I like how you did'nt portray yourself as a budding Florence Nightengale, you were honest in your story. You stayed professional but felt frustrated, made the story more believable.
I love to read things like this, I love to learn about nursing from other nurses experiences.
I had another exprience very similar when i was a nursing student following an oncology nurse on her rounds. Apparently a patient was a handful during her entire stay and it was
her discharge day. My assigned nurse went to the nurses station and was informed that this patient wanted to talk to her. She expressed frustration and the other nurses chimed in as well. Making comments like, "she is leaving today right?", "she has been a real pain", "I'm glad to see her go", "man she is needy" and so on. Nothing obviously insulting but you could get the jist of what they were saying, she was a real pain in the *&^.
My nurse and I headed to the patients room and I asked the nurse what the patient was in the hospital for. Stage 3 metastatic breast cancer was the answer. I thought to myself , geez no wonder this patient is feeling so miserable. As we entered the room the patient was the picture of the stereotypic cancer patient, thin, pale, drawn, bandana on her head to hide the baldness. The patient looked up but gave a charming smile to both of us. My nurse asked her what she needed and the patient said,(i am paraphrasing) "oh nothing , i just wanted to give you this bag of gift bags , i made one for everyone who cared for me, including the cleaning staff and the food staff, everyone, make sure the xrahy guy and the lab people get one too. This patient had taken the time to make numerous sandwich bag gifts for everyone. complete with little candies, chocolates and cheap knick knacks, the kind of thing friends for for each other , simple inexpensive gift to say i am thinking about you. This patient spent her time, money and more importantly her energy to make these bags for everyone.
We left the room and headed back to the nurses station with the gifts. I was just mortified for the nurse and all the other nurses for their previous behavior and comments about this patient. When we got to to station the other nurses asked her "what did she want?". And she told them, "maybe we all ought to think about what we say up here", and she showed the nurses the gift bags. The other nurses were shocked and dismayed, one commented 'maybe we have been doing this to long", i was off the to the side smiling like a cheshire cat, the nurses noticed and asked me "what are you do you think is so funny", my response was honest and classic , i simply said "i guess she sure told you" and one of the other nurses said, "yeah i guess she really did".
This story is to good to be made up, i never found out the outcome for that patient either, since i was at clinicals for only that day, but I will not ever forget the lesson.
Patients are not at their best when they are in the hospital, their scared and sick, I try to remember this each and every shift, whether in med surg or home health, always remember this. I say this to those who read this on this site, because I know it does ot appy to you, your a military nurse so I know you don't do this for money, but to anyone who reads this if you got into nursing for money or applause you got into this for the wrong reasons. I'm human too, i have eaten many cold meals that had once been warm, and i have missed gatherings, been spoken to badly by doctors, had relatives of patients behave poorly, and had bosses less than supportive, but i remember why i personally got into nursing, i had many bad nurses when i was sick, good nurses but bad attitudes. I decided then to go to nursing school and become a compassionate nurse, not one who doesn't recognize their own behavior is inappropriate. Good bless you compassionate, caring nurses. Just to be clear i am a two year old nurse and I am 53 , so I'm not some young nurses who thinks she knows it all. I try to learn something daily , either on the internet or hands on, I really love nursing.