Please don't judge me and my daughter - page 7

The night my daughter told me she wanted to kill herself was not an easy night. I drove her to the Emergency room that I used to work in, thinking they would care for her best. What I found was not... Read More

  1. by   ladyandthetiger
    That is a typical ER nurse response. Mental health emergencies aren't your problem because you can't see the injury. Suicide is one of the top five causes a of death in many countries and that doesn't even consider all the near misses. Your comment that psych patients usually come out if the ED feeling worse but at least we didn't let them have things to harm them is just part of the problem. It's the same as saying well you had one broken arm when you walked in and we didn't fix it for you. But at least we didn't let you break any other bones while you were in the ED.
  2. by   wondern
    Cat_Albrecht, paging, Cat_Albrecht. Please report to the nurse's station...
  3. by   dogmombyday
    As someone with an anxiety disorder and a strong family history of depression, including several family members attempting (but thankfully not completing) suicide, it saddens me that there is still such a stigma surrounding mental illness. I worked as a tech on a pediatric behavioral floor for a year during school and many of the kids were more worried about what everyone else thought of their illness than anything else. So yes, it is very true that not everyone, even nurses, are understanding of or compassionate toward people undergoing a psychiatric crisis.

    However, using the fact that they made your daughter wear paper scrubs or didn't approve of you bringing in food as evidence of mistreatment is sadly misinformed. There are precautions which have to be followed for the good of patients like your daughter. I can't count the times I had to explain to annoyed and angry parents why it wasn't acceptable for their children to wear their new sneakers while on our unit or why they couldn't have knives and forks in their rooms. It truly is for the safety of the patient and nothing else. Perhaps the nurse said it rudely or perhaps you were (rightly so) worried about your child and read into what she said a little too much.

    On a side note, as a "nurse of today", I find it ironic that in an article asking others not to judge, you make such a sweeping accusation that it's "also true that the nurse of today is not doing what the nurses of yesterday set out to do". What facts support this? I try my hardest every shift I work to offer care and kindness to my patients, many of whom are dying, and I think that is exactly what the nurses of yesterday set out to do.
  4. by   nursel56
    These nurses most likely were not rude to the OP's daughter. The woman has provided several examples of incidents illustrating examples of what nurses need to stop doing.

    Is it fair to say that a nurse who forgets to introduce herself before performing a procedure is guilty of telling the mother that her distressed daughter who expressed suicidal ideation is weak?

    I've cursed under my breath at a malfunctioning TV, when actually I would rather yell curses at it, because I want it to work. I could call a person who deals with stuff like that, and maybe you'll still be there when they show up, but probably not.

    "It looks like you're camping out in here". I've said that. It isn't laden with strong opinions about your diet at home. I don't think you're a slob, I'm glad you're there for your daughter.

    Why would I single out your daughter for cold- hearted judgement when my family has been touched by suicide and major depressive disorder, too. Most families have. Yes, we know how it feels.

    Honestly, unless it's possible to control someone's thinking, connecting "don't judge my daughter" to the above is not constructive at all.
  5. by   Wuzzie
    Quote from nursel56
    These nurses most likely were not rude to the OP's daughter. The woman has provided several examples of incidents illustrating examples of what nurses need to stop doing.

    Is it fair to say that a nurse who forgets to introduce herself before performing a procedure is guilty of telling the mother that her distressed daughter who expressed suicidal ideation is weak?

    I've cursed under my breath at a malfunctioning TV, when actually I would rather yell curses at it, because I want it to work. I could call a person who deals with stuff like that, and maybe you'll still be there when they show up, but probably not.

    "It looks like you're camping out in here". I've said that. It isn't laden with strong opinions about your diet at home. I don't think you're a slob, I'm glad you're there for your daughter.

    Why would I single out your daughter for cold- hearted judgement when my family has been touched by suicide and major depressive disorder, too. Most families have. Yes, we know how it feels.

