"Send my girl down here now"...(Please.....) - page 4

I was writing a progress note today on a cardiac step-down unit when my concentration was shattered by a booming voice coming through the patient-call system. An 60 y/o gentleman (for lack of a... Read More

  1. by   Stargazer
    Sign me up for the list of people supporting Jason. Yes, this man may have been fearful or feeling out of control, but as far as I'm concerned, you're never too old or crotchety to learn that you can catch more flies with honey than vinegar. Yes, it's generally a bad idea to treat the people most directly responsible for your comfort and well-being--i.e., the nurses--with contempt and disrespect. Go figure.

    I had to do this once with an ICU pt. He was an ex-career military guy and from what I could tell after 12 hours of caring for him, pretty much a misogynistic control freak with a REALLY bum ticker, not to mention bad kidneys and some other problems. I walked into his room at start of shift to find his Foley stretched dangerously tight, one of his IV's about to fall out, and a continuous run of really scary dysrhythmias on the monitor. He started demanding a phone and some other things which weren't my first concern, and when I told him so, he pointed his finger at me and started "lecturing" me about how he was paying X amount of $$ for this room and he demanded "service", etc. etc.

    I sat down and explained to him that he was there because he was critically ill, and I was there because he was critically ill. I explained that I was not the maid, or his waitress, and he was going to have to trust my professional judgement, education and experience that his IV, foley and rhythm were more urgent than his telephone call, although I would be happy to get him a phone after I sorted out the more pressing problems. He sulked and pouted and gave me the silent treatment the rest of the evening, but he seemed to get the point and quit complaining about the "service". People like this get away with crap because everyone's always let them.

    I had another pt like this--a "problem pt." that several floors refused to take care of because he would throw meal trays, scream at staff (ANY staff, including docs) and just generally throw a tantrum when things didn't go his way. His wife would simper, "Oh, well, he's always been like this," which made me want to snarl, "Gee, thanks for enabling his dysfunctional behavior for the past 35 years, Cookie!" Maybe if someone had let him know, just once, that *grown-ups* don't behave this way, he would've knocked it off. Anyhoo. The day nurse reported that when they brought him back from CT, he decided while rolling down the hall that his pillow needed to be fluffed. Like, now. The nurse told him she'd do it when they got to his room (about 60 feet away). Apparently that wasn't soon enough, because he started pounding the siderails with his fists, screaming, "Fluff my pillow, you *******, FLUFF MY PILLOW!!" at the top of his lungs. She said she was laughing so hard by that point she was doubled over and could hardly push the bed.

    I think the lesson is, sometimes jerks get sick too, and all the therapeutic communication in the world will not make a lick o' difference with some of them.

    [This message has been edited by Stargazer (edited April 23, 2001).]
  2. by   -jt
    [QUOTE]Originally posted by Jason-ACNP:
    [B]"Lets get something straight! This person is a highly respected RN within this hospital, and she is not AND WILL not be addressed as your girl! It is clear that she is of no relation to you! Secondly, THIS IS NOT A FIVE STAR HOTEL! You can and will ambulate on your own!! That means that when you have to go to the bathroom, get a magazine, or scratch yourself, YOU WILL BE THE ONE WHO DOES IT AT THIS POINT IN THE GAME! These nurses are not your handmaiden, and they are NOT at your beck and call. Each nurse cares for 12 patients with very little assitance, and every patient on this floor is in far worse shape than you are! Am I absolutey clear?!
    Now before I catch hell for that, let me say this. [Q]

    You wont catch any hell from me. You took the words right out of my mouth! Theres a time & a place when they just need to be said. I havent been fired yet for similar exchanges & insisting on being treated as a professional & with the respect that my position deserves. Id love to hear administration try to explain firing you for stopping a pt from abusing an RN. What is of concern is that the RN didnt do it for herself & someone else had to speak up for her. But congrats for doing it so well & for showing the rest of them how.
  3. by   -jt
    [QUOTE]Originally posted by Joanm:
    [B]Did anyone see Jay Leno last night? One of his "jokes" was that he had seen on CNN that there was a nursing shortage. And we can't do without nurses, because without nurses there would be no more porn movies. [QUOTE]

    hes done that more than once. Last yr he was bombarded with letters from nurses for another degrading "joke". Even THAT turned into a joke & he has merely increased his nurse "jokes" after that instead of knocking it off. On the other hand, around the same time, David Letterman featured his MDs AS WELL AS his nurses on his show & said that without nurses, he would be dead.