I had an incident happen at work today
that angered and upset me...
I am training to be at the desk
just after change of shift at about 0745 a pt called for analgesic, I paged the nurse to that room and thought it was taken care of ....
0800 the pt buzzed again saying she didnt get anything for pain yet and could I please get her nurse. I paged the nurse to the room , stating that the patient needed analgesic and assistance (over the paging system) ..........0850, the pt calls crying saying that her nurse has been ignoring her, I walked down, saw the nurse and told her calmly and nicely that this pt had been calling for a long time and could she give some analgesic, the nurse said she was very busy but that she would give it, i said that she could ask one of us to give it if she is busy and reminded her that pain is very important and no pt should wait for analgesic if at all possible, she said she was aware of that and then said she was going to give the med.
okay fine, bout four hours later the pts son approached me , quite upset feeling that his mothers needs are not being met, I apologized for the fact that she didnt get her analgesic right away and that I would act on his behalf and raise his concerns with my superior, I then went and spoke to the pt, who opened up completely to me, and saying she didnt want to be a bother but this chest pain from her pulmonary embolus and pleural effusion is really bad sometimes and she was feeling desperate (uhhhh yeah that would be pretty freakin painful) we had a good chat, I got her up to the commode, explained that she could always
ask me for help if i was there and that we really do care about her and want her to get better and feel comfortable while with us.
My supervisor approached me asking what happened- she had gotten a voicemail from the son about the whole thing, I explained it and then she brought myself and the nurse involved into her office to discuss the situation.
well this nurse, who is notorious for being busy all the time and not listening to her pts proceeded to lie and say that I never told her which pt needed analgesic and she assumed it wasnt hers that needed anything cuz I didnt come right to her right away
I explained calmly that she was paged 2 times before I approached her and mentioned that as part of your initial assessment of your pts you are to ask them if they are having pain, its that simple
I know we are all busy, I'm not some desk nurse who "doesnt get it" I work at the bedside, I love the care I give, and I am appalled that a pt would have to wait so long for some damn tylenol #3!
after we all talked it out , this nurse went into the lounge and told other ppl that I "made her cry" , Now really, I am one of the nicest ppl, and hate conflict and dont get nasty with my co workers, maybe she cried because she realized that she was wrong and gave crappy nursing care?!??!
I refuse to be blamed for someone crying....
I didnt make her cry, Our supervisor wasnt mean and nasty,we just explained that pain is a priority and analgesics cannot be postponed.
anyway, I fluctuate between being pissed and angry that now the family of the pt thinks less of our nurses and the care we give, and seems anxious about leaving his mother alone....and being sad, that this really nice, non complaining ,pt isnt getting what she needs from us in terms of pain control.
I am also annoyed that The actions of one , or few
are so greatly reflected in the eyes of the public on all of us involved....
dont paint me with the same brush as those ppl
I try to always listen to what my pts are telling me
and wouldnt make them wait for analgesic
if I cant get to it, thats what your team mates are for....
*sigh* I'm finished now, dont think that I'm trying to come off like I think I'm better than anyone, surely I'm not , but I am better than the actions of this nurse on this day
Apr 29, '02
I don't think I understand the whole situation (working the desk, etc.), but I sure understand some witch lying to cover her A&&!
Shame on her! I can't imagine a single thing you could have done differently, and I sure hope the person she told that you'd made her cry said "I don't see any tears or red eyes."
Do you have to work with this person after this? That would be a difficult thing to overlook and be nicey-nice with her again, if it was me!
Apr 29, '02
Oooh,that makes me so mad!!!! People like that (who ignore pt's. pain meds) need to be hexed with pain themselves and made to lay there waiting and waiting and waiting for hours until their nurse decides to do something about it!!!! And then for this person to LIE about it also really would upset me! I would never trust her again and would be checking up on her each time I told her to do something after that!
I'm assuming your "training to be at the desk" would mean that you are learning to be charge or else the how to do the job of the unit secretary? I'm not quite sure about this term either, but it sounds like you got put in a very uncomfortable spot.
Apr 29, '02
Had this person done her job by giving her the pain med when you told her at the very beginning, all this could have been avoided. What a shame that some people have to be so d@mn lame. I'm quite sure that I work with the same people you do...
Apr 29, '02
First off, that nurse should be ashamed of herself.
Secondly and most importantly, you should be proud of yourself, you acted as a true patient advocate and tried to smooth over a nasty situation with grace and caring. I have been in the paitent's place, and feeling like my nurse didn't care about me (part of why I went to nursing school) and wish that someone like you would have taken my part. Good for you.
