Incontinent ON PURPOSE

  1. I work on an acute floor in a hospital with a vast variety of patients, though mostly 65 and older. I have noticed on several patients what can I can only conclude as "liking to be incontinent." Im serious. Patients who can walk faster than I can & patients who are extremely alert & oriented, patients who if and when the staff "make" them adhere to a timed toileting schedule never, ever have an accident. Patients who on the call light if they need a pain pill, need a Diet Coke not a regular, fluff a pillow, change the channel, etc. But leave toileting t up to them.....they will wet the bed all day. And not only do they wet the bed but they do not use the call light to alert us they are wet and not only do they not alert us but they cry and throw a fit if we encourage them (upon being incontinent) to get up & walk to the toilet so hygiene & linen/clothes changing can occur easily. They want to be changed in bed. What??? You walked 300 feet this morning!! Or at the very least, they want to stand besides the bed and get changed and cleaned and then go back to be and pee themselves all over again. The excuses they give range from they forgot to call us, they were really into the show, they were just tired, and sometimes they say things like "well i might as well just go here in bed..." WHAT? and the expressions on their faces, it is hard to articulate. It is so blatantly obvious they like it. I thought I read that incontinence is NOT a part of getting older?! Why does it seem like I work in an environment where incontinence is not only a part of getting older, it is expected?
  2. 7 Comments

  3. by   CoffeeRTC
    I see this in LTC/ rehab too. What about a bedside comode? Or I ask them...what were you like at home? Do you use pull ups etc? If they say they don't have "accidents", ask them why they think they are having them in the hospital? I know they might not need to be told to use the call bell, but remind them or ask them to use the call bell for help before it gets to the point that they need to go so bad and then have an accident.
  4. by   student forever
    It is disappointing to have an ambulatory resident tell you staright out he prefers to be changed in bed rather than get up on the commode when he is perfectly able. It makes my stomach kind of turn.
  5. by   JZ_RN
    I saw this in LTC in people who just never want to get up. But then again we also had the LOLs and LOM that wanted to get up and ambulate to the BR and were always falling to do so... You can't win.
  6. by   caliotter3
    I saw a new admit in an LTC facility that came in continent rapidly deteriorate to wetting the bed due to the nursing assistants refusing to help him ambulate safely to the bathroom, and more than likely due to their repeated belittling of him. Do not care to state why he was made fun of, but it was not a laughing matter. The man seemed to realize his predicament, so he just let all ties to reality go. Technically, he was abused by the staff. I felt very sorry for him.
  7. by   nurse nosa
    It sound like they just need that attention ......
  8. by   Seas
    It frustrates me too. Some people seem to purposely regress, and act like a baby.
    I understand things may change while you are sick; I empathize with those. But some people do it purposely.
  9. by   Aniroc
    WHen I have patients that act like this...and I'm talking about those that have the mental and physical capabilities to toilet themselves and mobilize to the washroom or can ask for help etc... I first tell them how unacceptable their actions are and that I have more critical things to do then clean up someone who should know better. They're wasting my time when I can be helping Mrs. Smith over there use her new knee replacement. They wouldn't do this at home in their own bed so I insist that they do what they'd have to do at home.

    First I get them to the washroom and make them wash themselves or shower if possible. An attends is put on if one wasn't previously. As they're doing that...I pull out new sheets and have them waiting. I make the patient assist me in making their bed. I specifically have them take off the wet sheets and put them in the hamper. I make them cavi-wipe the mattress and I do the same on the other side. I have them help me make the bed. I actively involve them in dealing with the consequence of relieving themselves on purpose - i.e. getting out of bed, actively cleaning themselves and being hygienic, making the bed and reminding them every hour on the hour while i am on shift that they must use the washroom to prevent an accident as it is their responsibility to keep them and their environment clean for their safety and others. I never threaten the use of a foley (cause some of them want that as a reason to stay in bed), and I talk candidly about real urinary incontinence, the health consequences of incontinence as well as social shame and isolation that goes along with real incontinence that such actions often result in people going to nursing homes which isn't always the best choice.

    Give clear expectations, define consequences and more so follow through and document in the nursing notes and in the care plan.