Stopping patient care for another patient - page 5

by sAssy_NurSe | 6,755 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


  1. 7
    Quote from Been there,done that
    You have been a nurse (?) for a whole year now." I'd just be like, listen, you can move them, but no nurse worth her salt who gets her work done and has been in ltc or snf for longer than 5 minutes is gonna jump for everyone's prn requests"
    I have worked in all areas . Your attitude of "My work flow is more important than responding to your request for pain control.. simply boggles my mind.

    "Like.. ya know." take the bubble gum out of your mouth.. pain is whatever the patient says it is .
    I don't care if you've been a nurse for 5 minutes, if you run back and forth between rooms just so someone will be "pleased" they don't have to wait 5 minutes for a pain pill, who's really the naive one? Time management is important. And unless the patient's call light is paging me and i know they pushed it, their family can get over having to wait a short period of time for me to come and do the PRN pain assessment, talk to the patient, and perhaps get a pain med. Maybe you have worked in all areas, but I'm here to let you know that moving from room to room in a systematic fashion is what has to be done so every patient gets equal, necessary, and fair care. If you let a demanding family monopolize your time then all your other patients will suffer. So I guess that makes you a good nurse (?) though because you're awesome at customer service? I don't care what you think or what your opinion of me is, because I know that all of my patients receive the care they need and I am fair and honest about it, I don't run like a chicken with my head cut off and apologize for being busy, because I am, and unfortunately once in a while a person will have to wait a minute for me to come. I'm not saying I'd make them wait forever, but I am NOT dropping what I am doing for a non-emergency need, and a family member requesting pain meds is not an emergency. . Pain is whatever the patient says it is, and I will address it in a moment when I go see that patient, not just respond to every screaming family member that hunts me down in the hall or harasses my CNAs. I am not "prioritizing" my needs over the patient's, I am prioritizing the needs of the patient I am already with over the needs of a patient whose family just requested something, which I will do promptly as soon as I finish what I am already doing. So, in short, get over yourself.
  2. 1
    Quote from katnurseswims
    And to "been there done that" (not willing to view every post to copy the quote again).....how are you able to give two patient's pain meds at once? There are strict policies when it comes to med passes, and it NEVER includes giving two patient's meds at one time. If you are, that is a huge safety violation. Plain and simple.
    Let me explain in more specific terms. I am currently a float nurse, that can go to most units..in multiple facilities in the largest health care system in a large city.

    I have no problem pulling any narcotic I need from the pyxis , at the same time..even if it is for two different patients. I am a professional. I am expected to give narcotic A to patient A and narcotic B to patient B.

    I can administer the correct medication to the first patient... walk down the hall and medicate the other patient PDQ. I fail to see how that would be a safety violation.
    I have also started a blood transfusion on two patients at the same time. I can read.

    30 years of experience will do that for ya.
    Hygiene Queen likes this.
  3. 1
    Quote from Been there,done that
    Let me explain in more specific terms. I am currently a float nurse, that can go to most units..in multiple facilities in the largest health care system in a large city.

    I have no problem pulling any narcotic I need from the pyxis , at the same time..even if it is for two different patients. I am a professional. I am expected to give narcotic A to patient A and narcotic B to patient B.

    I can administer the correct medication to the first patient... walk down the hall and medicate the other patient PDQ. I fail to see how that would be a safety violation.
    I have also started a blood transfusion on two patients at the same time. I can read.

    30 years of experience will do that for ya.
    Considering that this is LTC I believe she is talking about and the meds for narcs come usually in packs or cards, so if you get them out, 2 pills can look similar or even the same, and be different, so to give 2 people pain meds at once or even have 2 pulled and not administered is BAD practice and CAN lead to errors. And lord knows she'll probably get interrupted during that and have to get another med, then another call, and it'll just be a mess, and leaving a narc sitting around is not gonna work either.
    DizzyLizzyNurse likes this.
  4. 3
    Quote from jeweles26
    wow, get off your soap box and quit being judgmental. you have no idea who she is or anything about her. she uses a few words and you assume she is a bubble-gum chewing air-head? unless i missed something, this pain is not what the patient said it is. it is what the family members said it was. and check out other threads, that is another controversial issue in itself. personally, if a family member tells me their mother/father/child/whatever is in pain, i want to assess said pain for myself, not just take their word for it and rush with pain meds. and to be able to focus on them and assess this pain properly, i cant be thinking about the patient i just left behind with unfinished care.
    agreed...her personal experience is coloring everything in the universe, exhibit x y and z are that she thinks pain is a nurse's "number one priority."
  5. 3
    Quote from Been there,done that
    I have also started a blood transfusion on two patients at the same time.
    Fascinating. Were they patients in the same room?
    FurBabyMom, nrsang97, and nursel56 like this.
  6. 1
    from do-over: " i've heard before about how some places don't want staff to say that they were busy with someone else, etc. my employer has not stated that, but i am sure i would ignore it (as i do with most scripting). my patients are perfectly aware that i have several people to look after, and every now and again they ask how many i have. i tell them."

