so upset I could vomit...... - page 2

I'm not one to complain or moan or gripe all that much I love nursing,love caring for my patients and have been commended by my co workers, patients and patients family for the nursing care I... Read More

  1. by   aussie oi oi oi
    Dear hapeewendy,

    I can associate wiith how you feel, I thought you were talking about me, sounds classic, let em tell you my story, I was doing my last week on an acute cardiac surgical unit the week before I accepted an overseas posting, we had 20 pts on nights btween two RN's, I am relatively new to CT nursing so I was pretty unsure of myself anyway, I had a day one post op with chest pain and ECG changes, an acute MI with further chest pain, a ICC that was draining too much and a MVA that had decreasing GCS so we were in deep @#$%, One pt whe was on the buzzer all night for pillow, water etc she had a hx of regular admissions, a pt that knew what to say to be admitted and she was basically a lonely old lady who got att when she was hospilised. On this horrendous ND I was greeted the next night with a note to say I had to see the DON the next day about a pt complaint. I was informed that the pt had stated that I had ignored her and said that she was not important ( all this while yelling at her), I was luckly that the DON knew me and did not even validate the compliant, but it upset me for weeks as I knew that I had tried so hard to keep on top of things, it is easy to say to forget it, but the best advice is acknowledge your hurt, discuss it with a close friend and don't feel that you have to defend yourself. Your other pts know you and your co workers will as well. If anything comes of it you have your notes and it will probably be only a matter of time before this lady accusses somebody else. And well family would never admit that their loved one is less than perfect.

    I am sure that you are a wonderful nurse, keep your head up and your reputation will endure this as well as your emotions. At the end of the day it is not really about you but about pts that don't cope and are looking for sympathy no matter what they have to do to get it.
  2. by   hoolahan
    Here's my story. I was working in CT ICU, came on for days, one of my pt's had been returned to or for a thrombectomy in leg, her original surgery was a fem-pop and she lost pulses post-op. The night nurse was not the most organized person, and the pt was a mess when I got her, I was told the family would be in by 8:30 am. I did quick assessments on my 2 pt's and hauled butt to bath this post-op, changes any dressings, brush her hair, set-up for mouth care etc. Ready by family. OK, I was giving her sips of fluids and she was tolerating it, so I ordered a full liquid tray for lunch. Mind you this woman was awake, alert oriented, and in complete control of movement of her arms. For some reason she seemd to thinkI would feed her. I sat her up as high as she could be up, and set-her up to eat. She asked if I would feed her, and I explained that since she was able to feed herself, part of her recovery is to begin to do things for herself.

    Well, 15 minutes later the family arrived, the pt proceeds to tell them I refused to feed her. I tell them the same thing I told the pt. They looked down their noses at me and said "a nurse is supposed to be an angel of mercy, not a military sargent!" I was so hurt, I almost burst into tears right then and there. I excused myself, and marched right over to the charge nurse, I was on for 12 hours, and said I don't care how you have to rearrange assignments at 3pm, but I Do NOT want to take care of that pt another minute! And of course I cried. Nancy, why I won't know, decided to speak to them to see what the problem was. When I returned, they acted like they thought I was wonderful and wanted me to stay, but I just politely smiled and said my assignment was being changed.

    At 3pm, I was re-assigned to the isolation room. The pt was another mess, dirty, old dressings, nasty trach dressing etc. It was good therapy, I did my assessment, and started a major bath, washed her hair and brushed and braided it, spiffed her up so she looked like she belonged on the cover of critical care nurse magazine (the old covers when they showed pt's and nurses in action). I didn't realize her husband was coming at 6 pm visiting hours. He came quietly into the room, and I followed him in, and he said" My God, she looks so beautiful today!" He asked, Who washed her hair? I said I had a little extra time so I did. I leaned over and kissed my cheek. I swear, I really felt my eyes well up with tears at that. He would never know what that little gesture meant to me, after being told I was not an angel of mercy! It completely erased all my bad feelings, and I think that man charged my nurse battery for another 6 months!

