Article re: tx of Nurse in Glamour mag

Nurses General Nursing


Hi, I am new here, but I wanted to post this because this really bothered me. I subscribe to GLAMOUR magazine and usually enjoy it. Recently they published short articles under a title "How I Got My Way" The writer of one (Emily Yoffe, also wrote What The Dog Did) wrote about how she "got here way in a health crisis".

I won't write out the entire article (it's on pg. 215 of Feb. issue), but in a nutshell, I was offended and appalled how Ms. Yoffe treated of the Nurse taking care of her sister. Basically, her sister was sick and was in a hospital and *gasp* had to share a room. Her sister didn't like this because the roommate was confused.

Ms. Yoffe states in the article that she was went to the head Nurse about having a room change and the head Nurse said no. Ms. Yoffe then said she (took a breath, looked at her calmly and said, "I'll be back in one hour. When I get here, my sister will be in that room. (and pointed to an empty room that the nurse 'refused' to let her sister have earlier in the week) Then Ms Yoffe said, "Thank you for taking care of this" When she returned, her sister was moved.*for some reason, I highly suspect Ms. Yoffe wasn't as "calm" as she claims to have been*

I guess I found this article offensive because in this day and age, a private room is NOT an entitlement. Most have to share a room and if you do want a private one, insurance will not cover for that (she doesn't mention if they paid more). What Ms. Yoffe also fails to understand is that many rooms are vacant for various reasons, like being available for a true emergency or even worse just lack of staff to care for and cover yet another room. When the Nurse said NO to her the first time, she should have asked why? I felt like Ms. Yoffe was talking down to the nurse like some servant. I also feel this gives readers the impression that they can get whatever they want while in the hospital just by spewing off a few words and walking away and expecting everything to be 'nice-nice'. I would have thought that Ms. Yoffe would have been more concerned about the actual care her sister was receiving rather than whether she had a private room or not :angryfire I am writing to GLAMOUR magazine, because personally, I don't think Ms. Yoffe's behavior is worthy of half a page in a national/worldwide publication.

If you want to contact and write a letter to the editor, write to: :o

Specializes in Education, Acute, Med/Surg, Tele, etc.

OH boy I had these types of family all the time! I use to be so into "involve the family" in I dread them like the plague some days! Some are so huffy, or some are so darned demanding they will not listen to reason at all! (and then you have some that are understanding...and I miss those...don't see them as often anymore).

With many of these cases, it involved some rooms easily seen at the nurses desk. One, family can see those when they are empty..and two...that is the point..those are reserved for people being admitted that need to be in very close range of nurses! Like confused patients that fall, heavy tech need, high risks of any kind. People just didn't get it and demanded their loved one get those rooms!

Lucky for me most of the hospitals I worked for did away with wards or double occupancy rooms for this reason. Too many complaints that worked its way to managment and admin! But still...we still had the cases of "well that room is closer to the nursing desk..please but them there instead incase they need a drink of water quickly". Uhgggggg I am checking on my patients...doesn't matter the distance I HAVE to walk...I do it!

I feel your frustration...and maybe I will write...

UM Review RN, ASN, RN

7 Articles; 5,163 Posts

Specializes in Utilization Management.
Her sister didn't like this because the roommate was confused.

A noisy, combative, confused patient would certainly warrant a room change. We sometimes have no idea that some patients will be like this and we often have to juggle patient room assignments for the comfort of all the patients.

Wish I could've read the article, cat.


1 Article; 1,327 Posts

The point of view that you present certainly makes it sounds like she was out of line...I'm going to go out later and try to find the magazine issue, so I can check it out.

I am often amazed by how down right rude people get when they have a loved on in the hospital. I think that people get so focused on their loved one being ill that they forget about common sense. People often forget or don't realize that we can't always give up private rooms for patients, can't just give meds any time a patient wants them, can't order labs or x-rays because the patient wants them or is curious or whatever...sigh.

Had to call security on a grandfather this morning...we weren't getting his granddaughter's abdominal pain treated fast enough (one hour from door to dismissal)...he didn't think we needed to ask questions like, "What is your name, who is your doctor?" Also didn't know why she was being put into a gown, didn't want us palpating the painful area, informed us that there is no way it could have been an injury (she has just started a gymnastics class and the pain radiated from the right abdomen to the right leg), and finally told us that if she is (insert vulgar word for having bowel movements) that she cannot be constipated...well...x-rays proved that she was constipated. When the doctor gave her diagnosis, the grandfather swept everything off the counter with his arm, called us all a name I won't put in writing and left...came back about 1/2 hour later to collect the granddaughter...started yelling and screaming again. Security escorted him and the granddaughter out...they stole our gown and blankets and then called being all nice and sweet because they couldn't find any mag citrate OTC...sigh...


491 Posts

If the charge nurse was this easily swayed, then maybe he/she shouldn't be charge! Even I, the wimpy new grad, could have calmly stood up to this woman...there must be more to the story, was the author on the board of directors, LOL!?


