Patients & Pet Peeves

  1. I am a nurse of 2 years and a recent hire on a acute medical/surgical floor.

    I'm learning so much, which is great. However,it also feels like a whirlwind.

    Does anyone have any pet peeves - behaviors that patient's have that make you frustrated?

    However, I so dislike when patient's who are A & O curse in conversation. Or if they openly belch when I am nearby them or speaking to them. Thankfully, these are only minor incidents. Of course I always mask my inner thoughts and treat the patient with all due respect.

    Anyone have any pet peeves? How do you deal with the situations or do you just let it go?
    Last edit by Brian S. on Aug 3
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    About SisterofMary

    Joined: May '16; Posts: 52; Likes: 119

    140 Comments

  3. by   Orion81RN
    Completely A&O patients with adult temper tantrus. No psych hx. Simply very poor coping skills. I've always said that I do not understand this behavior as I myself have been at death's door a few times in the hospital and managed to come across as gracious despite what I was going through. HOWEVER....I have acted less than gracious plenty of times in other situations. I'm very embarrassed about it after the fact and think, "I'm not usually like this, I swear!" So I try to give the patient or family member that benefit of the doubt. That perhaps they will go home, look back and realize how childish they acted and feel silly.

    Heck, I punched a door in front of co-workers. Not something I do, but it happened....once. And I'm sure my coworkers will always remember me as the crazy nurse and not the patient, mild tempered person I usually am.

    I like the saying, "Don't judge me by the chapter you walked in on in my life."

    Now. I TRY to do that. But I still get irritated as all get out sometimes. I either grin and bear it or speak up firmly when something is inappropriate, and I won't condone it any longer.
  4. by   missmollie
    Clock watchers who rate their pain a 10/10 while eating and not gasping for air, and as soon as they swallow their pain meds, they say they feel better.
  5. by   Kitiger
    Patients who keep talking - about everyday things - when I'm trying to get to my other patients.

    I had one memorable patient who never took a breath at the end of a sentence. He caught his breaths in the middle of the sentence. This meant that the only way I could get a word in edgewise was to interrupt and talk over him. (No, he didn't stop talking when I interrupted.)

    I learned to tell him at the get-go that I only had 5 minutes to talk. At the 5 minute mark. I would point to my watch, smile, and wave good-by as I walked out!
  6. by   Fiona59
    Patients who want to video record their "hospital experience".

    Families who write down every interaction. Then continue to question every thing that you've done. Even though you've explained everything to the fully alert adult in the bed who is their parent.

    20somethings who bring in Mummy and Daddy. The parents haven't cut the umbilical cord even when the adult child has a live in significant other.

    Temper tantrums when their surgery is delayed for two hours due to an emergency that needed the OR

    I have totally lost my faith in humanity over the last two decades.
  7. by   SisterofMary
    Quote from Fiona59
    Families who write down every interaction. Then continue to question every thing that you've done. Even though you've explained everything to the fully alert adult in the bed who is their parent.
    THIS.
    "Like your mother is retaining 1000ml of urine in her bladder. She needs a straight cath."
    "But straight cath is a risk for infection."
    Priorities people lol -_-

    Quote from Fiona59
    I have totally lost my faith in humanity over the last two decades.
    Same tho.
  8. by   SisterofMary
    Quote from Kitiger
    I learned to tell him at the get-go that I only had 5 minutes to talk. At the 5 minute mark. I would point to my watch, smile, and wave good-by as I walked out!
    HAHA. Some people have poor social awareness or are lonely. But I'm literally talking to you with one foot out the door lol. I so hate when people belch. Fart.And they can control their bowels! Very disrespectful. People lose manners and all sense when they are sick. And some refuse to keep their gowns on so so many willies I've been exposed to for no reason at all.
  9. by   Coffee Nurse
    Quote from Kitiger
    I had one memorable patient who never took a breath at the end of a sentence. He caught his breaths in the middle of the sentence. This meant that the only way I could get a word in edgewise was to interrupt and talk over him. (No, he didn't stop talking when I interrupted.)
    This is so bizarre. I'm trying to envision it and I just can't, it sounds so unnatural. He must have trained himself to do it for just this reason?
  10. by   JadedCPN
    Patients/families who press the call light several times within a 15 minute period to have me bring them something instead of just having me get it all at once.

    Parents who stop being parents (changing diapers, attending to their crying child, etc) just because they are in the hospital. No, not the parents who are scared to touch their sick child in the hospital, but the ones who view it as free babysitting.

    People (be it patients, parents, family members) who have NO perspective or ability to see perspective when they are admitted for something "simple."
  11. by   AnnieOaklyRN
    My pet peeve is when you have patent who is fully capable of answering your questions, but the family persistently answers for them. Like "how are you feeling today" etc. I will usually speak up and let them know the patient can answer for themselves.

    Annie
  12. by   Buckeye.nurse
    My most memorable pet peeve is from my pediatric days. I couldn't believe the number of parents who thought it was appropriate to sleep in negligee....and even walk around outside the room in it!
  13. by   TriciaJ
    Quote from Coffee Nurse
    This is so bizarre. I'm trying to envision it and I just can't, it sounds so unnatural. He must have trained himself to do it for just this reason?
    I once had a neighbour who did that. I learned not to pop out to the mailbox when I had something on the stove. If I encountered him, I would be shanghaied indefinitely. I read that it's symptomatic of a personality disorder, can't remember which one. I learned to say "Got to get back now!" and walk away while he was still talking. I would turn and wave politely just as I entered the house; he wouldn't have even slowed down. You can't stand on social convention with these people.
  14. by   heron
    My pet peeve is nurses who take personally a demented patient's failures of social decorum and interpersonal skills, yet demand that their every emotional tic and vulnerability be considered when called to account for their own behavior.

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