Have you ever been a patient? - page 3

If so, what changes did you make in your care for patients as a result of your experience?... Read More

  1. by   justavolunteer
    I'm not a nurse, I'm 'justavolunteer', but I've been a pt. myself. The thing I think about most is your lack of control as a pt. By this I mean that if you want water, another blanket, etc., you must depend on someone to get it for you.
    When new pts. show up on the unit, I always ask if there are diet orders & if so, can the pt. have water. Some of the nurses say "no orders yet" as soon as they see me because they know what I will likely ask.
    I just remember that once I was NPO for several days & how much it meant to be able to have water again. (A lot of things you just take for granted until you can't have them.)
  2. by   Selke
    Yes, the "lack of control" is HUGE, especially when you literally can't move from your bed, if you're tied up in traction, had orthopedic surgery, &c. Small things like having your bedside table within reach of your one arm that can reach over to it. You learn that whenever healthcare providers (docs, RNs, CNAs) touch you, it HURTs, and associate touch with being hurt. Whenever anyone gives you attention it leads to being hurt. I was in a very old fashioned ward-type hospital for months where care was given by CNAs, not RNs (one of those old Scottish Rite crippled children's hospitals; I had skeletal traction and spinal fusion with casting back in the dinosaur days). Rarely would an RN show up - - only when I was very sick, and she seemed to hurt me less, so I developed a somewhat positive association with RNs. Volunteers would have been angels in that place!!!

    I give my patients control over whatever I can, keep bedside tables in reach, and touch them in soothing ways, not just to stick needles in them or hurt them. Massage and just holding hands goes a long way.
  3. by   Hoozdo
    Well, I have had more hospitalizations than I like to think about! The treatment I have had during hospitalizations is what inspired me to become a nurse. Things I have learned and use in my practice:
    - It is OK to cry with a pt's family if you need to, the pt or family will be touched by this and remember you forever.
    - Please bring pain meds in a timely manner
    - Do not pull on a pt's foley :trout:
    - I like therapeutic touching and use it all the time
    - Treat each pt as if it was your Mom or Dad in that bed
    - Do explain and tell the pt what drugs you are hanging and what they are for
    - Do speak understandable English
    - Don't EVER call me the wrong name
    - Do not appear to be rushed
    - Please understand how to read the new fancy monitors
    - Please understand how the new fancy ICU beds operate before you put me in a chair and can't figure out how to operate the bed to get me back in it
    - Please allow your new surgical pt out of bed to take a shower as soon as the doctor allow you OOB. Honestly, you can't even imagine how skanky a person can get after about 5 days with no bed baths and betadine smeared all over them can get......and how physically uplifting it is to be clean again!
    - Please teach me the easiest and least painful way to get out of bed if I have an incision from sternum to pubic bone and give me pain meds before I have to get up!
    - Let me know if I have PRN sleeping pills, don't let me stay up all night if I am too ill to even ask if I have sleep meds ordered
    - Please give me at least an hour of uninterrupted sleep time if upon some miracle I happen to be asleep!
    - Please try to orient your ICU pts as to whether it is day or night if there are no visual clues.
    - Don't assume I can not hear you because I am sedated. Don't argue over my bed!
    - No negative talk in an ICU pt's room by relatives or staff in front of the pt. I am scared enough; don't make me think I am going to die!
    - Please advocate for your pt for pain meds before pulling staples out of your pt. Doctors don't think it hurts...........IT DOES
    - Same as above for pulling JP drains

    OK, my 2 cents......for now:spin:
    Last edit by Hoozdo on Jan 4, '07 : Reason: typo
  4. by   Hoozdo
    OH, OH, one more. I need a sense of control over SOMETHING. For each pt it is different. My control is over my bedside table! If I am well enough to use the bed side table; please let me be in control of it. Do not litter it with nursing supplies and leave them there. Do not garbage up my room with flushes, IV caps, and wrappers on the floor. Hey, I live here!
  5. by   Haunted
    I was a patient overnite in OC California for a total vag hysterectomy. I had a FC and a PCA MS. I was bloated and uncomfortable. When I did see my nurse she was distant and did not interact with me, seemed in a hurry and generally unhappy. My husband provided most of my care, helping me to ambulate, changing my chucks and getting me ice and water.

    The worst was my MD. She never assessed me prior to discharge and no one gave me post op instructions. I was told "Oh your a nurse, you know what to expect" and then discharged the following morning with no pain medication and a 6 week follow up appointment.

    I finally got a new OBGYN and began to understand how dibilitating the surgery was, and flew to New Orleans about 3 weeks after the surgery for my DH's high school reunion. I developed a pelvic absess and was hospitilized in New Orleans for 5 days. WHAT A DIFFERENCE!!!

    My nurses were friendly, spent time at the bedside explaining everything, medication, procedure and disease process. They mentioned they knew I was an RN but took the time to educate me and it made a huge difference.

    My MD's were great, the food was fabulous and my pain management was dealth with swiftly and effectively. When I was discharged my team sat in my room and went over my labs, my post op instructions and made me feel like I was a part of the decision making process. They were all Katrina people who were proud of their city, their hospital and their professions.
  6. by   meownsmile
    I actually went into nursing because of my experience as a patient. I knew i could give better care than i recieved.
    I am adamant about incentive spirometers and patients ambulating early. This after i suffered a partially collapsed lung and pneumonia following gallbladder surgery(i had the big open incision).
  7. by   AnnieOaklyRN
    I was hospitalized many times as a kid for asthma. I can remember feeling sorta left out in my care. No one ever explained to me why they were doing certain things etc. so I was confused and probably more scared than if they had just told me what was going to happen and why. I also remember having an IV with medication on a pump running 24 hours a day and I repeadily told the nurse that the IV site was VERY painful. Granted I was only 12 and maybe they thought I was just being childish about it, but not a single nurse checked my IV site, and guess what it was infiltrated and had been for at least a day, my arm was about 3 times the size of my other one and it hurt so bad I felt like I had broken it!! I also had a nurse that was not so smart who told me the night before that I would have blood drawn in the morning, yeah I didn't get to much sleep that night!

    So now I always explain what I am going to do to ALL patients especially kiddos, and when a patient says thier IV site is bothering them I check it!