Nurses as Patients: What was your best/worst experience as a patient?

  1. Inquiring minds want to know:

    What was your BEST/WORST experience as a patient?

    Maybe we all can learn from it and improve our practice. Good goal for Nurse's Week, don't you think?
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    About UM Review RN, RN

    Joined: Aug '04; Posts: 9,279; Likes: 4,302

    29 Comments

  3. by   UM Review RN
    My best would have to be the nurse who took the time to wash me up after a particularly bloody procedure.

    My worst would probably be from many years ago -- I recall lying on my mother's lap on a hard ER waiting room bench (think 1960s, here). I was puked-out, too dehydrated to lift my head, and had dry heaves. A nurse took one look at me and said, "She's faking. Come on, stop that right now" and continued to berate me for this unacceptable behavior until I finally passed out, wondering if I was going to die, and couldn't hear her. Nothing's worse than being accused of being a liar when you're just too sick to defend yourself.
  4. by   Ann RN
    Quote from Angie O'Plasty, RN
    Inquiring minds want to know:

    What was your BEST/WORST experience as a patient?
    Best - Someone holding my hand & talking to me when I was scared to
    death.

    Worst - Post op day 1 (abd. surgery), BP in 60's, tachy in 120's, no u.o. &
    lethargic. IVF @ 125/hr. I asked for more IVF. Nurse said "we'll
    just wait until the doctor comes in later." She refused when I
    asked her to call a doctor. Thankfully, all was OK, but -
    CRITICAL THINKING guys!
  5. by   bill4745
    Having dilaudid 1mg IV pushed in as fast as the nurse could get it through the needle. I felt like I was going to die for about 2 minutes. Imagine the look on the nurse's face when I then told him (for the first time) that I was an RN. He thought he was going to loose his job.
  6. by   chuck1234
    I was sick two years ago, and I went to an E.R....I was waiting....and waiting....and waiting....still waiting....then I was getting better.....I left the E.R. for good.
  7. by   RN28MD
    Worst: just few mos ago, had a baby and the nurse that cared for me never knocked and came in and out as she pleased. I know after a while we forget and just walk in pts room but this was a reminder for me to always knock and remember that the pts have feelings of embarassment when they are changing or something.
  8. by   EGKB
    When I was in the hospital having my son, almost all of my nurses were outstanding. In fact, my experience in the hospital is what helped me to decide to become a nurse. HOWEVER, there is always one exception, isn't there???????

    I had a Nurse/Lactation consultant whose breath smelled like day-old pastrami actually grab my breast several times and attempt to SHOVE it into my newborn's mouth!!!! (I'm not talking gentle guidance, here... more like the hold you take when trying to unscrew a difficult light bulb... OK, maybe I'm exaggerating a little, but anyway, NOT GENTLE!!! OUCH!!!!)

    This wasn't too long after my emergency c-section, so I wasn't 100% in control by any means (and neither was my little boy), but I couldn't believe she was 1) grabbing my boob and 2) forcibly CRAMMING it into my son's mouth!!!! It's not like we had even been trying for a while - she didn't even give us a chance to let us figure things out on our own. I told her I just needed a little time with my son, but she wouldn't listen, and kept breathing her pastrami breath into my face (not a pleasant experience for anyone, but especially not for someone who had a bad reaction to anesthesia!!!!)!!!


    Finally I had to throw her out of the room!!!!!

