Originally posted by billhogan
Merely as a discussion-starter, I offer an R.N.'s advice on improving a hospital stay, as reported in a recent issue of Consumer Reports: "My biggest piece of advice is to have someone with the patient to make those obnoxious demands."
Many, many thanks.
An RN said that???!!!!
Totally with purplemania on that--- PLEASE don't antagonize the already overworked staff.
Please remember we don't have an hour or more to spend with each patient. A lot more about patient care goes on behind the scenes than you'll ever realize. A lot of nursing is technical, scientific, and experiential stuff that I don't have time to give you a crash course on--I went to college for this stuff--but I'll briefly update you as much as possible as your condition evolves because it's part of our job to help you be proactive about your condition and treatment.
Please realize that I may be behind the desk checking your lab levels, and if some are bad, trying to reach the doc for new orders. I don't need to tell you this; it might be hours before the doc calls back, and the doc may not wish to give orders. I might be charting important information so that the next couple of nurses have a clue as to what's going on with you. I might also be evaluating your overall picture and consulting with other nurses because we're in a gray area and need another expert opinion.
Perhaps the best advice I can give any patient is: ASK!!
This is where your advocate might come in handy, if you're too sick to really be proactive, as well as playing "gofer" when you have a problem. (Please inform your advocate that the nursing staff is not there to serve BOTH of you.)
Are you being whisked away for a procedure? Get information: Where are you going? What does it do? Why is it indicated? (Sometimes the doctor really needs to be asked these questions, not the nurse, but we'll try to help you be as comfortable as we can.)
Are you being given a pill or an IV medication? What is it? If it's a different dose, you might bring that to the attention of the nurse, saying, "Gee, I only take half of this pill at home; should I ask the Dr. why he ordered this dose?" or even "Are you sure this one's for me, Joe Schmoe? This is a new one; I don't recognize it." You wouldn't believe how many Stephen Kings there are in the world (and how they, oddly enough, all get sick around Halloween).
Anyhow, that's enough to get you started. Remember-- the nurse is the patient ADVOCATE. Even if the doc doesn't give a flying fig, WE CARE. We don't have to "like" you to get you the proper medication or inform the doc about your changing condition. We're professionals.
We're underpaid and overworked, but we love what we do---we teach, interpret, treat, diagnose, intervene and advocate at the appropriate times--to keep you, the patient, as comfortable and as safe as possible.
Hope that helps.