    i do that, too. and sometimes i explain, when it seems helpful, that another patient, even if it's not mine, is so critical that we're all helping in that room, so i might not always be where my patient can see me, but here's the monitoring system, so we know about your vss and heart rhythm, and you have your call bell right here, and here's all the reasons you're safe. that often helps, but not always. one time, i had to (diplomatically) tell a patient who was low acuity, young, walkie-talkie, overnight observe and not really meeting icu criteria even for that, but anxious and needy and ... okay, kinda whiny, i have to say it to paint the picture - that my other patient was extremely ill, intubated, sedated and totally helpless, unable even to breathe without our help, and that each of the honks and beeps she was complaining were keeping her awake were signs that the other patient needed something, like maybe air, and therefore, no, we could not turn off the alarms. i told her i could shut her door, but she didn't want that. and she said something about how now she felt guilty for complaining. and deep inside i said "yessssss!".
    administration might frown upon inducing guilt in a paying customer. i considered it an appropriate nursing intervention, along the spiritual lines. or neuro, as in, adjusting her orientation to place (not at the ritz) or self (not someone at death's door).

    op, it stinks that admin threw you under the bus like that. you didn't do anything wrong.
    DizzyLizzyNurse likes this.
  7. 7
    Quote from Been there,done that
    Let me explain in more specific terms. I am currently a float nurse, that can go to most units..in multiple facilities in the largest health care system in a large city.

    I have no problem pulling any narcotic I need from the pyxis , at the same time..even if it is for two different patients. I am a professional. I am expected to give narcotic A to patient A and narcotic B to patient B.

    I can administer the correct medication to the first patient... walk down the hall and medicate the other patient PDQ. I fail to see how that would be a safety violation.
    I have also started a blood transfusion on two patients at the same time. I can read.

    30 years of experience will do that for ya.
    Ok, so after coming across several of your posts, generally I agree with you on opinions you have. This however, is honestly driving me nuts.
    I really feel like your personal experience with your family member is irreparably tainting your opinions on this. I wish I could just ask you to put that aside, and to be completely objective about this.
    In any setting, but especially in LTC, where the nurse to patient ratio is so ridiculous, it is completely unreasonable to expect nurses to drop everything they are doing with someone to go give narcotics on the word of a family member. Especially if you are CURRENTLY in the act of giving narcotics to someone else. Especially if said patient still requires further evaluations for the narcotics being administered. ESPECIALLY if you are a fairly new nurse who really needs to focus on what they are doing to avoid errors (Pardon me OP if Im off on this assumption).
    If you are willing to put your licence on the line, if you are willing to risk making mistakes with your patients, just because your opinion is tainted by the negative experience of having nurses ignore your family member (which I am very sorry you had to experience), that is your thing. This is not what the OP was doing here though. She was not ignoring a patient's pain. She was trying to avoid making mistakes, trying to be fair to the patient she was in the middle of assessing. Last I checked, like you mentioned, we are still being tought Maslow's hierarchy in nursing school. And while pain has been added as part of the vital signs, it is still NOT #1 priority as you claimed.
    And props to you if you have learned in all your years of nursing how to multitask without making mistakes. Personally, in my 4 years of experience, I have mostly learned to do it as well. I WILL prepare meds for all my patients before doing my rounds. I CAN walk away from someone because someone else urgently needs something. I prefer not to, but can. However there are things I wont do. I wont pull narcotics for more than one person at a time. Medication mistakes are one thing, but narcotic mistakes are a whole other problem. I can also have more than one transfusion running at the same time, but will not have both of them on me at the same time to go begin them. Thats just playing with fire. I dont care HOW MANY years of experience you have, you are still human and thus are still prone to making mistakes.
  8. 5
    The studies are pretty solid on the link between med errors and interruptions of a med pass. Stopping in the middle of what you're doing to avoid having another patient wait for less than 30 minutes for a pain med might be a snap for prodigious nurses. Error rates are statistically higher when this happens, so those who can pull it off will have to settle for admiration rather than emulation.

    Excuse me for now, gotta get another piece of Hubba Bubba. Yeah, crusties like gum, too.

    JAMA Network | Archives of Internal Medicine | Association of Interruptions With an Increased Risk and Severity of Medication Administration ErrorsInterruptions and Medication Administration Errors
  9. 3
    In the LTC where I worked, AO3 patients and those with demanding families got the priority because they COULD say bad things, file complaints, et. al. It was a sad state of affairs.

    In my humbleness, I will state that I no longer allow anything short of a code to interrupt a current med administration (I now work in acute care).....the reason why is that I allowed my precepter to interrupt me in the middle of a task (I had pulled meds but had not gone to the patient's room yet). Crux of it....I made a med error. I had to go to the ANM, risk management, the MD and the patient to 'confess' what happened. Ultimately, no harm. Thank God. It is a lesson I will never forget and never repeat.
    Pets to People, JZ_RN, and nursel56 like this.
  10. 3
    Quote from Been there,done that
    How much "sweetness"does it take after you've been laying in pain?

    Pain control is NUMBER ONE of all nursing priorities.
    If you took the NCLEX today, you would fail miserably. Pain is the absolute last priority according to that exam with a few exceptions (chest pain, unexplained/unexpected pain, and I think kidney stones). If there are no pressing ABC-type needs, then pain can be a priority. If two people are in pain, it should be 'first come, first served' rules. The reality of health care facilities is that there are only so many nurses, and it is up to us to prioritize as we see fit. The original poster may not be comfortable carrying medications for two patients at the same time...that practice is frowned upon where I work. Just because you feel comfortable doing something doesn't mean that others would. None of us wants our patients to be in pain, but the unfortunate truth is that we sometimes have to make them wait while we finish another task.


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