Nurses who don't take the time to care: have you seen examples? - page 3

Hi everyone, I'm writing an essay about caring in nusing (caring meaning the "tending to the spiritual/emotional needs of the patient" part above and beyond their physical needs). Specifically,... Read More

  1. by   mattsmom81
    Can we begin to see why there is such a lack of cohesiveness in our profession...when the students are already being trained to critique those who will nurture them <sigh>
  2. by   border rn
    I agree with most of this thread. We are trained to care for the pts holistically. I know that for the most part I am a caring nurse who goes the extra mile. I get my job done and my pts are well taken care of. Meds on time or before requested, drinks at the bedside with each round, and try and make appts ;with my pts for dressing changes ect. Some days you just can't please everyone and I leave work feeling like I have let people down.

    The most recent example I found of a fellow worker ignoring the needs of a pt was:

    A spanish only speaking pt kept ringing the call light and calling her nurse in on night shift. The nurse brought a few things to her but could not understand what she wanted. She sat down in the work room to read and her pt called out again, she stated she was not going back in there until her next set of rounds because she did not know what else the woman could want. I thought how horrible this poor woman does not understand us, we don't understand her and her translator and all her family was gone. I went into the room and took my spanish translation book with me, unfortunately this women could not read spanish either. So I finally called the ATT operator to translate for me -- all the women wanted was to know how often to feed her baby. We took care of the problem and did some more teaching while I had the use of the translator. The women was so very grateful. I cannot imagine how scary it must be for a pt not able to communicate their needs to us. I was appalled by the lack of respect my colleague had shown this women, just because she was too tired to deal with it. I know we all have bad days, but it should not be taken out on the pt. This nurse only had 3 couplets that were 2nd day post partums, so not a huge assignment. BTW the pt never rang the call bell again that night
  3. by   NursesRmofun
    Quote from mattsmom81
    The challenge is to get the esential work done along with all the caring. Nothing worse than working with someone who is 'so caring' they sepend all their time hugging family, etc...while the rest of the staff must do the work for them. Lots of codependency out there and nurses must learn how to balance caring with professional duty.
    So, so true! Amen.
  4. by   leslie :-D
    Quote from RN_Amy
    I totally agree... well said.

    I think some people try to be the token "perfect nurse" when in fact not even patient wants to share everything in a psychological sense, they just need assistance with there physical needs in terms of hygiene etc.

    I myself am a very introverted person and wouldn't want to talk about my illness and hows its effecting me etc. I have my own way of coping and some people don't understand that, alot of the time I want to be left alone. I think the key to being a good nurse is recognizing this and being senstive to the needs of each individual patient.