    I don't know why the first pt was the way she was, I think she was just one of those people who enjoyed the sick role, and her family played right into that, they played their parts. I take comfort in the fact that I did nothing wrong. Even though I know that, it still hurts to be judged harshly for no "good" reason. Sleep easy, you did the right thing, and if you always do the right thing, you will never have to loose sleep!
  3. by   frann
    I have a thank-you note from a pt and his wife that I read when I'm feeling like my nursing battery needs recharging.

    It was about 4 or 5 years ago and I was working weekend days and I was busy. You know its 830 am and your trying to stay ahead of every thing. I was going around seeing all my patients real quick like. And I saw this guy, I mean I really saw him. this guy that was a little older than me. we started talking etc, etc. he's trying to eat his breakfast. Right side of body doesn't work( stroke) he smells of urine. hasn't had a decent bath since he has been here. and I think what if that was my family or me. how would I feel. So he got the special treatment that day. I moved him to the bigger room with the shower that he could be wheeled into. It made him feel so much better. He joked he was taking shower with 2 women. His wife helped. I still remember him. I sometimes wonder what happened to him.

    Sometimes that's all you need a thankyou note, or a kiss on the cheek.
    Last edit by frann on Feb 18, '02
  4. by   hapeewendy
    once again it helps to know that nurses all over the place have been thru similar situations, none of us are exempt from hurtful words etc, but the best thing to do , as I think it was frann and a few others of you also stated is to look on the brighter side of nursing, remember the good stuff
    the differences you've made and the peoples lives you've saved - both physically and otherwise
    just by being there and "doing your job"
    every nurse knows that nursing is more than a job
    more like a lifes calling that only the toughest and sometimes most insane of us hear

    I took out my "nurse box" ,momento's that I've kept from patients and families, thank you notes, xmas gifts, letters, etc.......that in an instant
    turned sad tears into happy ones

    when it comes to being judged, the most accurate judges of our character are ourselves, that in mind I have had a nice peaceful sleep

    *hugs to all*
  5. by   Paprikat
    Sorry to hear about your day. Nursing sometimes is a thankless job and discouraging, especially when you have days like this....
    I work in a nursing home and this happens all the time, not the acuity of your situation, but the fact that some residents do one thing and then tell thei families one lady has refused her eye drops for a month now and told her family that we refused to give it to her, so needless to say, I happened to be the one who had to deal with her and she was quite rude. I showed her the MAR with the code 1 signed over it (refused). The res. said I was a liar and the daughter believed her. Or the res. that refuses to eat and then phones her family and says we wouldn't feed her. It is very upsetting at times.
    Just realize that you are a good nurse and draw strength from the people that give you positive feedback!
  6. by   RNPD
    houlihan is right-some people just enjoy playing the sick role. Your lady almost died and was probably scared to death. She either couldn't bring herself to tell her family how scared she was, or else they weren't solicitous enough, but saying you did nothing for her all night-thereby implying that you caused her acute chf thru neglect-rallied the family round. THAT was something they could deal with-let's all gang up on the nurse who so neglected Mom that she almost died. We all have stories just like it-you know "same s**t, different day."

    People are strange what else can i say? It really hurts when it happens and I've cried my share, but somehow, when you get it out, it makes you stronger.

    And remember, only a GOOD nurse would care so much!

    PS:HEY, MargaretH! Long time no see!
  7. by   JillR
    As I was reading your post, the first thing I thought of was that the person was hypoxic and that tends to change peoples perceptions of reality. You were trying to help this person and getting things done as fast as possible, but I am thinking that to this person it FELT like it took forever. On the other hand it could be that this patient is just LOOKING for something to complain about, as some do. Don't let anyone make you feel bad about what happened, it sounds like you did everything you could, as fast as you could for this patient. Please try to keep that in mind. The best way to cover your butt here is to document the patient's condition before, during and after all of this, and make sure you include her behaviors. It really does sound like her memory may be different from yours due to the hypoxia.

