Every Mom, Dad, Sis, Uncle Believes They Know Better Than The Nurse...

Nurses Humor Toon

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Every now and then we get someone who thinks they know better than NURSES. They read it on the Internet so they know what is best. They seen it on TV so they know what is best. Does this drive you crazy? How do you handle it? Please share your stories.

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Just because I love the cartoon does not mean I do not listen to the patient or family when the tell me about their illness, medications, treatments, reactions, etc. Yes they do know their own body better than I do, and yes they can have good helpful insight about their illness. I am glad to have the family help me, within reason. It is not a black and white issue.

I have always tried to include the patients' caregiver of the family , and have told them that that they have insights that the medical team is unaware of. I tried to be inclusive with my patients' permission of course.

Specializes in MICU.

Ahhhhh, Dr Google. These are some of the worst. I usually just listen as I go about my business of caring for the patient. I initially try to educate them, but usually you just have to smile and do your nurse thing. I would love to ask " oh where did you say your MD/RN degree came from???????"

Specializes in PACU.

I remember working on Thanksgiving and a patient's brother was an anesthesiologist. She decided to have some type of ice cream at 430pm. I was on my ac dinner medication rounds and he went off on me because she had to have her insulin at 5pm exactly, despite the fact that I had 5 patients who needed their supper insulin as well. He did not care about the other patients at all and she was at the far end if the hall so would get her tray last anyway. I had to stop midway and go see her before anyone else as he demanded it.

Good for Dad!

Specializes in LTC, home health, critical care, pulmonary nursing.

Well, you can discuss that nonsense with the physicians when they round. For now we do it my way.

Specializes in Acute Rehab, Progressive Care.

Yep, they love to tell us all about how they know better, but they don't want to be in the room when the patient code-browns LOL, then we're all professional again!

I am always suggesting to my patients that they stop consulting Dr Google and talk to their provider

I worked in a rural hospital for a couple of years. We had a patient come in one evening with very high BP. (Can't remember the exact number but it was way up there.) We started her on BP meds, ordered some labs including a fasting lipid profile for the morning, and admitted her. The ER nurse was a friend of mine and she said that when this woman presented, the family was hollering that she MUST be sent to a larger city hospital. (Keep in mind that we were 2 hours out of the city and she did not have any signs or symptoms of an MI or stroke.) My friend asked what they thought the city was going to do for her that we couldn't. She never got an answer. The husband insisted that if her BP went over a certain number (I think 170 systolic) we were to call HIM (the doctor ordered that we call her if the BP went over 180) and that if his wife got any worse she WOULD be sent to the city.

I don't think I saw the outcome as I think that was my last night on for a while. I don't think she was there anymore when I came back to work - but what happened, I don't know.

(Frankly, had I been the nurse in charge and had he started pitching a fit I might have suggested that he simply sign her out AMA and take her to the city himself :-)

Specializes in ICU, Postpartum, Onc, PACU.

I detest more than 2 people in the pt's room at once, mostly because in ICU there are a lot of things needing to be in that room and they aren't it (obviously unless the patient is dying/comfort care/etc). This lady wouldn't budge and we'd just coded this elderly woman multiple times and she was looking as if she were ready to kick off again. I kept saying "Excuse me. Excuse me" literally every 8-10 seconds or so and she wasn't getting it.

I asked nicely if she would be able to step out to the waiting room as there was too much stuff in the room to accommodate her and all the machines/carts and what have you. Keep in mind that all she was doing was groping the woman and googling what she thought was going on with her skin, the codes, the gtts that were hanging, etc. She was standing right in front of the IV poles with gtts I was constantly having to titrate and she got put off with me asking her to move so much.

She was also the type who, according to everyone else in her family was never around until her mom got ill and then it was overkill and she'd been bugging the staff constantly for the 2 months her mom was in our unit. Also insisting that she knew better than everyone and had even had arguments with the doctors caring for the patient.:no:

I said, "Look lady, your mom is very sick and it looks like we're going to have to code her again and we have to get the crash cart in here to help her so what do you want? Do you wanna stay in here or do you want us to be able to get the crash cart in here?". That finally got to her and she didn't complain about me so I guess it was a good thing.

Sometimes the only words are the simple ones that get your point across.


Specializes in ICU, Postpartum, Onc, PACU.
PenguinsFanRN said:
Ahhhhh, Dr Google. These are some of the worst. I usually just listen as I go about my business of caring for the patient. I initially try to educate them, but usually you just have to smile and do your nurse thing. I would love to ask " oh where did you say your MD/RN degree came from???????"

Or when they say they they're a nurse and they're in school either for nursing or CNA certification...

Yep! I'm a CNM and had a patient recently that one of the other midwives in my practice had admitted for a therapeutic rest the day before. She was 37 weeks, and had only begun care with us at 34 weeks. According to her, she was induced at 37 weeks at another hospital with her last pregnancy because she was in pain so she was demanding to be induced now because she was in the same pain. She had made no cervical change overnight and I was trying to discharge her since there was no medical reason to induce her at 37 weeks. She and her significant other sat there screaming at me that I didn't know anything and that she was in pain so clearly she needed to be induced and why wouldn't the nurse write down all the medications we had given her because they wanted their lawyer to research the medications. I should also mention that if she didn't know you were in the room, she'd be laughing and texting and seemed completely fine and then as soon as she saw me or the nurses she'd start wailing and saying she was in terrible pain. In the end I told her she was being discharged because I don't induce before 39 weeks without medical reason and that if they wanted to know what medications she had been given, they could go to medical records and get a copy of her chart. I had to call security to get her to leave. It was so lovely trying to explain to them why we don't do elective inductions early because they kept cutting me off because their lawyer (who the father had on the phone) and they knew so much better than I did.

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