Stopping patient care for another patient - page 3

by sAssy_NurSe 6,629 Views | 68 Comments

Ok I have a question.... Here's the scenario ... I was in the middle of patient care with one patient who was requesting pain medication. It was time for her scheduled meds so I was doing the whole nine. Checking her vitals,... Read More


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    You were right, I know pain is important, but I am sorry, with the heavy patient load we have, there's not time to make trips back and forth into rooms. I would not have dropped the patient care I was already doing, left the room I was already in, to go spend 10 minutes doing prn meds and the assessment and the charting and the probably crushing and mixing up pills and all that and dealing with a family member... nope. Not enough time in my day. Sorry. I'd go to patient 2 and give the pain med when I was finished with what I was already doing. Short of a code or bleeding injury or something, I'm not gonna run around back and forth like a servant.
    noyesno and pomegranate like this.
  2. 11
    And pain control is not the number 1 nursing priority, it never has been, never will be. Number 1 priority is safety, then respiratory, then cardiac, etc.
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    Quote from Been there,done that
    How much "sweetness"does it take after you've been laying in pain?

    You might "worry about it" if it was YOUR loved one in pain. Pain control is NUMBER ONE of all nursing priorities.
    Sorry? BREATHING is my number one nursing priority.
  4. 4
    Quote from dudette10
    one thing that i do that seems to work for reasonable patients, although we aren't allowed by management to do it: i say, "i'm sorry for the 10 minute delay. i was with another patient at the time i was told of your request, but i'm here now! here's your pain pill! anything else you need?"

    i would suggest adding in your own time frame at the onset of this - it makes it harder for the family to go back later and claim a 45 minute (bogus) delay.
  5. 0
    Believe it or not, this nonsense (and I use the word loosely for another that's not acceptable in polite company. . .you get what I mean) goes on in clinic settings, too. Years ago, I was trying desperately to keep the exam rooms full for the physician, but had to handle the after-school allergy injection kids, too. I was doing my level best, honestly, but one or two moms would consistently jump up and ask if their child could have his/her shot NOW. They had not waited an extraordinary period of time at all and knew that the allergy shots were worked in between keeping the exam rooms full. . .after all, they wanted to be seen by the doc in a timely fashion, too, when THEY had a sick child and someone else wanted their AI NOW. Grrrrrr!!

    Finally, after two or three rounds of this unreasonable behavior, I spoke to the physician. I don't know what he did/said to these particular mothers, but they never hounded me again. I was always grateful to him for taking MY part and not theirs. SOOOO glad to be out of that setting; don't miss that nonsense AT ALL!!
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    I am right there with all of you....Unless there is a code or someone is bleeding out of their eyeballs, I am not interrupting what I am doing and possibly making a mistake....family members that do that are obnoxious at times, stick to your guns and tell your DON exactly that...however playing devil's advocate for a minute, did the tech tell the other patient that you were with someone? I CMA by going to the patient directly because I have had that happen...had a tech answer a light then not tell me what they want and I have caught holy hell until I explain that to them...either way...don't stop what you are doing with one like I said, unless one or both of the above conditions applies....
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    Quote from redhead_NURSE98!
    Sorry? BREATHING is my number one nursing priority.
    Yes, believe it or not I still remember Maslow's hierarchy. However pain control was number one with family and patient at that time.
    I tend to jump on pain control because I watched my father suffer for years from nurse's and doctor's that did not give a rat's patooty.
    The bottom line is the patient's family wanted to move the patient from the facility! That is because the very basic need of pain control WAS NOT ADDRESSED. No wonder they wanted him moved.

    I am surprised at the number of responses that feel it is an interruption of the NURSE'S routine to administer pain relief . We are not "running back and forth like a servant" when we are trying to comfort someone in pain.
  8. 0
    So the patient's family was not pleased but we do not know how the patient felt. What was their pain rating? Is is chronic pain? Was their pain relieved? Did they request pain med again and have to wait long time on more occasions?

    Pain control is important and I make it a priority to administer requested meds in a very timely fashion. That said every time someone requests pain meds it does not mean they are in excruciating pain and I use my nursing judgment and knowledge of the patient in that area.
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    that is what scares me! it's all about the dollar n less about the person n their health! it's bs...jmho!

    in response to; jeweles26
    Last edit by LPN2RNn2011 on Aug 1, '12 : Reason: Didn't know my post wld go 2 the very end LOL
  10. 3
    No, I do not think you were wrong to finish up what you were already in the middle of.

    It is well documented that interruptions during medication preparation and administration contribute to a greater incidence of medication errors. Unless the interruption is a real, life threatening emergency, it can wait a few minutes.

    What I would have done would have been to instruct the tech to return to Patient B's room and inform the family that the nurse has been made aware of the request, and will be there to address it as soon as she is finished with Patient A. Then, as soon as I finished up with Patient A, I would have gone directly to Patient B's room to do a pain assessment and let the patient and family know that I was addressing the request.

    Then, they might not have had to come out into the hallway to find you, and they might have felt like the request was being taken more seriously, and hence, not have felt the need to complain.

    Granted, it is much more efficient to just go to the cart and start pulling the meds than it is to go to the room, do the pain assessment, communicate with the family, then go back to the cart to get the meds. But perception is everything. As far as the family is concerned, they are in that room, that room is their universe, and they have no idea what you are doing, with whom, or why. All they know is that you are not in that room, and every minute seems an eternity.

    The sooner you come into the room and communicate, the more likely the family's perception that you are actually doing something is to be. The more effectively you are able to communicate, the more likely they are to be satisfied with your care.

    One thing I've learned in my brief time as a nurse is that what might be most efficient and make the most sense to you is totally irrelevant to the vast majority of patients and their loved ones. Much of what they perceive is based upon the face to face time with you; not the clock, not your reality, not anything else outside the four walls of that room. Communication really is key.
    Last edit by ~*Stargazer*~ on Aug 1, '12


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