Funny question, but a very serious one....
Last night, LTC patient is at death's door. Family has not seen her in about 8 months. Priest came in for last rites, family at bedside.
I am her nurse. Have been for about 1 1/2 years. Family only comes about once a year.
Family sitting at bedside BAWLING like babies. Family wants nurse (yours truly) to GET NOW, RUN FAST, DO THIS, etc.
Nurse (again yours truly) has 25 other patients and 2 CNAs to cope with......
"Mother needs more morphine....please get it now." (Mother had morphine about 45 minutes ago, not scheduled for 3:15.....)
"Sure I will get the morphine, if you are sure you want your mother to stop breathing right now....."
GRRRRRRR. Can I bite them????
Sep 2, '01
Ok, guess, I didn't explain the situation very well.
Our social worker has been working with the wife of this patient for weeks. She is still very unaccepting of her husbands poor physical condition. He is actually very stable right now-as stable as he is going to get. I have spoken with her as well as other staff nurses about his condition. Our social worker has even tried to see if they are eligible for medicare/medicaid and I guess that they are not.
I have been extremely nice and patient with her. I was only venting my frustrations here. I am very well aware of what I must do to take care of the patient and his wife.
I have requested to have a new assignment--to no avail. I believe that he should be rotated every few days among all of the nurses. I am off today so Tuesday, believe me, I will be requesting a new assignment.
Essarge, I know you are still a student and I thank you for your advice. Until you have walked a mile in my shoes you should not judge me. I was quite taken by your comment that my "venting" upset you. But when you get out into the real world you will see and experience how frustrating it is to care for patients and family members such as this. We as a whole are doing whatever we can to assist this lady as much as we possibly can. We have spoken with nieces and nephews about offering their aunt some support during this difficult time. Like I said earlier. I am always very nice and patient with her and try to answer her questions as well as I can. She actually likes when I am caring for her husband. But sometimes, no matter what we as nurses do or say, cannot get certain information inside a family members head.
The biggest thing here is, I know that she doesn't want to see her husband in a nursing home but there is no way she'll be able to take him home in the condition that he is in.
Essarge, I feel as though you are saying that I am a "bad nurse" because I get frustrated and need to grit my teeth? You will see how it is when you are on your own when you finish nursing school. A half hour is a long time because when you have 5 other patients to care for and another admission on its way, it gets to be very time consuming. So most times I can forget about taking a lunch.
I have learned to control my frustrations and save it until I am in the medication room and can vent to another nurse out of earshot of any patients or family members. That is what I meant when I said gritting my teeth. Believe me honey there are a lot worse nurses out there than I. And as far as getting any help from my co-workers? I work with a bunch of slugs. Nuff said.
Last edit by RNforLongTime on Sep 3, '01