    Also, have you noticed that whenever a competent patient for whatever reason refuses care, medications etc. is labelled as "non-compliant" yet when they ask for "too much" that are labelled "demanding"?
    i agree that an effective 'good' nurse is sensitive to each of their pt's needs. what works well for one won't necessarility work well for another. i also do not like when people are labeled, i.e., non-compliant, med-seeking, demanding; but you see, that's where a 'good' nurse would go the 1 step further and find out the reason for the issues at hand. patients don't act a particular way to be difficult purposely. 'nurses who don't take the time to care' is NOT synonymous with nurses who don't have the time to care. now that's a real and legitimate barrier.
  5. by   CCU NRS
    Quote from earle58
    i agree that an effective 'good' nurse is sensitive to each of their pt's needs. what works well for one won't necessarility work well for another. i also do not like when people are labeled, i.e., non-compliant, med-seeking, demanding; but you see, that's where a 'good' nurse would go the 1 step further and find out the reason for the issues at hand. patients don't act a particular way to be difficult purposely. 'nurses who don't take the time to care' is NOT synonymous with nurses who don't have the time to care. now that's a real and legitimate barrier.
    Forgive me if I misunderstand but you say Pts don't act a particular way to be difficult, If this has been the case for you, you have been truly blessed, because some Pts do act just the way they want to act to be difficult and hateful and drug seeking and non-compliant. I have had all of these types of Pts and they are usually completely coherent and aware that they are being rude and demanding and only want the drugs they want and will use foul language and curse at nurses and tell you exactly what they will and won't do! The nursing care is not always the issue you may be the most wonderful nurse in the world and a Pt can be un reachable to any compromise or common sense and continue to be a rude drug seeking, non-complaint a-hole no matter what or who is caring for them.
  6. by   leslie :-D
    Quote from CCU NRS
    Forgive me if I misunderstand but you say Pts don't act a particular way to be difficult, If this has been the case for you, you have been truly blessed, because some Pts do act just the way they want to act to be difficult and hateful and drug seeking and non-compliant. I have had all of these types of Pts and they are usually completely coherent and aware that they are being rude and demanding and only want the drugs they want and will use foul language and curse at nurses and tell you exactly what they will and won't do! The nursing care is not always the issue you may be the most wonderful nurse in the world and a Pt can be un reachable to any compromise or common sense and continue to be a rude drug seeking, non-complaint a-hole no matter what or who is caring for them.
    TOTALLY agree with you CC. i've had the worst of patients, just like everyone else. and quite honestly, i haven't always felt like being a 'good nurse' to them. i just think that those pts that do so much acting out, aren't doing so to be totally antagonistic....they just don't give a damn. but what i've discovered is that the ones i've ended up despising (yes, despising) have surprised me with admissions of insight into their behaviors....e.g., "i know i've been an a-hole" and then you'll find out why they've been acting as such. it softens you a bit and makes you want to work with them, until of course, they start their crap again. i just personally think that when a patient is your worst nightmare, there's usually a reason behind it.
  7. by   CCU NRS
    Quote from mattsmom81
    Can we begin to see why there is such a lack of cohesiveness in our profession...when the students are already being trained to critique those who will nurture them <sigh>
    I agree whole heartedly. The biggest problem with this particular site is that people that are students and have never done any Pt care outside of a very controlled environment and only one or two at a time come here and ctitique people that have been nurses for any number of years.

    In fact and this is one that really burns my bum is that some of the people may not even be students yet or even considering a nursing career and they have all the glorious opinons and idea's about how and what nursing is and should be.

    Just my little Rant, I did not mention anyone in particular(notice) so if you flame me you will be making yourself be seen as one of these very people, I am aware that everyone has an opinion and they are entitled to it, what I would suggest however is that until you have actually performed Pt care in a real setting without it being controlled by your instructor or basically just one or two Pts at a time (unless you are CCU etc)you should perhaps temper your judgement of what the actual situation is until you have had some actual experience.

    Thank You Very Much



    CCU NRS has left the building!
  8. by   PeninsulaRN
    Meh, this is a strange question. Nurses by nature care, we are healthcare providers. That means that I care for my patients, holistically, attempting to meet all of their needs.
    In these days of high acuity and decreased staffing, though, that's difficult to do. That's why there are other disciplines (PT, OT, social workers, case managers) to assist us in doing so. Its ridiculous to expect the nurse to do everything for every patient, unless we are performing primary care at a much reduced ratio, and we all know primary care costs too much to be implemented outside of critical care.
    It is also a matter of prioritizing. As much as I would like to spend extra time with my newly diagnosed patient doing a bit of psychosocial work, if I have another patient who is hemorrhaging, or one going into anaphylactic shock, or one with a vesicant infiltrating, that takes priority.
    So what you call "not taking the time to care", I call prioritizing and attempting to go home at the end of the day with my license.
  9. by   Jailhouse RN
    Student nurses are much too idealistic. They feel they will come out and save the world of nursing. Then in a flash it is all gone thanks to managed care, time tables and nursing shortages. Best to see the world as it is and get the real caring (holistic type) in where you can. Another thing to remember is that all that holistic care you learned cannot be used everywhere. I work in a place where it could get you hurt or fired.
  10. by   mattsmom81
    OK just to be fair to this student, I will give an example of a nurse not taking time to care. Mrs. A 's doctor has just left her room after giving her a diagnoses of CA...they opened her and closed her and she has 3-6 months to live...nothing they can do. Her nurse who is gabbing and making personal calls (she is at the desk but NOT on break) notes her patient is sobbing , knows the dx, but does nothing...in fact she does not enter the room for the next 3 hrs, turns this sobbing patient to the next shift without ever taking time to be a helpful presence.

