I can't stop thinking about this patient that the doctor failed. - page 2

Heartache...absolute heartache. I won't go into the details due to patient privacy, but yesterday I had the most horrible experience. My patient was being grossly misdiagnosed and being discharged... Read More

  1. by   MomRN0913
    What you did was beyond commendable. You were n advocate for your patient no matter what it took. You used every resource available. And like another poster said, there would probably have been no hope if you didn't do all of this.

    If there wasn't a more nurses like you, there would be much worse outcomes.
  2. by   leslie :-D
    i understand how emotional you're feeling right now - it sounded like a very powerful and primal experience.
    i agree, you need to give time a chance, and let things quiet down.
    still, i cannot help but feel overwhelmingly proud and impressed by your actions as a nurse and advocate.
    it chills me to think what could have happened, had you not stepped up to bat.

    wear the badge with pride and honor.

  3. by   Esme12
    Quote from JeneraterRN
    Heartache...absolute heartache. I won't go into the details due to patient privacy, but yesterday I had the most horrible experience. My patient was being grossly misdiagnosed and being discharged despite my frequent but respectful objections. The doctor involved was having a terrible situation at home, and my charge nurse and I believed her to be emotionally incapacitated. Our DON was contacted, and the dispute eventually was presented to our CEO. The doctor was replaced and we flew the patient to a specialist. I don't know how she is currently doing, but it was a 12 hour long process to get her there. I fear irreparable damage for her due to the misdiagnosis and delay of treatment. I'm personally a mess from the experience. I can't sleep tonight, and was assured by everyone involved that did the right thing from the start of the shift by being an aggressive patient advocate. I fear for her. The thought that so much hinges on our actions is paralyzing me. I don't want to be a nurse anymore. I don't want to watch people succum to illness, lose their children, or have their lives shattered any more. Kudos to all who can deal with this better than I. May you all find the peace that eludes me.
    You were very brave to take a stand for what you believed to be the right thing. It isn't easy to stick your neck out like that and stand against someone you may ordinarily have great respect for.....and I'll bet you that MD will be grateful you did. You need to give yourself sometime to recover from this ordeal for it would be a great loss to the profession to not have someone like you in it's ranks to care for and advocate for it's patients.

    Nothing really prepares you for these moments in life and nursing school certainly doesn't have a special class on how to handle these situations and recover. You need to decompress and debrief. Maybe talk to someone......these type of situations are very traumatizing. I am sure you are exhausted and need a good nights sleep. I agree that when you look at the ramifications of simple actions .....we certainly aren't paid enough to do this job.

    I am proud you believed in yourself and fought for the right thing to be done for that patient.........for what would have happened if you weren't the one taking care of her that day. We can't really change the over all outcomes of our patient...not really....we can change the path they were on to give them a different outcome but we have no control over the final say.

    I am not a particularly "Religious person" at least not "formally" like going to church. But I am a firm believer that there is something, someone, somewhere that has a plan. A plan that allow detours and updates depending on the surrounding circumstances but they, it, them.... make the final call. I firmly believe that many times during my career I was place in the position to affect change and for me "God" looked down and thought.....Oh that's Ok Esme's there....she'll make it alright or that he decided he has a better plan, one I am not privy to and takes some patients home to him and knows I am there to pick up the pieces for families to give them peace.

    Someday I plan on having an open table discussion with the "Big Guy" to ask why he let me fight so hard to only lose or why did that 8 year old trauma have to die when the 90 yo lived to see another day and why children have cancer but for right now I comfort myself that my presence is valuable to those around me and I have been given this gift to help those most vulnerable in need and I have been given the smarts to affect change. Whether I was climbing in an upside down car to start an IV or to hold someones hand when they were frightened.......I affected and changed their experience to be better.....changed.

    I have fought with some MD's in my day, who for whatever reason, weren't making the best decisions that day. I remember a certain surgeon whom I respected and loved that I had a horrible fight with because he insisted he was sober enough to go to the OR. He said such terrible things that day. He was so angry with me and didn't speak to me for quite sometime.....mostly from embarrassment.....one day told me how much he appreciated me that day for not backing down and thanked me for saving that patients life.

