I have seen venting (normal and appropriate) about problem patients, and sometimes it's enough to make me wonder how anyone can go into the profession. Yes, it's part of what made me decide to focus on my technical skills when I was considering going into nursing... I've known a lot of nurses, at all levels. It's a hard job. I'm also prone to understatement.
I'm relatively young, but in the last year I've had two admissions to the medical/surgery unit due to respiratory issues (pneumonia both times, but the asthma exacerbation portion was what I think made them admit me). I was laid off shortly after being discharged from the first admission, and wasn't able to maintain my COBRA coverage, so last week when I was there for two nights, I didn't have insurance. The hospital is being really, really good to me, and they even filled my antibiotic prescription for free (that was the one I was really worried about in regards to cost, it wasn't cheap).
But I know I'm not at my best when I'm sick -- I don't think anyone is. The fact that I'm a charity case right now makes me feel even worse if I annoy the nurses. Both times I've been in, I've been put pretty close to the nurses station, so I heard enough both times to know they were extremely busy with patients with a much higher acuity than mine.
So... I really tried not to hit the call button. I mean, they checked on me enough that, for example, this last time I only had to twice... once when they'd wanted me to save a urine specimen and there wasn't a hat or a cup or something in the bathroom, and I needed to go. The other time was the one I feel really badly about because they were slammed and I could hear it both in the lady's voice who answered the button, and just the noise of the ward in general.... they'd had a hard time sticking me, so when they moved my IV site to my left side, they left the IV port in the right hand that the ER had put in. My fever had broken and I sweated through the tape, and the IV port came out. I had pressure on it by the time they were able to get to me, but I'd managed to bleed all over.
They did have me on oral pain medicine to help with the pain of coughing, but I knew that was the absolute lowest priority in comparison to keeping me breathing, and keeping other patients who were likely post-surgical comfortable. During morning shift change the second morning, I'd asked for my pain meds, but I knew they'd come when the rest of my meds did. They'd worn off overnight and when the RT came in a little over an hour later, he could tell I was extremely uncomfortable when coughing for him, and hit the call button and asked for the pain meds then. Without me asking. I felt badly because I knew I hadn't been forgotten about, just that it was busy, and it could have seemed like I had complained when I hadn't.
I also *always* said please and thank you. I mean, that's just manners.
But are there any other tips that you guys would have for patients who really don't want to be pains in the tookus?