Apr 29, '02
thanks guys, the whole at the desk thing is that yes I am being trained to be able to function incharge.... which is stressful enough as it is.
and I do have to work with this nurse on a fairly regular basis , though she isnt on my normal line
so when I resume my shiftwork I will just have to tidy up her errors as opposed to witnessing them first hand
it just bothered me that some ppl view nursing as a bunch of tasks we need to squeeze into 8 or 12 hours or whatever it is, and training to be incharge has made me realize that not everyone I work with is cut out for this job, which is a sad realization to have to make. I'm used to working with a team of awesome nurses who really exemplify what we should be doing for our patients
this just showed me that unfortunately it isnt the case all the time
I guess also the fact that this patient was particularly nice and awesome and caring and compassionate herself intensified the anger
though if she was a nasty old hag I would still be annoyed that the nurse didnt do what she should have in this situation
as always you guys are a great support and I appreciate you all
Apr 30, '02
The more I read this BB, the more I am of the opinion that we all need to work the same hospital together and whip em into shape!! I can't imagine a better group of people to work with than those whose comments I read here everyday.
Apr 30, '02
I HATE PEOPLE LIKE THAT!!! :angryfire
Okay, but this does open up a pet peeve of mine. When I was doing floor nursing many moons ago, we didn't have paging systems nor did we have intercoms in the patient rooms.
I'll tell you why I hate intercoms - from my own experience as a patient. I was in a semi-private room after my C-section and my roommate was a young girl in for placenta previa, strict bedrest. She had a horrible night because she came so close to losing her baby so many times and was finally getting some rest when.... my epidural wore off.
PAIN, my friends, hit me. WOW did it hit me. But, I knew if I hit that call light they were going to come over that intercom LOUD asking what I wanted. And I was going to have to talk LOUD so they could hear me. How do I get the nurse's attention at 1:15 am without disturbing this poor girl? Nurse me, walked to the nurses station, in horrible pain, to ask for something. I was in a cold sweat by the time I got there and my knees gave out. BOY did I get a reaming out by the nursing supervisor. Well, gee, I didn't want to disturb my roommate from the intercom. Silly me.
I miss the days of just going to the room to answer a call light...
Apr 30, '02
You were in the right, she was wrong. You even offered to pass the med FOR her or have another nurse help. This is a pain med. You should be proud of yourself. We all forget things on occasion, being over busy and understaffed, but you gave her at least 3 oppurtunities to "remember". Good going. Write an incident report if happens again.
May 1, '02
Ya, done good kid.
You can't make anyone cry. She chose to cry. Just as you can't make anyone feel something.
This is passive agressive behavior on her part.
She is a person who does not take responsibililty for her own actions. So she is trying to blame you, for the paitient not getting pain relief, and for her dicision to handle the situation by crying.
Ya got a baby on your hands here. Doesn't belong in a grown up responsible profession.
I betcha she can turn those water works on and off faster than you can blink. Maby she should consider the theater, where she can play her favorite game of pretend.
Last edit by Agnus on May 1, '02
May 1, '02
just a quick update, the pt that didnt get her tylenol #3 the other day, got d/ced home today
she came to the desk and thanked myself and my supervisor for being such good advocates of her care for her, she whispered to me that I shouldnt worry so much about "one bad apple spoiling a bunch" I of course wouldnt agree cuz despite how annoyed I am at my co worker I dont believe in insulting them or taking part in that kind of stuff, I just wished her all the best n hoped we didnt meet under these circumstances
as for that nurse, she's cried before, sometimes she tries to use the fact that english isnt her first language as an excuse, but really I dont buy that, and its not like she doesnt understand, because she does
and really, me????? make anyone cry!
are you kidding! I am the biggest conflict avoider known to humankind (which brings on its own set of problems mind you but still)
and like one of my patients told me yesterday
"I like you so much, youre so non threatening, I mean you look like a kid in your little nursing uniform there"
while I didnt know whether to take this as a compliment or stomp my feet and shout out loud that I am 25 years old! (25 - quarter of a century!!!!!!!! years old!) I took it as a compliment which was how it was supposed to be
but im just so annoyed when ppl turn on the waterworks for no good reason
no one got pissed at her, no one raised their voice, she didnt get in trouble, no incident reports etc to speak of, nothing going on outside work that she wanted to tell the boss about
so uhhhh stop youre crying damnit!
and I second the idea that we all get together and work, those patients would be so well taken care of! *sigh* in a perfect world maybe.....
then again its nice that we are all stretched out all over this great world so there is hope for ppl everywhere to get decent good honest nursing care
off topic, another one of my patients nicknamed me
Wendles...... I'm not sure if I'm fond of this or not..... hmmmmmm
May 1, '02
I hope YOU end up being MY nurse if I am ever in a situation where I am a patient where you are. Thank you in advance for the EXCELLENT, compassionate and superb caregiver you are....YOU GO GIRL!
May 1, '02
don't feel bad that this gal cried. She *needed to cry*. She needed to feel the embarassment, the chagrin, the horror that comes with realizing that you've been caught systematically failing a patient. with a little luck, THAT will be sufficient to make her prioritize her patient's pain needs EVEN IF she can't comprehend the simple humanity of wanting to assuage another human's pain with as much haste as possible.