491 Posts

Ok, just read the article, it seemed like these sisters had a lot of frustrating expirences: when her sister began the have the stroke the EMS person wouldn't take them right away and kept asking what drugs the girl was on. I have a little bit more sympathy for her now, but I still think that the girl could have been moved into another double room, but with a more coherent, less noisy need for a private room.


1 Article; 1,327 Posts

So much of what goes on is patient perception...most people, as a patient, only see things from their side. Again, I haven't read the article, but I would certainly like to knwo the EMTs and nurses point of view. I know that the grandfather from this morning, just felt like we weren't doing anything...he expected to walk in the door, be immediately taken to a room, and have a doctor swoop in in seconds to diagnose and treat the pain. He didn't like seeing his granddaughter hurting and was frustrated that we had to know things like her name, allergies, history, etc before we could do anything about it. I really don't think there are many nurses, EMTs, etc out there who are openly going to delay treatment or do something to make a patient more comfortable.

It would be nice if we could educate our public about why not everyone can have a private room, why even if other rooms are available they sometimes need to be left open "just in case," or why we can't just give pain medicine simply because someone says they are hurting...

Specializes in 5 yrs OR, ASU Pre-Op 2 yr. ER.

Why not write about your typical week/month and send it in? And not as a venting email, but as a true story to be published?


406 Posts

I agree she was in a frustrating situation...and i don't think she was necessarily out of line for wanting a private room. But from a nurses perspective I didn't like how she may have been under the impression that the circumstatces surrounding that room were wholly under the nurses control and I hope she didn't think the nurse just didn't want to give it to her. And if someone would have spoke to me in that telling me in a "You BETTER do this" kind of tone instead of asking nicely I would have been annoyed but like I said people in these situations are usually very (understandably) frustrated so oh well i guess....


20,964 Posts

Specializes in Specializes in L/D, newborn, GYN, LTC, Dialysis.

I cannot write the magazine having not read the article. but if I get hold of it, and it is out of line, I will.


1 Article; 1,327 Posts

I don't think anyone is out of line for wanting a private room, unfortunately, most insurance companies will not pay for a private room...I hate the fact that nurses are forced to explain to patients and their loved ones that because insurance won't pay, they can't have something. Some hospitals require up front, out of pocket to make up the difference for a private room when insurance won't pay...kind of sad. If it were the hospital I work at, the confused, disruptive patient would probably be moved to a private room...


115 Posts

I had an experience like the OP wrote of last week. My 85 y/o grandfather was in the hospital after having a mass removed from his colon, he had a new ostomy, and was on PCA. I walked in the room to find my lively, couple times a week golf playing grandfather curled in his bed. When I he spoke I could hear the tears in his voice (I was praying he didn't cry, because I would have been no good). He asked me to find his doctor. Well I knew his doctor wasn't on the floor and went to find his nurse, she went in the room and I waited outside. When she came out, I asked her if he was okay, she said that he asked to be moved to another room. I went back into the room to further assess the situation and realized that his roommate was loud, cursing, and arguing with his mother over ten dollars. I politely closed the curtain, and he told me not to mess with his damn curtain. My grandpa looked at me and said he couldn't rest, and wouldn't heal well with all the noise. I left out of the room to ask the nurse what could be done, before I saw her I walked the floor to see what beds were available. (I just graduated from nursing school, and work as a unit secretary). She told me that the other rooms were reserved but she was going to see if a patient coming to the floor could go to another floor instead. I thanked her and told her that I would come back in 15 minutes, she said she would come to the room. She did after 30 minutes and said that they were transferring the roommate because he could walk and it would be easier. After 10 minutes nothing happened, the noise continued and my grandfather had his eyes pressed shut in frustration. On top of all that he asked me where was the button for his pain medicine, (it was looped over the PCA, nowhere near him) I showed him and he said no I don't think that's it. I assured him that it was and he pressed it. This nurse hadn't even shown him how to use the PCA or placed it close to him.

When I had waited over 45 minutes I looked for the resource nurse, told her the situation, she seemed to be aware of it. I also asked if my granfather could be moved to one of the private rooms that I hadn't seen during my first sweep of the floor. She explained that they were going to move the "problem patient" to a private room, and had a isolation patient coming to the other.

She said the he was likely to be a problem for the next roommate and it was better not to have to keep moving patients. I agreed, and thanked her. The problem patient was moved in less than five minutes. My grandfather was so thankful. Apparantly he had been a problem since the day before but my grandmother, and aunt did not think that they could do anything about it.

I am sometimes very disappointed with the attitude of nurses. I don't find many nurses who are patient advocates. I see many nurses who simply go through the motions from report to report. When I care for my patients I do so as if they were my family members. I don't understand how others don't consider the possibility of maltreatment to their loved ones. I am going to be a wonderful nurse, and if I ever become unsatisfied, and can't care for patients as I know I should, I'll leave the floor. I won't subject patient to my frustrations. I realize that nurses are busy, but sometimes they are just lazy, and uncaring. Some nurses really sadden me.

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