    Honestly, unless it's possible to control someone's thinking, connecting "don't judge my daughter" to the above is not constructive at all.
    Thank you for this. It's exactly what I was thinking. Not only that but sometimes we say things to lighten the mood a little in a difficult situation. Sometimes it works, sometimes it falls flat. I don't think this nurse was being judgmental at all. Could she have been a little warmer? Perhaps but given the tone of the OP I'm not sure anyone would have been acceptable.
  6. by   carolmcclure
    actually, she WAS breaking the rules...you can't take food, drinks, utensils, whatever, into a room with a suicidal pt...and she didn't say her daughter had 'just tried to kill herself'. you cannot equate a pt having a massive MI with a pt who is feeling suicidal. one will die if you don't actively intervene, the other must be kept safe until we can get them to a psych facility. don't pull the 'don't give a damn' stuff. and the notion that all ER rn's want to work crazy traumas all the time. there's precious little that is 'glorious' in the ER. we care just as much as you do. we are still very, very limited in what we can offer.
  7. by   carolmcclure
    i would love to know what the disrespect toward 'typical er nurses' is all about. what don't you understand about the cold hard fact that ER's are NOT ABLE OR EQUIPPED to handle psychiatric problems. that's the same as asking why we can't take out someone's appendix, or put in a pacemaker in the ER. that's what specialists are for. ER docs are not psychiatrists, surgeons, or cardiologists. our job is to triage, stabilize, treat what we are able, d/c or admit as required for the pt.
  8. by   Munch
    I don't understand why so many people are taking it personally that the OP had nothing nice to say about the nurse. Sometimes people are just miserable human beings, no excuses to be made they just are. I didn't take away from the OP that all ER nurses are cold and uncaring. Just the OPs nurse. When I had surgery and I was in the PACU waiting for a Neuro ICU bed to open up I asked my nurse for a particular medication I was due for. She gave me an attitude like I was a burden and creating a chore for her. And this nurse knew I worked in that hospital(I didn't know her personally but from passing in the hallways and giving/taking report on patients on the phone). This nurse was just a miserable person and unfortunaltey she let it show through her work. My aunt and mom were at the bedside and all my aunt could say was "wow she really must not like her job much." Believe me I understand we all have bad days and have the potential to see horrible, unjust things(the stillborn baby, the 3 year old in a coma due to the actions of his father, the 30 year old mother of three DOA due to cardiac arrest and so on) but that is no excuse to give anyone let alone a patient attitude. Cursing under your breath at the TV is just unprofessional. Even if you are having a bad day and would rather be anywhere but work, at least pretend you want to be there in front of the patients. At the very least if the ops nurse was just having a bad day she acted in a very unprofessional manner by taking her bad day out on her patient(s).

    Luckily the hospital I work in is a huge city teaching hospital with over 1,000 beds and we have a CPEP(for those that dont know that stands for comprehensive psychiatric emergency program..layman's terms its a psych ER) so people in psychiatric emergencies don't have to go to the regular ER that is unequipped to deal with psych patients. Also if someone comes in saying they are suicidal they are a slam dunk admit..they will 939 admit them if they don't want to be admitted. Anyway in my hospital you have to be medically cleared to go to the inpatient wards(every admission needs to have a chest film and a blood draw). If they have something else going on medically or if for example they attempted suicide and survived but sustained injuries they go to the medical floors for tx before they are sent to the psych unit. I have seen many nurses I work with on the med floors treat these patients with disdain. Its a shame. Now of course most treat these patients with compassion and care but stigma about mental illness is something that needs to be eliminated entirely or else these people is psychic pain won't seek help when they need it the most. Some people are just uncomfortable around the mentally ill..plain and simple.

    Anyway OP I hope you and your daughter are doing brtter...im not a parent myself but I imagine seeing your daughter in pain is a nightmare you never want to experience again. It says a lot about you that your daughter is comfortable to approach you with her problems.
    Last edit by Munch on Oct 7 : Reason: Spelling
  9. by   CardiacUnderground
    When I was 7 months pregnant I was in the process of moving out of state, I was living in one state but had Medicaid in another. Yes, I was poor. Yes, I LOOKED poor. Anyways, I was hospitalized for severe dehydration, taken to the ER, then dumped on the Maternity floor. The nurses rolled their eyes and said "why is the ER giving us all the patients they don't want??" Fast forward, I get a room and an IV of normal saline, and a nurse comes in and hooks me up to a fetal monitor just as a social worker comes in to ask me about my out of state Medicaid insurance. I start crying as I have no clue how insurance works, I'm hormonal, the staff said I was already a burden from the ER, and I'm sick. The social worker leaves and the nurse proceeds to lecture me about my insurance, my living situation, my job, and ends by saying "you know your ob/gyn wants to get paid, you need to change your insurance to the state you currently live in now." I was dumbfounded and sobbed from embarrassment. The next week I told my mother what happened (she's an OR nurse at the same hospital) and she "had words" with that particular OB nurse and my delivery and labor experience were much better. But she told me "they treat you like that because you're a young girl on Medicaid" anyways long story short: it's been years since that experience and I went into nursing to CHANGE that so it never happens to another patient as long as I can help it. I PROMISE YOU WITH MY WHOLE HEART when you, or your loved one is my patient I will do my best to care for you. To provide judge free and kind care. Quality care. Compassionate care. When you are my patient you are my family because I CARE ABOUT EVERY SINGLE PERSON. I'm sorry about your bad experience. Please forgive them and their negligence.
  10. by   canoehead
    CardiacUnderground, That was just low down dirty rude. I'm sure the floors snark sometimes about getting patients from the ER, and patients aren't supposed to be in earshot. But then to come in and give you a lecture. Mother of Pearl!! That was unacceptable.

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