Pt./Family Comments that Leave You Speechless - page 3

I seem to be hearing more and more comments from patients and families that just leave me speechless. I can think of no good response except helpless laughter, which I can't indulge in, so I bite my... Read More

  1. by   Pepper The Cat
    Pt's daughter - 'I can't be here all day. I have to work for a living"
    I felt like telling here I wasn't didn't exactly come in each day just to the thrill of it all, but stopped myself in time.
  2. by   lokicat
    Had a patient the other night who developed a "Saddle" PE. Family decided that they,
    1)Absolutely did NOT want them to place a greenfield filter to prevent potential future injury from clots.
    2)Refused to talk about code status on this recovering ICB patient who we could not give heparin to for the PE, immediately after MD saying that it was IMPOSSIBLE to predict with any accuracy the outcome of this patient good or bad. The spokesperson for the family said that we will talk about code status ONLY if "we needed to" as they were going to let the Almighty decide...

    3)Did not want to accept the fact that the patient was not suffering from abdominal distress because of being NPO, but rather as a result of having anxiety over the 18 family members pacing, playing cards, watching TV, fussing and PULLING OFF THE NON_REBREATHER 'just because it looked uncomfortable...' (taking a deep breath here)
    4) Would not accept the advice of the grandson who is a CRNA and the granddaughter who is an RN, that we were doing everything we could that was appropriate for the patient as they "were are on OUR (hospitals) side".

    The saving grace was that the family was VERY nice and re-directed easily, they just needed alot of 'reality reinforcement'...
  3. by   whipping girl in 07
    Quote from talaxandra
    I've had two relatives of unrelated stroke patients ask about brain transplantation.
    The first time I had a family ask about that, I was almost speechless. Glad to know it's happened to someone else.

    Patient's son: That doctor said Mama was brain dead. What does that mean?

    Me: That means that these machines are keeping her breathing and her heart beating, but her brain has no control over any of it.

    Patient's son: Well, they transplant organs all the time. Can't they just get her another one?

    Me: I don't think we could find anyone to donate one that didn't need it themselves.

    Wow.
  4. by   talaxandra
    How about "I can see transplantation being discussed, but not as a recipient..."
  5. by   NewRN2008
    We had a lady JUST the other week. so i am so glad i saw this post!

    90ish, came from a very active assisted living center (apparently we found out after anyhow..) for hematuria She ate bkfast, did my assessment, morning meds, chatted a little, commode, back to bed for a nap. then she gets up about an hour later and asks my aid, "so, what's next honey?"

    THAT made the rest of my day

    -H-RN
  6. by   NurseShelly
    Quote from Bugaloo
    Twenty family members in the room telling me, in all seriousness, that the gauze dressing on Granny's foot wound was saturated with liquid and it all started when another nurse hung that bag of IV fluid on her.

    Me: I don't understand.

    Them: Don't you get it? That IV is running straight through her body and out that hole in her foot!

    Umm, O-kayyyyyy.
    I know it can be very frustrating when these things are actually happening, but I"m almost near tears laughing at some of these!
  7. by   picurn10
    these are so funny!

    I'm still in school but had one at clinicals that was jaw dropping to me. I'm just in shock at how little some pts understand about their own health.
    Anyway, this pt. had just come off a vent (been in a coma for 30days) and was chomping at the bit to eat. She finally passed her swallow test, but the Dr. hadn't given permission for her to eat yet. Well, she had her husband go out and get her some cookies and a diet coke. She had DM, so in combo with not having eaten anything in 30 days, of course her fsbs was crazy. The nurse and I went in there to give her some insulin, and her husband says to me "do you think it was because of the diet coke I just gave her?" Um, no, I think it had something to do with the cookies....
  8. by   rngolfer53
    Quote from ShayRN

    When I worked the hospital I had a patient leave AMA one night and the next night show up with his suitcase in hand. Seems he changed his mind and wanted to check back in to his room from last night.

    How do you respond to this nonsence?
    Make sure you get a valid credit card # on check in.

    You'll get on the good side of management that way.
  9. by   ElvishDNP
    "We don't want HepB, Vitamin K, erythromycin ointment, or PKU, and we're using our own organic cotton cloth diapers.....but yes, we want him circumcised."
    (Because that is SO natural, right?)
    Last edit by ElvishDNP on May 18, '09
  10. by   RNontheroad
    Quote from kakamegamama
    To RNontheroad-

    I know that that woman who came in the day after her husband died & wanted to see his body probably seemed weird to you, but I hope you were kind when you explained to her that his body had been removed. She was probably not thinking too clearly--after all, her husband just died. And, when that happens, one can easily lose the ability to think clearly. Sometimes, we ask what seem to be ridiculous questions, but in our minds they make perfect sense.--that's part of the brain fog that grief produces. We just need some compassion and kindness from the staff who have taken care of our loved ones, not to be left feeling dumb for asking what seemed to be a good question at the time.

    Of course I handled it with the utmost kindness and compassion. I'm not that calloused!
    However, this is the same lady who was found sitting naked in the waiting room and had to be escorted out of the unit on an almost daily basis, for her erratic behavior. I have a feeling there was a bit more going on then just the grieving process.
  11. by   ozoneranger
    The husband of a patient gave me all the graphic details of how he contracted DM from a blood transfusion that had too much sugar in it.
  12. by   texastaz
    I had a private care patient and while I escorted her to visit a GI specialist - she said: "Doctor I never felt sick until I visited you." He simple replied: "Your are the first sick patient I have ever had."
  13. by   nerdtonurse?
    One that had me trying to pick my jaw up off the floor:

    "I used to be diabetic, but I drink so much water now, I'm not anymore." And pt refused her blood sugars/insulin right into DKA.....Then after a trip to ICU and a nice insulin drip, threatened to sue all of us because we obviously weren't giving her enough water.

    By the way...do you guys ever get weirdos asking you what's the worst thing you've ever seen? I've had a couple, but I had one guy that kept asking every time I came in the room to look after his comatose mom -- I'd demure and change the subject, but he just wouldn't stop -- it was creepy. Finally I looked at him and said, "a living brain has the consistency of half dried out toothpaste. Do you REALLY want to ask me any more questions?" He turned a little green, and thankfully for both of us, kept his mouth shut after that. Freak.

    I had another guy who was completely creepy, spending the night with his wife who was basically a veggie from brain cancer. He wanted to know if we washed the bodies, and where we did it, and if the nurses did the autopsy, what we cut the pts with (I wanted to tell him, "oh, the autopsy aisle at Crate and Barrel has some nice bone saws...). Finally when he asked if we ever saw the ghosts of dead patients, and did we have seances. I mean, this wasn't the normal "addressing end of life" questions we get, this was just freakin' creepy. I told him, yes, we did have ghosts in the hospital, but they were only seen in one room, and finished what I had to do with the pt. I got to the door, he asked, (of course) which room, and I said, "this one" and turned out the light and closed the door. He came blasting out of the room about 20 minutes later, flipping, saying he was seeing orbs and dark shadows. Oh, yeah, I called the doc for him, and he had a nice trip to the psych unit...

    And I had a visitor ask me one time (visiting his brother) if the stories were true and nurses knew more about sex than other people. I looked him dead in the eye and said, "only about sexually transmitted diseases, and what they look like." Yeah, he'd been in the back room of the video store one time too many...

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