Dear nurse, I really don't want to bother you - page 4

I saw this on an ER thread and I feel it needs to be discussed. Before anyone flames me, this post is not intended to attack nurses, especially ER nurses. I feel that I do need some clarification... Read More

  1. by   Spidey's mom
    Quote from LeahJet
    Completely agree.

    Again, not trying to sound harsh..... but people think that the ER is some magic place that has the perfect pill that will take away your pain and a staff to make you completely comfortable. Life is not perfect and sometimes we ache,hurt, or generally feel like crap. Many times, I have worked taking care of people that probably felt better than I did.
    I'm probably going to get flamed big time, but I think that people are getting too whimpy. Sometimes you have to suck it up and be tough.
    I mentioned this on another thread but I had a female with a migraine in alot of pain and we triaged her right into the ER because we had no patients. However our ER doc also has the walk-in clinic next door so it took him 1/2 hour to get to her . . . we turned out the lights by her bed and were as quiet as could be and yet her husband walked over to complain loudly about how long they had been waiting and "when is the doctor going to get here?!". After 1/2 hour. I wanted to say try the next hospital in the big city and see if you can even get into the ER from triage in 1/2 hour.

    People's expectations can be hard to deal with - especially when you are doing your best.

  2. by   EmerNurse
    Quote from LeahJet
    Many times, I have worked taking care of people that probably felt better than I did.
    I'm probably going to get flamed big time, but I think that people are getting too whimpy. Sometimes you have to suck it up and be tough.
    LOL LeahJet - can't tell you how many times I've been in triage on my 4th 12 in a row and had someone describe symptoms I've had for 3 nights running! I wanna tell them "how bout YOU do my job and I'LL go lie down?" I don't of course, but I want to :spin: .
  3. by   cota2k
    Thanks for saving Grams (etc..) life, but I think she (etc..) needs food, water, blankets (etc..) The best was when I first started in ED. Air ambulance crew is there to transport a resp distress 10 y/o, and an older gentleman came and asked what we were going to do next for his mother as her enema hadn't resolved her issue.
  4. by   arizonanurse
    Oh my gosh, this thread totally reminds me of my last day at work. A 300 lb, screaming, kicking, clawing psych patient cussing us out, attacking the staff and screaming bloody murder while 6 security guards held her down so I could give IM Haldol.... All. Day. Long. Plus three other patients who, while nowhere near as time consuming as the first one, did need meds and IVs and assessments and dressing changes. So I finally come home after the day from hell, an hour late because after I gave report I had to chart on the entire shift. And my dad tells me that I probably was irritating to this patient, and my mom says I should feel sorry for her because she was probably scared. :angryfire All I could say was, "If you'd had to take care of her all day you wouldn't be saying that." And then give up, and save my venting for my nurse friends who are the only people who can really understand.

    I guess what I'm trying to say is please don't judge us when you've never been in our shoes. I don't mind people asking for things, and yes, I understand it only takes a minute to wrap up your IV so you can take a shower - but if a doctor is in the middle of a bedside I&D and is waiting on me to give the patient another dose of morphine, you are going to have to wait, and no, I do not know how long. I really don't care when you complain about how long everything takes; I've heard it all a million times and it just doesn't phase me anymore. But I do appreciate it when people are understanding.
  5. by   RunnerRN
    As the original poster of this "derogatory, harsh, disgusting" etc comment on the ER board, I was all set to come in here and defend myself. Was I ever surprised when I read all the comments! I am all for family participation in care - which anyone would know if they read my other responses to other threads - but there are definitely times when I am unable to spend even 5 extra minutes in a stable patient's room. Many ERs (including mine) are operating in crisis mode most of the time...just trying to keep the sick people alive! This goes double on night shift.
    I think the OP of this thread meant well, in wanting to know how she can help, not hinder, her family member's care in the ER. BUT there are several responses that I felt were not deserving. As was already posted, you cannot fathom what it is like to be an RN in a crisis ED until you actually are one.
    To the RNs who posted in support of my comment, thank you!!
  6. by   Cattitude
    Quote from traumagirll99
    this is probably going to come off as way harsh but perhaps if you are really interested in helping to take care of your loved one then maybe you could become involved before they need to be in the er? my point here is that our country's ers are overwhelmed with pts who are sick, some who are not sick, and a lot that would have never needed to be seen in an er if they or their families had taken responsibility for that person's health issues and dealt with them before it was an emergency. until the general public takes responsibilty for their health our ers are going to continue to be used as clinics and pcps. i am sure that if my er wasn't so busy with a lot of noncritical pts, i could give out a lot more blankets and maybe find a way to better care for the critical pts that need to be in an er. i know this maybe off topic but at the same time i can remember when going to the er was not supposed to be a pleasant experience only a necessary one.

    even though this strayed from the topic, i must agree. i am a visiting nurse and i can't tell you how many patients i have with uninvolved family members. there are also the patients who keep putting off their doctor appt's and then wind up in the er with exac. of chf, copd whatever because they waited so long. as a home health nurse i try my best to prevent er visits but i can't do it alone:uhoh21:

