Reasonable time frame for prn medication to be given?

  1. When a patient asks for a prn medication lomotil how long is reasonable time to wait for the med to be given, the nurse stated she would be there shortly, then stated she will get to her when she gets to her No emegencies going on.... Also said when she finishes her med passing.... 2 part question time frame and how she spoke to the family handling the situation. Ty. It was given an hour and half later pt. had abd pain and loose stools that entire time.
    Last edit by nicegirl2 on Jul 19 : Reason: Spelling
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    Joined: Jul '18; Posts: 1

    64 Comments

  3. by   Sour Lemon
    There is no set amount of time. It's all about prioritization. What is your role in this? It's an odd first post and an odd question for a nurse to ask.
  4. by   caliotter3
    I suspect the person who posted this is not a nurse.
  5. by   Coffee Nurse
    Quote from caliotter3
    I suspect the person who posted this is not a nurse.
    I'm going to guess family member.
  6. by   smf0903
    Sorry but loose stools may not have been a priority for that nurse. There are literally a thousand reasons why your family member had to wait a whole hour-and-a-half for pen lomotil. While you may perceive "no emergencies", perhaps the nurse was working to avoid an emergency in a patient. Maybe s/he had an actively dying patient whose pain med schedule trumped your family member's loose poop. Maybe there wasn't even a lomotil order in the chart and they had to wait for an order. And maybe the ordering doc had 8 admissions they were trying to get to...or were at the bedside for someone with a HR of 180 that they were trying to get under control...or getting any one of a million things done that trumped your family member's loose stools that they had to wait a whole 90 minutes for. I won't even address the "how the nurse spoke to the family" since clearly the family addressed the nurse at least 3 times (according to your own post) in an hour-and-a-half for a prn for loose stools. -.-
  7. by   Rocknurse
    Quote from nicegirl2
    When a patient asks for a prn medication lomotil how long is reasonable time to wait for the med to be given, the nurse stated she would be there shortly, then stated she will get to her when she gets to her No emegencies going on.... Also said when she finishes her med passing.... 2 part question time frame and how she spoke to the family handling the situation. Ty. It was given an hour and half later pt. had abd pain and loose stools that entire time.
    A PRN lomotil is not an emergency, and you have no idea of what else is going on the unit at that particular moment. It might not look like the nurse is doing anything but she might be on the phone trying to organize an urgent CT on a patient with decreased neuro status, or with acute abdominal pain, or trying to get an order for blood because of a bleeding patient or simply trying to get documentation done within a mandatory time frame. I would expect the nurse to address any patient concerns and reassure them and administer any ordered med within a reasonable time frame. What reasonable is in this situation is impossible to tell.
  8. by   psu_213
    Quote from nicegirl2
    how she spoke to the family handling the situation.
    Pretty much impossible to answer this since no of us were there, and we did not see/hear the interactions.
  9. by   JKL33
    The classic 'no emegencies [sic] going on.'

    We cannot advise you whether care was appropriate. Speak with the patient liaisons if you have concerns.
  10. by   Night__Owl
    Well I'll tell you what the nurse definitely WASN'T doing: sitting on her rear twiddling her thumbs.

    What does a nurse, or any other decent person, have to gain from making someone wait? Nobody ever delays meeting a patient's needs for the fun of it. We spent a lot of money and time going to school for exactly that. So if it took longer than you think it should have, well, that happens. If all six of a nurse's patients decide they need to pee, poop, or get some pain medicine at the same time, it can easily take an hour and a half to work through all that. Life's unpredictable, and that DOES happen sometimes. But some people would rather believe that a nurse is just out to get everyone they can.
  11. by   cleback
    While I don't doubt there are a few bad apples in nursing, I believe the vast majority want their patients and families satisfied with their care. I also doubt any nurse, bad apple or not, would willfully not control diarrhea if the option for lomotil was available (we have to toilet and clean up, afterall). But like another nurse mentioned, we have to prioritize to provide SAFE care. There are literally a bajillion and one things the nurse may have had to do that a family member would not be able to readily observe. You are probably better off giving the nurse the benefit of the doubt in this situation and politely reminding her as you were doing.
  12. by   Daisy4RN
    Nurses work their behinds off and do not appreciate being second guessed by patients and/or families. Agree with other posters that nurses do not make patients wait for no good reason, it just is not logical, why would anyone do that. If you are a family member of a patient, or a coworker (who is not a nurse) then please try to understand the situation. Nurses are spread very thin and need to continually prioritize ALL patient needs through out the entire shift so yes, prn's can get bumped back, and possibly a few times. Most nurses are on top of all the patient's situations but since we are human beings it is also possible that s/he plain ole forgot. Give s/he a break! (And, just in case you are the nurse and the one dealing with the patient/family, it is not your fault they had to wait, and get used to it because it happens all the time, the nurse gets blamed for everything!)
  13. by   AceOfHearts<3
    We don't stock lomotil in our Pyxis. Sometimes I go to give a PRN med and realize I don't have it and it needs to be sent from the pharmacy. Depending on the med and the time of day that I need it, it can sometimes take longer than I'd like to get it- but that is totally out of my control. If I know a patient is taking a PRN regularly I do my best to make sure I have a dose available- ask for it ahead of time, ask for multiple doses to be sent, message pharmacy for more to be sent when administering the last dose I have, etc. but things happen and I'm not perfect and patience and understanding is required.
  14. by   LovingLife123
    Just because a code blue isn't announced doesn't mean there's not an emergency.

    I had 2 patients the other day. I pretty much spent my entire day with the extremely critical one. I felt horrible for my other patient, but fortunately her family was understanding. I made it in her room as often as I could, but I was titrating life saving drips in the other, and transfusing blood, also trying to get them to CT while having respiratory distress.

    My other patient and family were not at all aware of what was happening in my other room. I'm sure they knew I was busy, but had no idea I was trying to keep a dying, septic, man alive.

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