    (By the way, the other nurses thought it was hilarious that I threw her out... they all considered me a "perfect" patient!!!)
  9. by   gr8rnpjt
    My best/worst experience happened in the maternity ward as well. They both occurred on the same admission as well. I have had all big babies, all over 8 lbs. My experience occurred after the vaginal birth of my second daugher, she weighed 8 lbs 14 oz and was my biggest baby. After her birth, I had hemorrhoids really bad!!! I looked like I was smuggling a baseball between my legs. I had a student nurse come in to check my lochia. When I showed her "what I had" she looked puzzled and said, "what is that?" I said, "my hemorrhoids". she said, "No really, what is it?" I said, "Well, really, It is my hemorrhoids". She said, "no that is not a hemorrhoid" and I said, no they are hemmorhoids She reached down with her bare finger and pushed on them. She said "no what is that?" I said, "please stop pushing on that it hurts, that is my butt and those are some big hemorrhoids." So she stopped palpating my hemorrhoids and went to tell her instructor, who happened to be a fellow alumnus, who had been 3 years ahead of me in school. The instructor asked if she could bring in the class to see my hemorrhoids. I said he!! no of course.
    The best experience happened as well. My hemorrhoids were, huge, to say the least. And I was not even able to think of having a bowel movement. When I had to "go" on the second day, my efforts were severely impeded by pain, fear, and my big, big hemorrhoids. My nurse that evening was an older LPN and she was a very kind and gentle woman. When I told her my problem, I explained I was very afraid of having an enema due to the size of the hemorrhoids and she said, "don't be afraid, I will be very slow and careful. I promise I will not hurt you" This woman was very gentle and soft spoken, and I believed her. I am telling you, when she started to put the tip of the fleets in, I really could hardly feel it. She was very slow, and gently glided the tip in, and when she administered the enema, she did it very slowly and gently. She took her time, and the whole thing was completely painless. I did experience results, and was so grateful, I cried when I thanked her for taking time to be careful and gentle with me.
    I later was very saddened to hear that they did away with LPN's in the maternity floor. I never forgot what a great job she did with this simple task.
  10. by   catlynLPN
    My experience occurred when I had my gallbladder out.
    When the surgeon came in the next day to change the bandage and check the incision, he pulled the taped bandage off in such a way I thought I was going to come up out of that bed and knock him to the floor. He pulled like straight "up" with the tape. I could have killed him. The nurse said that they had all {the nurses} tried to get him to let them remove the bandages but he wouldn't allow it.
    During the same hospital stay, they did blood work to check my liver function, and it was elevated. Not coming down quite as fast as what the surgeon thought it should. So they were going to do this dye test, brought this goop in there for me to drink, set it down on the table and told me to drink it. So the nurse left the room, and I proceeded to drink the stuff. Finished it in 3-4 minutes and was waitng on them to come get me for the CT scan.
    So then a minute or two after I finished it, a voice came over the room intercomm, "Ms ******, have you drank that dye yet? "
    "Why, yes, I have." So then they tell me that the CT machine is down, and they won't be able to do the scan. I would have to be transported to another hospital in the next nearest town to have the test done.
    So I'm starting to get pretty aggravated by now.
    They load me up on a hospital van, that had very little air conditioning, it was mostly just air blowing. And this was in the middle of July. HOT.
    The next hospital was 65 miles away. I was hurting, nauseated, hot, and aggravated.
    The guy who transported me brought pans, towels, cool wet cloths, he was so afraid I would vomit and he would have a mess to clean up. But thankfully, I didn't throw up.
    And besides all that I had to drink more goop just before arrival at the hospital.
    The driver told me that they have another NICE van, but it was only to be used for the hospital executives for THEIR trips.
    So patients have to suffer in the van with NO airconditioning.
    I was very disappointed in my local hospital's treatment of me.
  11. by   AlwaysTired
    I had a hysterectomy and bladder surgery and after they removed the foley I couldn't pee. I was sick as a dog and they gave me pain/nausea med. Well it knocked me out for a good while and when I woke up my bladder was so full and distended that I thought I was gonna die!! It took them a while to come after I hit the button and by that time I was screaming. They got around 900ml! So I still couldn't pee by myself and they wanted me to straight cath myself and I just couldn't get the hang of it 'cause I was still so sick and the INT was keeping me from bending my wrist. Well my husband called for them to bring me more pain/nausea med and when she came I was like "I don't want to take it 'cause I'm scared I'll fall asleep and wake up with a full bladder like before and I just can't take that again" and I was crying and the nurse said "now you just need to roll over and take this shot and let me do my job!". So I did! You can't argue much with anyone when you're puking up your toenails! Anyway...later after I still couldn't pee she said "now you're going to HAVE to cath yourself because the Dr. will NOT write an order for a foley to be put back in, well he did after he saw me (and I didn't ask him to)...boy did that make her mad!!!:angryfire
  12. by   TweetiePieRN
    Best: My entire birthing experience! From the RN who did the nonstress test to all the nurses who took care of me until I went home...they were wonderful!! I wrote a letter to the hospital letting them know how great they were. The funny thing...I had my baby at a RIVAL hospital too

