You are not my only patient

  1. 7
    2 different issues
    I work in a busy unit with many pts that should probably be on step down unit and very time consuming patients. I go about tasks by prioritizing them. Sometimes that means someone has to wait a few minutes for their prn pain/nausea meds( that they tell you hours in advance they will need on the dot) or for something else etc. I have had a few pts go on and on about waiting. IF they are throwing a tantrum or being rude I have said in moments of extreme frustration, " you are not my only patient." Only a few times and I don't feel bad about it at all. This was to drama kings and queens that had frequent tantrums with all staff on shifts I was running my butt off. We also tend to get a lot of personality disorder types and frequent flyer drug seekers. has anyone else used that line?

    The other night I was in one pt's room for 30minutes. When I came out someone told me another of my pt's needed pain meds. I went and got them and the pt was livid and started going on and on. I understand but no one told me while I was in the other room, I got them asap when I found out and one of my coworkers ( A NURSE ANSWERED THE BELL) should have gotten them or told me . Not waited 30minutes.When I came back she was sitting at the desk online..... I said to the pt, " I am sorry you had to wait but I was in another patient's room and was not told until 2 minutes ago that you needed pain meds." I usually keep my mouth shut but HAVE HAD IT with the lazy staff I work with and taking the blame for things I have NO control over or even knew about. IF I answer a call bell of another nurse's pt, I deal with it or let the other nurse know asap if I am busy. I don't answer the bell and wait 45 mins at the desk until s/he comes out of doing a dressing change and trach care and tell them , " room 456 wants zofran." ugh
    on eagles wings, MBARNBSN, prmenrs, and 4 others like this.
  2. 43 Comments so far...

  3. 6
    It sounds like your floor isn't very team oriented. That's unfortunate. Yes! I have patients all the time who expect pain meds on the dot or want me in their room atleast twice an hour just to adjust a pillow (no arm diagnosis) or something ridiculous. I try to anticipate needs. If I have a dressing change to do but I know another patient is going to want pain medicine 10 minutes later I'll medicate them when they can have it and then do my dressing change.

    Most patients understand when I tell them I was dealing with a problem with another patient. The ones who don't I simply apologize and encourage them to call a few minutes before their dose.
    NRSKarenRN, bebbercorn, nrsang97, and 3 others like this.
  4. 1
    You sound frustrated and it seems as though the patients are on the receiving end. Pain is a priority. Often patients that exhibit drug seeking type behaviors is usually related to their fear of not getting their pain medication and experiencing pain. If patients can trust that their medications are going to be given the behaviors usually decrease. We often need to look at situations through the patients eyes. Imagine if you we're the patient or it was your family.
    RockinChick66 likes this.
  5. 3
    I have had some very needy patients that request that I sit with them because they are scared. I will usually stay with them and hold their hand for a few minutes, but remind them that I have other patients who also need me, so I cannot stay with them very long. I try to make sure they are comfortable, and then promise to come back and check on them as soon as I can...usually that works, AS LONG as I make good on my promise and come back to check on them. I WISH I had the time to sit with a patient and comfort them for as long as they need, but it's not reality. It gets frustrating. I try to check on everybody at least once an hour, but sometimes I get tied up with another patient, and in those cases I just say "I'm so sorry, I promise I didn't forget about you, but I had to care for another patient and it took longer than I had expected. What can I do for you now?" Most are fairly understanding. I work in the ER so sometimes it gets kind of hairy, since I never know what's going to cruise through those doors.
  6. 1
    Quote from lmccrn62
    You sound frustrated and it seems as though the patients are on the receiving end. Pain is a priority. Often patients that exhibit drug seeking type behaviors is usually related to their fear of not getting their pain medication and experiencing pain. If patients can trust that their medications are going to be given the behaviors usually decrease. We often need to look at situations through the patients eyes. Imagine if you we're the patient or it was your family.
    No pain was not the priority with regards to my other pts. I understand the prs frustrations but do not accept responsibility for it . I go as fast as Incan and try to plan my shift accordingly but sometimes things happen. If i am stuck in another pts room for a while and know another pt needs pain meds I will ring the bell or ask another nurse (if one is available) to please give prn meds for me. I will not comment on the behavior part aside from to say that ina few pts I completely view it as manipulation ( not that I care and will give prns and page for more as long as pt tolerates). It is beside the point.
    SoldierNurse22 likes this.
  7. 3
    I have explained to both patients and family members that I have more than one patient to care for and cannot instantly appear when they ring the bell. Where I work if you are busy then whoever answers the bell will give the pain med.
    Last edit by loriangel14 on Apr 18, '13
  8. 4
    Loriangel, I wish my coworkers were like this but they are not. Unit morale is very low many lazy nurses and new grads who are often overwhelmed and asking for other people's help. Many coworkers who seem to hold it against tou if they answer your pt's bell... Here is an example of the prime "you are not the only pt" ... a pt I had a while back requested a stool softner so i paged the night float resident. 20 mins went by and he hadn't put in an order yet. meanwhile i had heard overhead rrt calls , codes etc and I have paged drs for really emergent things and know they must prioritize too. The pt and the daughter rang the bell about 10 times in 20mins about the stool softner not yet being ordered. I just stood there nodding my head and might have said how i so understood their frustrations at their waiting time. But comeon..... do adults really think a 20 min wait for an order for a colace in a huge hospital is completely unreasonable??? Little do they know the wait that was in store from phamacy!!! lol
  9. 10
    And it's not like the Colace was going to give on the spot results. That's another thing I have run into, patients that don't understand you can't just "give them stuff" without an order.
  10. 3
    at least you don't get berated by saying that - our mgmt says we are not allowed to say that. Goes along with the " i've got time for that " thing. The rudeness of the general population- and we are only encouraging them to be more rude. Anyhow, some of the rude people don't even care if you have other pts- it's me me me first - anyone else can go to hello.
    OCNRN63, TeleRN44, and applewhitern like this.
  11. 3
    I actually told my patient that exact thing today. She was very needy and if someone wasn't in her room every half hour she threw a hissy fit. I was 6 minutes late with her PRN pain med and she rang the bell. The tech answered the bell and came to find me. I was in another patient's room. I politely told the patient that I had other patients and that if I am not in the room at the exact minute the med is due it is not because I forgot but because I was busy helping someone else. She understood and we went on with the shift without issues. I don't usually pull out that line but sometimes it needs to be said.

    I agree the RN who answered the call bell should not have waited 30 minutes to tell you.
    opossum, krob0729, and nrsang97 like this.


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