Feeling like a servant - page 4

by nurseywifeymommy1

14,204 Views | 62 Comments

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. 0
    I have also had this problem in acute care as well as long term care. I encourage my patients to do as much as they can for themselves in order to get better so they can go home. I show them where they can get snacks, ice, and water. I don't mind helping those that are unable to help themselves. And as far as their visitors go, I direct them to the cafeteria and vending machines.
  2. 0
    I think it's a great idea to show patients and/or family members the kitchen and inform them of the policies, as suggested by KookyKorky. Perhaps some people are truly ignorant of how it works (don't know where the kitchen/vending is, think that drinks/snacks must be procured by the nurse, etc.).

    Admittedly, as a recent hospital visitor I allowed my grandma's nurses to fetch her drinks and snacks. I never heard them mention a kitchen, and I didn't stop to question when they asked what they could bring her. I would have gladly fetched water/Sprite/ice for her to lighten their work load, but I was under the impression that the patients' drinks were kept in a staff-only area. I bet I'm not the only one to make this mistake, but boy do I feel embarrassed after reading this thread!

    Best wishes!
  3. 1
    Yes me too....
    I am a big fan of Orem's Self-Care Management and practice it as often as possible. I am not helping you if I do things for you that you can do for yourself. I have no quilt with this. We do not need to encourage this behavior - and besides these little niceties will dry up when universal healthcare comes to fruition in full force. Our client population is going to increase by at least 30 million. There will not be time for anything but what holds precedence.
    Ellen NP likes this.
  4. 0
    it can be annoying, but i try not to let it bother me. the post which basically said we are servants actually resonated with me as well, but for personal reasons. it is good for me to serve, i can't speak for anyone else. clinical judgment comes in when i have to decide whether it's good for the patient as well. it isn't always, thus Orem.

    that said, fetching things for family members is strictly out of the question in most cases.
  5. 2
    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!
    nurseladybug12 and jrwest like this.
  6. 0
    Yes queen waitressing is alot like nursing you serve others but you try to do it in such as way that you are not abused. As I indicated earlier, the problem with servitude is that it that it has negative connotations. Even many dictionaries such as merriam webster will indicate that servant is one that serves others but then goes further to give negative connotations to it.


    I certainly agree with others who write that a large purpose of the "service" or "care" you provide should lead to some measure of independence for the patient and family.

    I also do have a problem when patients and or family and friends come to the hospital with the idea that they are in a hotel. Again, that gets to become a more abusive situation than one of service.
  7. 0
    The hospital is a scary place for those not conditioned/acclimated to that environment. Family members and friends may find it bewildering and sickening, e.g., a friend and I visited a friend who had just survived a car crash. (Our friend's face got wrecked and got it fixed by an excellent plastic surgeon. Surgeon also threw in a rhinoplasty gratis.)

    My friend fainted from the smells and visuals of the hospital. For me it was business as usual. I was checking the IVs when friend passed out. The friend is otherwise hardy (passed the CPA exam, in full, on first try).
  8. 3
    When I first starting nursing in 1976, every patient got a back rub as part of HS care. We had time to do it then, however.
    teeniebert, Syrenia, and psych41 like this.
  9. 0
    When I was a nursing assistant, I had a family member suggest that we do what Quickchek does with their coffee and make it fresh every 20 minutes. :/
  10. 11
    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.
    3aremyjoy, Syrenia, Mijourney, and 8 others like this.


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