    Worst: Calling our doctor's office! They NEVER return calls! It's sooo frustrating. My husband took a blood test to see if he had mono (Epstein barr virus EBV) and was told he would get his test results on Friday. No one called back. So he called Friday around 2pm and the person who releases tests was gone for the weekend! So he calls back on monday and leaves a msg. No call back. Calls again Tues and gets the right person. He is POSITIVE and is told to avoid being around pregnant women and children...I am 6 mos pregnant and we have a 1 year old son!!!!!!!!!!1:angryfire :angryfire :angryfire
  13. by   Ruby Vee
    worst experience would have to be after my second laser cone. my then, husband d.h. was in the air force and had been on temporary assignment for six months, and then had a sudden change of station just about the time he got home. my laser cone was already scheduled, so i went ahead and had it done, and then moved 2000 miles (on my own since he had already flown to his new duty station) immediately afterward. i had to have my post-op check up in a new town with a new doctor. i was a bit late for my appointment -- it was a new town and i'd gotten lost -- but they assured me that it was no problem, they'd put me in a room and the doctor would be right with me. so i got undressed, pulled the sheet around me and got up on the table like a good little patient. i didn't really pay attention to the second door in the exam room until 45 minutes later, when it burst open from the waiting room. and then the fool held the door open while he turned around and announced to all and sundry "hey, there's someone in here."

    i never went back to that doctor!

    most of my experiences as a patient have been relatively positive. i can't think of one that sticks out as "the best", although i do appreciate the er nurses who took me into the back (past a overflowing waiting room) three years ago when i had my little bout of svt and thought i was having an mi. and then when i ruled out, they were still nice to me when i felt like an utter dork for going to the er for "nothing."
    Last edit by NRSKarenRN on May 9, '07 : Reason: increased font size
  14. by   catlynLPN
    Quote from ruby vee
    worst experience would have to be after my second laser cone. my then, husband d.h. was in the air force and had been on temporary assignment for six months, and then had a sudden change of station just about the time he got home. my laser cone was already scheduled, so i went ahead and had it done, and then moved 2000 miles (on my own since he had already flown to his new duty station) immediately afterward. i had to have my post-op check up in a new town with a new doctor. i was a bit late for my appointment -- it was a new town and i'd gotten lost -- but they assured me that it was no problem, they'd put me in a room and the doctor would be right with me. so i got undressed, pulled the sheet around me and got up on the table like a good little patient. i didn't really pay attention to the second door in the exam room until 45 minutes later, when it burst open from the waiting room. and then the fool held the door open while he turned around and announced to all and sundry "hey, there's someone in here."

    i never went back to that doctor!

    most of my experiences as a patient have been relatively positive. i can't think of one that sticks out as "the best", although i do appreciate the er nurses who took me into the back (past a overflowing waiting room) three years ago when i had my little bout of svt and thought i was having an mi. and then when i ruled out, they were still nice to me when i felt like an utter dork for going to the er for "nothing."
    look, i'm old...i wear glasses but there's not much going to help me be able to read this small print. can you make it bigger, please?
    Last edit by NRSKarenRN on May 9, '07

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