Nurses: How Do You Feel About Your Patients Being Nurses?

  1. 0
    Or worse yet when their family members are nurses at the same hospital.

    Well I recently went per-diem at my ER job and worked my first shift back in a month and a half. (Thank God I wasn't as rusty as I thought I would be)

    So of course, crazy busy ER, new patient from triage like every 15 minutes. Plus we were short a nurse and a ward clerk, and the ED tech is on break. So we're answering phones, processing our own blood, etcc.!

    In comes a patient, uncomfortable looking? yes, he is shivering and bundled up, basically here for flu-like symptoms.

    By his side are two women both with our hospital badges on, right away I see they're both RN's

    By this time we're in the middle of the usual storm, the waiting room is bursting at the seams, triage is backed up, we're all running around like chickens with our heads cut off docs included!

    He isn't even in my area 15 minutes (according to the computer he has been in the ER from door to my area only 22 minutes, obviously he got in quick, he's with two RN's!) when one of the ladies he's with chases me down and asks abruptly are you his nurse?, are you his nurse?

    I stop dead in my tracks and nod eagerly Yes maam, I'll be right with you (I had blood specimens in my hand that needed to be sent to lab, I couldnt just drop it!)

    5 minutes didn't even go by and the other ladies he's with also one of our RN's goes, hey he has a 102 fever and his HR is 140, this time I look her dead in the eye and through my teeth say, YES just please give me a minute I'll be right there. I understand I'm his nurse, but he hasn't even been seen by the doc yet. I get the whole you work here thing. Heck I brought my brother to ER (which is my own dept) but I waited like everyone else but I certainly didn't pressure my fellow nurses to get on it!

    Then as I place the blood tubes down to draw his blood she decides it would be cute to pick up each blood tube and name them all and what they're for, like really? please stop showing off, I'm sure your sick husband doesn't appreciate this right now, we all get it your a nurse, I'm a nurse, the other ladies a nurse, you work here, grow up!

    So I take care of him, thankfully he's not seriously sick. It's the flu!


    A few hours later another patient comes in with severe pain. Docs are at a trauma, I go ahead get him lined and labbed and promise him the ER doc will be back soon.

    Unfortunately ER doc is with trauma patient for a while, so I grab another doc and beg him to order some pain med for my guy, which I then give.


    patient then asks for more pain medication about an hour or two later, we give him a stronger dose, he was thankful and said he knows how busy it can be his wife is one of the nurse managers upstairs.

    Few hours later his wife shows up!

    I let her know I'm his nurse tell him which nurse would be covering me while I was on break.

    I come back from break and lets just say the nurse who was supposed to be relieving me left more work for me plus it hadn't slowed down, I had two new patients who weren't even seen!

    Now I dont' know if I was so busy cleaning up the nurse who was supposed to be relieving me for my breaks mess or if it was never relayed to me that he was once again in pain.

    Then his wife comes over to me (with a very typical nurse manager's tone as if I was one of her nurses) and says a bit sarcastically, ''hey, he's been in pain for 45 minutes now''

    I say yes, yes I'm on it, at the same time ER doc interupts me looking for a patients urine specimen and again I get caught up with that and getting pain meds for yet another patient who was in excruciating pain!

    Now it's time for shift change, me and oncoming nurse are rounding and when I get to him he yells with frustation, HEY I've been lying in pain for 45 minutes here, what's going on!

    I felt horrible, like his wife is a NM now I look bad, is she going to tell my manager? Then it reminded me of the two nurses who came in with the patient earlier that night who were absolutely pressuring me to get to their family member right away.

    Ugh I'm so used to having bad nights that they don't faze me (unless a patient was harmed) but for some reason this bothered me a bit as if I looked incompetent. Not to mention both nurses and the nurse manager were all from different units they must think our ER is a zoo, so disorderly and poorly run. *Sigh*

    Do you ever feel weird when your patient or patient's family member is in the medical field? worse yet fellow nurses?
    Last edit by Joe V on Dec 29, '12 : Reason: removed formatting
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  3. 32 Comments so far...

