How do you handle the drug seekers? - page 4

Ok, disclaimer---37 days left of school for me, but have some nagging questions. During my ED round we had a female patient who was a drug seeker. Complaining of abdominal pain when no cause was... Read More

  1. by   Melleeboo1
    Quote from Maseca
    I haven't started nursing school yet (one month!), but this story sounds very familiar to me. I was that little girl when I was a child. My mother has had addictions to pain medication most of my life, and as a result, I ended up being the parent in the situation. When we would go to the hospital, and I would be the one to try and get "help" for my mom, mostly because I really wanted to go back home and sleep. I could go on, but needless to say, that little girl was being forced to take on concerns and responsibilities far beyond her years

    I know your time with patients is limited in the ER, but what can be done for the kids in that situation? Would it have been appropriate to tell her in some way that she doesn't need to be responsible for her mom, that the doctors and nurses were taking care of everything? Could some sort of intervention be done to help the children who are forced into a caretaking role due to their parent's addictions? What can the nurse's role be in that aspect?

    This breaks my heart... I was an addict for many years, and while I did some awful things, I never ever involved my child... Wow
  2. by   ERnursebyday
    My ER doctors, as well as I, do not feel comfortable giving mind altering pain medications (morphine, dilaudid) to an individual who is taking care of a child in the room. If there is no other person there to care for the child, that is not a responsible thing to do. Also, as stated above, a child should not leave the room without parental supervision. I would never let my child just leave my room. I do encounter many "frequent flyers" who state that they are allergic to NSAIDS, Tylenol, Vicodin and morphine. In my ER, we then ask what is their reaction to the medication? (We are required to document said rxn). I can't tell you how many drug seeking individuals pause and stutter while they are trying to tell me their reactions. Yes pain is subjective, however, we are also intelligent, educated individuals that understand someone laughing on their cell phone is not in 10/10 pain. I find that extremely insulting.
  3. by   LeChien
    I've gone to the ER with abdominal pain and they prescribed me Bentyl which is an antispasmodic, and it worked wonders. Everyone is so quick to give narcotics!
  4. by   mrsjonesRN
    The policy at my old facility stated I could not give pain medication to someone if they had a kid in the room with them and they were they only one responsible for the kid at that time.

    I actually almost had to call dcs on a woman who was inpatient with a 1 year old and 3 year old in the room. She had a known psych history and know IV drug history. She was changing their diapers and wanted her dilaudid. Then became angry when I told her about the policy. She said the kids had no where to go and she had no family. After her dilaudid was 30 minutes late, she then called her brother and mother to come get her kids so she could have the dilaudid. It was an interesting night to say the least.