 Nursing Schools. I'm a server, a personal assistant, "my helper", "my girl".
    I work on the rehab floor. MANY days MOST of my residents DO NOT want to rehab.
    my one lady today for example.. "why do i need to go to P.T.? i know how to walk. all i did was fall and break my hip, and they behave like i never walked in my life".
    She is now mad at me, because i made her wash herself.. everything she could reach.
    I am the meanest person in the world.
    its ok, I've been called worse.
  13. by   GraphycCat
    Quote from nurseywifeymommy1
    Do you guys ever feel like the families and sometimes patients treat you like u are the waitress? Or like they are ur only patient? It really irritated me today.
    I do home health care for pediatric patients who are trached and often vent dependent. Not only am I expected to take care of my patient... the parents usually think I'm a built in babysitter for their other kids as well. I can't let the siblings be neglected and the parent has usually disappeared so I end up getting their meals, drinks, etc., changing diapers and dealing with their temper tantrums. I just try to remember that they need care too and try not to be bitter about it.
    Last edit by GraphycCat on Jan 1, '13