    You did a great job, don't beat yourself up.
  8. by   carehope
  9. by   Teshiee
    That is so true! Especially when you have given all you got. I remember working in a LTC. One of the nurses was telling me that this certain patient was mean and nasty and refuses care. I hate going by what people say because chances are it is a mere personality conflict. I entered the room identified myself he snapped I just let roll of my neck then I start asking him about his family and his life and we were laughing up a storm. I gave him a very good bed bath, comb his hair and whole 9 yards. When I left he told me that I was a good nurse and wish there were more like me. That brought tears to my eyes because it feels good to know there are people who appreciate us and we shouldn't let the crab apples taint our ability to continue good nursing. Some patients have attention seeking behavior and you just have to over look it. When I know I done my best and family members complain I just pray for them for they no not what they do.
  10. by   Mary Kay
    hi I read your letter,and I am new to this and I am new to being in the nursing field I just passed my final to work in a nursing home I have now 4 months to get certifield any in put please.
  11. by   aussie oi oi oi
    Dear Mary Kay,

    Congratualtions on getting this far, you have a wonderful career ahead of you full of some of the most wonderful yet at times the most challenging times of your life. You will find that you will indeed touch pts lives but they also will touch yours. I have been a RN now for 3 years previous to that I was a nurse aid for 3 years in a nursing home. I love what I do, I love the people I work with but one of the best things about nursing is that while you are a nurse you will unlimited support networks, while nursing can be *****y as times, nurses will also be the first to pick you up when you are down. If you go through this website you will see nurses emailing other nurses who they don't even know to offer support and sympathy, not many other professions will do this.

    My best advice to you as a new graduate, don't ever be afraid to ask questions no matter how stupid they seem, we have all been there some of us a bit longer ago than others, buddy up with a more experienced RN, ask her/him to be your resource and support person. I had a wonderful buddy when I started out and she kept my spirits up when the going was tough. Nursing is hard as you are caring for people at the time when they feel most vunerable, all you need is that first smile, the first thank you or that wonderful hug, then you you know it is all worth it

    Good Luck, keep us all posted:kiss
  12. by   babynurselsa
    dear wendy, I know how disheartening situations like that can be. One of my most memorable events was the night I was assigned to one of our sicker babies in the unit. 25 weeker who had big GI troubles going on, she was on the ossicator. This was the first baby that these parents had that had survived this far. They were very high maintenence. They had already alienated most of the staff, there were 2 lists, those who refused to take this baby and those who the parents didn't wan't to care for the baby.
    I stayed right there all night right on had, made sure anytime this kids monitors alarmed I was immediately at the bedside. They would freak everytime the pulse oxx alarmed. While still trying to take care of my other 2 critical babies. I repeated re-explained to them how a pulse ox works and how it will alarm if it loses it's signal, etc, kept telling them to watch the baby,not the monitor. I also explained to them how detrimental it was to continually be turning the O2 up and down all the time. "See the baby is pink, her sat really can't be 78." Finally when they had me at the point of exhaustion I called the practitioner over to reassure them.. At this time these parents informed us that in their 3 weeks at this bedside they felt like they had come to at least as much understanding of the monitors as any of us had, and if that monitor wasn't reliable 100% of the time well then why use it anyway, and they couldn't understand how I could let their baby desat to 78 for the 15 minutes or so that it would take for her color to change. They also felt that it would be necessary for them to stay at the bedside for the rest of the night so that I would not damage their baby. By mutual wish we decided that I wouldn't be taking care of their little one anymore.
    Funny ending to the story later on just before this kid discharged, she was over on a feeder grower row with a nurse tech taking care of her, just across from the row I had that night. The tech goes to lunch and the mom wouln't leave till she came back because she still didn't want me to watch her baby.
    My motto is "You can't bond with everyone."
  13. by   CEN35
    i have wittnessed first hand, the things that some nurses will do for their patients.
    then 5 minutes later when family arrives, they tell them all kinds of lies. everything from, nobody would answer the call light, to i almost urinated in the bed because they woudn't let me up. that's where charting is important, that's the legal document and tells the story the way it is. there are many out there, that beleive their family members don't lie. or those that would beleive, their family members over another, with 30 wittnesses that would say otherwise.

    i know it's easier said than done, but blow it off and move on. the chart should say it all.