    In my experience, a nurse exhibiting apathetic, noncaring behavior can be taking a risk. Customers tend to remember noncaring behaviors and seldom sue nurses they like, who took time to care a bit for them, listen, empathize, whatever. Many times when a lawsuit occurs, the nurse is listed as someone NOT to sue, just because the patient liked them (this from my nurse attorney)

    Hope this helps the OP, who I am sure is just trying to complete her assignment and has quite unwittingly offended some of us here by asking her question. Good luck to you in your assignment and your career.
  11. by   CAMMIERN
    IT TAKES A SPECIAL KIND OF PERSON TO BE A NURSE, YOU HAVE TO LOVE WHAT YOU DO INSPITE OF WHATEVER HAPPENS, IF YOU ARE NOT THAT KIND OF PERSON YOU SHOULDN'T BE A NURSE
  12. by   LovePeaceJoy
    I'm becoming a little emotional when reading this board. I've actually been a patient and a family member of dying patient. I've seen nursing in all forms and am currently a nursing student because of it. I've seen nurses give you a sympathetic look because they felt that's what they were supposed to do and the ones that treated you like a human being and actually educated you.

    My family's story -- My grandmother was ill and had been in and out of hospitals within a year. After she passed away my mother cried as she wrote the letter commending the NURSING staff of one of the hospitals (not hospice) she was in. Part of the tears was of course sadness but it was also about the nurses. This staff really did make a diffence in my family's comfort because they were there to answer questions in our time of need and not just keep the patient clean.

    My story -- I had surgery about a year and a half ago and was afraid because I had never been hospitalized. The nurses I experienced prior to my operation were wonderful. They understood my anxiety and were able to talk to me about what I should expect. I felt RESPECTED.

    After the surgery was a COMPLETELY different story. First, I was in a room with a severe parapalegic that could barely talk, could not walk, and could barely feed herself! In my anasthesia fog I realized this so when I heard her vomit in the middle of the night I called the nurse to come help her her!!! I then heard the RN and the CNA saying she was supposed to have a one on one. My roomate never received one. When I asked about pain management medication I was told I would get some. I was never told when it would happen. I guess before I became one of those annoying, complaining, patients, they just yessed me to death and ignored me.

    Day 2 Day- The surgery caused a lot of bleeding and when I moved there was a gush. Another CNA came in and had the nerve to ask me why I moved, now she had to change the sheets. Maybe I should have just stayed in one position and made her life easier.

    Day 2 Night - I am woken up by two CNA's screaming and hollering about how they can't stand their jobs. They are not in the hallway talking about this, but in my room. I asked them "What time it was?" and after apolozing profusely then went on to tell me why they were complaining. I did not solicit this information.

    Day 3 -- I Went home!!!

    This hospital is in Park Slope brooklyn and is a well respected teaching hospital.

    As I said, it is the nursing staff that makes a difference when you are in a hospital. Not all patients are complainers or are looking for someone to coddle them. Some just want respect.

    There was a movie back in the early 90's called "The Doctor". It was about a rather aloof doctor that got the experience of being a patient when he was diagnosed with cancer.

    I am in no means trying to condemn ANYONE, but my experiences are what I will remember when it is my turn to do bedside nursing.
  13. by   minnieme104
    I have been recently caring for a 2 week post CVA and he was c/o abd.pain in the RLQ. I asked my instructor what I could do for this patient because he could not recieve any more tylenol prn it wasn't time yet. She looked at me and said nothing other then getting a warm blanket, well this pt. is always warm and that warm blanket would just get thrown on the floor. I was devistated that she said nothing. To me this was not being very caring and I had to then decided for myself what to do. Against my instructors wishes

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