sooo tired of staff without ANY compassion or empathy!!!

  1. Ugh, I need to vent!!! I've been a nurse for several years and I get tired and
    stressed out like everyone else. No, I'm not always thinking the nicest things,
    but I am ALWAYS kind to patients, no matter what! I always keep in mind that it's not about ME, and that they don't NEED/ WANT/ or CARE to know about how busy or
    totally stressed I am. They are there to get GOOD CARE, and they deserve it!

    I'm actually venting about a specific situation that I see time and time again, anywhere I've worked. The patients that are dying and/or are in pain---especially the lonely ones with no visitors.

    We've been taking care of someone like that, and it is SO sad because every procedure we do hurts her (surgical wound is red and draining, and as with many patients, removing the TAPE from the dressing is very painful!) colostomy care, turning, stage II decubitis), so we are extra gentle (I hope EVERYONE is!). Once we are done with all our TASKS, she begs us to stay with her. Sadly, we have SO little time, but I try to stay and give a few encouraging words, feed her some ice chips, etc.

    What I am VENTING about is most of the nurses and aides complaining CONSTANTLY about how "ugh, she's ALWAYS wanting pain meds!" (yea, she's DYING of mulitple CANCERS!), "ugh, she's on her light ALL THE TIME!" (yeaa, she's in pain, she's afraid, she's lonely---have ya noticed NO ONE visits her!?)......One nurse even said "I TOLD her "I do NOT HAVE TIME TO STAY IN HERE, I AM BUSY!!!" (seriously????)

    Like I said, I'm busy too, and I am by no means the perfect nurse, and yes, the sound of her CONSTANT call light annoys me too (sometimes). Yesterday, I barely sat down the whole shift, (not complaining, just stating a fact!), and was extreeeemely busy, too. And even though I didn't have extra time for this patient--- at the very LEAST---I wished I had, and still remembered the REASONS she was on her call light every five minutes and TRIED to take the best care of her I could. People forget the interventions we've all heard about to try when someone is constantly calling! Does everyone forget them?

    On the other hand, where I worked before, I was working with a very similar patient. The HUGE difference was, it was a SLOW shift and I DID have lots of extra time to give TLC. Every time this sweet man called on his light (about every 10 minutes), some of my co-workers would roll their eyes, say things like "ugh, just IGNORE him this time".....REALLY???? THEY weren't busy either, they were having too much fun perusing the web with their phones. UGH, are your coworkers like this???? I am SOOO tired of this!

    I always want to ask these people "and what if that was YOUR loved one? Nurses sitting around playing on their phones and saying "just ignore him/her" while your loved one is wet/ soiled/ sad/ in pain/ needing to be turned/ lonely.....????
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    About nervousnurse

    Joined: Jan '04; Posts: 286; Likes: 230
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  3. by   Roseyposey
    I know you are venting, and I agree with you. That being said - how can this be solved? Do you have volunteers that would come and visit her? Is there a chaplain in the hospital, or does she have a church? If the leader of her church could be contacted (yes, of course with her consent before someone HIPAAs me) maybe a group of visitors could be arranged. Are there any parish nurse groups in your area? If you are unsure of what's available, try one of your staff social workers - they can be an awesome resource. Do you have a hospice program? Contact them for help with this. This woman should not have to suffer alone. There are people out there who would help; it's just a matter of connecting with the right resources. If there is nothing available, maybe this is your opportunity to shine and start something wonderful.
  4. by   chrisrn24
    I would just always remind your staff of those things when you can. When they complain, say "she does always ask for pain meds but you know she is dying of multiple cancers" or "you know she is just lonely."
    Sometimes a fresh perspective can change things.
  5. by   Esme12
    My BIL was loved and visited and I met these nurses.....heck it could have been from your floor. It took every ounce of my self control not to slap them every time his dilaudid ggt ran low then empty while it took at LEAST an hour to get another as I saw them leaning on the wall texting on their phone at 3 am...... or the nurses who would encourage him to take Tylenol for breakthrough pain because he didn't want to become addicted...who would roll their eyes and leave the room just would take, at least, another hour to return with the dilaudid.....while he suffered from the agonizing pain from bone cancer that had metastasized every where.