  7. by   TazziRN
    Originally Posted by LeahJet
    Many times, I have worked taking care of people that probably felt better than I did.
    I'm probably going to get flamed big time, but I think that people are getting too whimpy. Sometimes you have to suck it up and be tough.
    I remember doing a night shift years ago, a busy one, where the doc and all three nurses were sicker than most of the pts there, and we were working!
  8. by   Marie_LPN, RN
    Quote from purple_rose_3
    All I'm going to say about this is, when you become a nurse you will understand what the OP was trying to convey by that statement.
    And what if they don't?
  9. by   SuesquatchRN
    Poor Chaya. She tried so hard to ask her question without sounding judgmental.
  10. by   PANurseRN1
    Quote from scrmblr
    Telling them to sit tight is totally appropriate. It is not a matter of "better things to do" it is a priority list. Child with breathing difficulty takes priority over water and warm blanket for grandma.
    Precisely. Many of the times, the people who say "I hate to bother you, but..." are the ones who ask for more water, then five minutes later need a blanket, then five minutes later need to go to the BR, etc. Some requests can be clustered, e.g. getting a blanket and water.

    And yes, sometimes it is absolutely appropriate for a pt. to have to just sit tight.
  11. by   PANurseRN1
    Quote from ItsyBitsySpider
    I would hope that when you are finished with your studies you could work in an ER and maybe come up with some better solutions on how to run a more customer friendly environment. :uhoh21:
    I'll go you one better...come up with a more "nurse friendly" environment.
  12. by   JeanettePNP
    Quote from Suesquatch
    Poor Chaya. She tried so hard to ask her question without sounding judgmental.
    Thanks Susesquatch and Roy for seeing what my point is. We are not adversarial at all in this case, but unfortunately we seem to be speaking at each other rather than to each other. I think I'll continue along my own path to becoming a nurse and just pray that I won't be encountering the ER anytime soon (not because ER nurses are uncaring, but just because ER is not a place I'd want to be, a priori.)
  13. by   storm06
    Chaya, I can understand that you want to be there for your family. And it is natural to want to get your relative a blanket if they are cold. Through your training and as you get more experience you will find family and friends will take great comfort if you are there for them in the ED. So don't let that deter you from not going to the ED or even having a prac placement there. Then you can compare the two experiences.
    I have taken friends and family to the ED many times, mainly as a comfort to them. It is easy to have someone interpret medical jargon that understands it. I have an 'emergency' bag in my car that has a jumper, change of clothes, toiletries, a book and some dried food (usually BBQ shapes, and its all for me!!) It doesnt hurt to have a bottle of water and a blanket in the boot of the car just in case. (also because I live in the country, miles from anywhere!)
    Try to understand that those of us who have worked in emergency departments dont see a request for a blanket as a priority. Its just that simple. I have been abused left and right by family members for not doing this or that, when I really just want to say a cough/cold for 4/7 is not an emergency, take a panadol and go home. Its not being nasty, its just that you cant drop everything in the middle of a resus to grab a blanket.
    You can do alot of things to help a relative in the ED and not use the "I hate to bother you but,,," sentence.
    Really only 1 relative should be with the patient in the ED, and never in a resus. Keep other family members informed so that there is 1 contact person. Family can contact you and not the hospital. If you are taking a relative to the ED (obv not in an emergency) take a spare rug or cardi just in case. Even a soft pillow can help in those hard backed chairs. You can explain to your relative that ED can get really busy, and that they really shouldnt eat or drink until they get the ok from the Dr. Sympathise, say 'I know its a bugger you cant drink but better to be safe than sorry hey?' (or does that really sound occa Ozzy?!) Give them some reasurrence and hold their hand. Make sure you have a list of their medications/medical problems/allergies ect to speed up the triage process. And always explain that a 2 hour wait in the ED can quickly lead into a 6 hour wait if there is a priority. Are they happy to wait that long?
    Being a nurse your family may expect alot of you. Anything from explaining medical jargon, to maybe knowing the right things to say to get into ED quicker. (My advice, never tell anyone that chest pain will get you seen quicker. If you havent got it then God help you!) I have been on both sides of the fence as have many other nurses. But I have trained my family and freinds quite well. If you are not dying its not an emergency and dont dare yell at the nurses or you will have me to answer to. ED's get clogged very quickly, and I have told off a few relatives (in jest) for wasting 'the good nurses time' (Sorry Uncle Bob, dont care if your ingrown toenail is giving you curry,,,, will you die from it? No? Then take a panadol next time and you wont have to whinge about waiting in a hard cold ED for 6 hours,,, Serves you right. But then he gets up big hug, so all is forgiven!)
    Good luck with your studies, have faith and confidence in yourself. Be there for your family, ED can be a scary place, and I am sure they will need you. Give ED nursing a try. I never thought it was something I was cut out for but it turns out I am. Though I dont fluff as many pillows in ED as I did on the wards, my patients get their treatments and their care on a priority basis, and in the ED it shouldnt be any other way.

    Good Luck