  4. 5
    No, I have lots of patients who are physicians, NPs, PAs, nurses, etc. I don't care. When they are in my exam room, they are a patient.
    All4NursingRN, Meriwhen, Everline, and 2 others like this.
  5. 1
    Quote from BlueDevil,DNP
    No, I have lots of patients who are physicians, NPs, PAs, nurses, etc. I don't care. When they are in my exam room, they are a patient.
    I agree, and if anybody should understand prioritization of who gets seen first, a nurse should. Don't sweat it, honey. Glad you were able to vent though. Sometimes it just feels better to put it down in writing.
    All4NursingRN likes this.
  6. 2
    Quote from BlueDevil,DNP
    No, I have lots of patients who are physicians, NPs, PAs, nurses, etc. I don't care. When they are in my exam room, they are a patient.
    Agreed. At first I was a bit intimidated by having RNs or MDs for patients, but then I realized that I am pretty good at my job and I could continue to be no matter who was the patient.

    I adjust my approach for whoever my patients' are or what background they came from. Medical training is just another area.
    All4NursingRN and joanna73 like this.
  7. 2
    I can feel a bit uncomfortable because you just know that they are judging every move you make. But, I don't let it get to me because when they are in my unit I treat them like I would anyone else.
    All4NursingRN and Everline like this.
  8. 1
    As a patient, I try to be extra accommodating and non-demanding. I will quietly voice any requests, but make it clear that I think it's a kindness for someone to do anything other than keep me from dying and that I have no problem waiting until it's a decent time. I make it clear that I value input and thank people. That's not to say that I don't ask questions or want anything, but I try to be super respectful just as I'd want someone to treat me or my colleagues. Fortunately I've yet to encounter a nurse or provider in my own care whose competence I was concerned about. If I did . . . well, I'd still try to be polite about it.

    One thing I've learned from doing this job (and my mommy may she RIP), is that a smile and a thank you are a lot more effective than being rude or obnoxious. Honestly, I'd rather be the patient who's stable enough to have to entertain himself surfing the net on his phone than the one everybody's huddled around trying to stabilize. Sadly, many people, regardless of profession or lack thereof, are so self-centered that they can't comprehend the realities of the world whether it be in terms of health care, economics, or anything else.

    I have no problem taking care of other health care personnel and their family members in the PACU. Esp. people I know, as I believe I am able to do an excellent job of tailoring their care to their needs. Granted, this setting affords such a close ratio that it's easy to be perceived as caring and on-top-of-things if you're moderately competent or better.

    The patients/family members who're not any fun are people way out of their element who won't listen and don't realize how ignorant they are of perioperative patient management. This is worse in lesser trained assistive staff, and also some doctors who practice in totally irrelevant disciplines who probably have bad attitudes as a baseline. For example, I'll get the CNA/MA family member who is freaking out about one vital sign parameter that is consistent with the patient's status who won't listen when I explain why it's acceptable.
    All4NursingRN likes this.
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    Incredibly rude of those women. Smh... I can only imagine how frustrated you felt!
    All4NursingRN likes this.
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    I've actually had worse experiences with family members or patients who weren't nurses, but worked in a hospital and figured they knew it all. The worst experience was with a patient's daughter who worked in the stores department of a different hospital. Another with a daughter who had her industrial first aid ticket and liked to (try to) order around our LPNs as though she were their superior.
    hiddencatRN likes this.
  11. 2
    It used to make me nervous when I had a nurse for a patient or as a family member but it doesn't anymore. I sometimes like it now because I don't always have to translate care into layman's terms. I am a patient at the hospital where I work, and the weirdest situations are when I'm taking care of a patient that has the same attending that I have. I have received impromptu assessments of my condition in the hallway from my docs, like "How are you feeling?" "Did that script work for you?" "You need to make a follow up appointment." To me, it's much more uncomfortable being the patient than taking care of a nurse. I feel obligated to be "an easy patient."
    poppycat and pbuttercups like this.
  12. 1
    If I have to be treated at a hospital where I work, then everybody knows I'm an LPN, of course.

    However, if I am being treated elsewhere, or by an unaffiliated doctor, I never mention the fact that I'm an LPN. I find I get better care and my questions are answered better if they don't know.
    All4NursingRN likes this.


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