    As a supervisor I see this behavior and I make sure I let them know it isn't acceptable. Every time I see this behavior I say a little prayer that Karma will greet them some day.
  6. by   ADN2B
    The issue is that nurses don't have time for the patient, yet they are playing on their cell phones! This can't be solved by a chaplain or a volunteer. I thought cell phones were not allowed while at work.
  7. by   JBMmom
    I'm new in my LTC facility, I've got 30 residents, two med passes and a treatment pass in the course of my 8-hour shift. I absolutely agree with you about certain aspects, however, I've already found it's not always that easy. I have a resident that needed a PRN Tylenol the other day and it took me 20 minutes to administer it because she wanted- her pillow fixed, her feet moved, a drink of water, some milkshake, etc. I did my best to spend time, but 20 minutes for one med is more than I can spend. I eventually had to say "Ms. ___ I understand that you were feeling pain and now you'd like to have some company, I have some other residents that are also waiting for their medicines and when I can I'll be back in to take care of anything else you need." She proceeded to ring non-stop for the next 90 minutes. If anyone other than myself or one aide went in she would yell at them to go away, and then ring the bell as soon as they walked out the door. I spent at least another 20 minutes over the course of the shift- which went an hour over my scheduled time. I did take five minutes to call my family and say goodnight, never ate anything or even stopped to pee. Sometimes we can't make people happy because as much as we want to stop and do whatever it takes, there were 29 other people that also deserved my care and attention. I think the whole staffing system in LTC is horrendous and it breaks my heart that I can't provide half of the "caring" I'd like.
  8. by   NurseDirtyBird
    Haha, you guys are better people than me! My response would be a smart-aleck remark: "Yeah, you'd be on your call-light for pain meds too if you were dying of cancer. Let's hope that never happens to you."
    I don't have patience for self-centered idiots.
  9. by   Msmedic68w
    *shrug* Eh, well dunno what to say about that. I'm in the military and most of the providers are cold, mean and generally act like they hate their job and the patients. Unless your guts are hanging out there is so sympathy. If you're in pain you're getting motrin and water.
  10. by   BSNbeauty
    OP, I feel the exact same way as you. Unfortunately I cannot control what others nurse do and how they respond to patients. I just continue to be the change I want to see. This is so nerve wrecking, though.
  11. by   BrandonLPN
    Well, you should tell your mean co-workers to go watch the cheese-video in the "One huge reason I want to be a nurse" thread.....
  12. by   Biffbradford
    There are times though, when patients ARE on their lights too much. Their families tend to their every whim in day to day life, and now it's YOUR turn.

    "Oh, straighten the wrinkle out of the lower corner of the pillow. Nooo ... the other side!"

    "Okay, wait, don't go away .... give me a minute to see if that's okay."


    Here's your Percocet, it's time for you go for a walk in the hall. When you get back, brush your teeth and sit in the chair for a FULL HOUR to do your coughing and deep breathing.

    I know, that's not the case every time, but there are times when you need to lay down the law. It's your job to help them get better, and if it's a kick in the a** they need ... then that's what you give them.

    When they've done their part, then I'll give them a back rub. Not before.
  13. by   applewhitern
    We have a problem with cell phone usage at my facility. They won't ban them, because they say a child might need to call, or some other emergency. Staff is on their phones constantly. It is unprofessional, and rude. There is no excuse for anyone having to wait one hour for a dilaudid refill. I would be knocking some heads over that.
  14. by   hudabelle
    I am not a nurse but I do work in a clinic (lab) and we have a room for EKG's, meaning people are, at most, half-dressed in there. I have a coworker who is always hot and demands the temp in that room be turned down (around 65F). I turn up the heat but my coworker always turns it way down. EKG's do not take more than a minute and the pts are freezing in there, I think she can handle it for a minute. She's young, and rather self-centered. I want to say it's not all about you but she doesn't care. Part of working with people who didn't have to earn their posotion I suppose.