    You were where you were supposed to be and it will take some time for you to feel better and you will never forget that moment, that patient and that day....but I do promise it will feel better. My prayers for you to find and keep the peace you seek
  4. by   ♑ Capricorn ♑

    You did the right thing and you should be commended for it. Your deed was honorable. You should be proud of yourself instead of beating yourself up inside. I feel bad for you and can understand why honestly. I hope you will decide what is best for you.
  5. by   JeneraterRN
    Thank you all for the kind and encouraging words. I've been in a faith limbo lately, but perhaps this is God's way of bringing me back.
  6. by   leslie :-D
    Quote from JeneraterRN
    Thank you all for the kind and encouraging words. I've been in a faith limbo lately, but perhaps this is God's way of bringing me back.
    i fully believe that...especially that this was divine intervention, and it happens more often than we're aware of.
    i also would like you to read and reread esme's post.
    i totally share her beliefs, it makes a whole lot of sense, and it is especially helpful to have faith when 'stuff' happens to which we have no answer.
    with esme's example, a child dies...and of course it's natural for us to grieve, shake our fists and demand "WHY???"
    with faith intact, i can accept that it was horrible, that someday i will come to understand the "whys", and that perhaps, death isn't the horrific concept it is purported to be (in western society).

    i guess what i'm trying to say, is take advantage of this time to peruse/reflect on what happened, and find peace with it.
    at some point in your life, most of us grow in such a way where we can truly accept all types of occurrences, as happenstance...
    and receive it with the repose, in which it was intended.

    let it sink in, the whole sequence of events...
    and tell me God's not smiling.

  7. by   TinyRNgrl
    Esme and the others said it all. You were where you were meant to be that day.
    I would be honored to have you as my nurse.
    Hugs to you.
  8. by   Old.Timer
    I have always considered patient advocacy to be one of the cornerstones of the nursing profession.

    I fear that the percentage of nurses that have the knowledge, confidence, and assertiveness necessary to advocate for their patients is declining rapidly. And that doesn't even take into consideration those nurses that are capable but aren't willing or able, for whatever reason, to do anything more than follow P&P and document that they did so in order to CYA.

    Be proud of yourself OP. You had the knowledge and an intact "give a damn" that enabled you to go to bat for your patient. You are exactly the type nurse that we don't need walking out the door.
  9. by   CheesePotato
    You, my friend, are not a nurse. No. You are a warrior.

    You adorned your face with war paint, rallied your troops, picked your battles, strategized and coordinated your movements and barreled into the fray.

    You are what all little nurses, wet behind the ears, bright eyed and bushy tailed and fresh out of nursing school dream of being.

    You are the one battle axes know will do just fine.

    In your post, you said you "don't want to watch people succumb to illness". Well that's good to know, because you didn't. You fought and fought well.

    And when they come to us, their lives are shattered. That is just a simple fact. What counts is that you helped find the pieces and, armed with your superglue of awesomeness, put them back in some semblance of order.

    We can't know what happens to everyone we treat and, in some cases, in spite of what we believe, it's better not to know.

    As someone who works closely in resuming the fight with transferred patients, I can tell you that you bought this person something so very precious: a chance.

    I will not say to not beat yourself up. Sadly, it is what we do and is a part of why we are in the practice we are in: we are perfectionists, a touch obsessive and as such, leaving our pen cap unattended on the counter top at work can drive us to hours of catatonic rocking and ponderings of what we could have done differently.

    Chin up!

    And for pity's sake, don't throw in the towel.
  10. by   JeneraterRN
    Well said, CheesePotato, well said. I was particularly moved by, "Superglue of awesomeness.". . Your words mean a lot.
  11. by   taylissa
    I'm still only a nursing student, but hope that I can be half the nurse you are! Please don't throw in the towel, for me and for all the future nurses out there, we need you to learn from, your experience sounds emotionally draining to say the least. just think about the outcome if you weren't there? You were exactly where you where supposed to be, be at peace with that and ........exhale.
  12. by   mama_d
    Ditto to all of the above, and :hugs:

    Have you considered talking with your facility's chaplain, or going through your employee crisis line? Especially in situations like yours, the chaplains aren't just for the patients.
  13. by   exnavygirl-RN
    I hope if I'm ever in that resident's situation that someone like you is my nurse. You are a true avocate. I've had to fight for my patients and have strongly considered leaving the nursing profession. The only thing that keeps me going is the love of my residents and my love for them.