so upset I could vomit......

  1. 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 provide.

    however, last nite *I work on a busy med/surg floor* we had a patient, 77 years old, chf, history of MI, atrial fib etc etc, from telem two days ago..

    at 2130hrs asks for sleeping medication
    and for me to straighten her up for bed, I do just that, end of story

    at 2415 or so shes screaming, in chest pain, O2 on the floor, desating etc,my incharge/co worker called RT and the MD stat, they came within five minutes, the patient all the time saying that we arent helping here and we have been ignoring her all night etc etc *the untruths begin here*

    situatin gets much worse, urine output non existant, giving lasix left right and center, morphine IV other meds etc, keeping in mind I have 7 other acutely Ill patients and only four other nurses on the entire floor, I do not leave this patient, I am in the room doing q 5-15 minute vitals, BP is super high and then crashes as does
    the HR - md paged again, and she was wonderful about spending so much time with this patient-the usual brush off did not occur, the term ICU is mentioned but there are no beds available so we hope she stabilizes and give more meds etc

    thankfully round 5am she stabilizes, at 6am I notice she starts to put out some urine, I am truly happy that I have helped this situation so much,one of those really proud great moments
    until the patient proceeds to tell her family, her friend, the other pt in the room that I have ignored her all night and didnt want to help her etc.I politely disputed that everything was done and attempted to explain to the pts daughter the timeline of events that occured, pts daughter says her mother wouldnt lie, and while i didnt say she was lying *eventhough she was* i just pointed out that the care was constant and situation acted upon immediately - how could I call the MD stat without any vitals to report to her, i couldnt even get the patient to stop shouting long enough to put an 02 mask on her face, no history of confusion or anything, in that case i wouldnt hold the things she said against her..... i know mean ppl exist all over and she IS ill etc, but I helped in saving her life, and feel so sick to my stomach that she would say this things when all I have ever had in my nurisng career is positive feedback......I feel disheartend and my superior did not support my feelings, she just said "dont take it personally, as long as you chart what you did" its not the charting im worried about - that was done promptly and accurately from the get go

    its this feeling I've had since I've gotten home,
    I'm crying, feeling belittled , angry, hurt
    the whole thing, this has never happened before
    if anyone has any great pearls of wisdom to share
    i would appreciate it
    sorry for yattering but the feelings are so fresh in my mind now its upsetting
  2. Visit hapeewendy profile page

    About hapeewendy

    Joined: Dec '01; Posts: 2,866; Likes: 15


  3. by   prn nurse
    Wish I had a pearl of wisdom for you. I was fired once in a situation similar to yours. The patient complained and I was fired. Period. That black and white. That cut and dried. And I gave the patient care that was exemplary....could not have been better. The patient had other issues, he was mad at his boss, his co-workers, himself, his family, and I received the brunt of the anger. There was absolutely nothing to complain about regarding the care I gave. I think in your situation, your superiors' advice is a ""pearl of wisdom.""
  4. by   Brownms46
    Dear Dear hapeewendy,

    My heart truly goes out to you this morning. I know many of us can feel your pain across the miles, as we are all too familiar with the feelings you have expressed. But you must know this...YOU HELPED SAVE this woman's L I F E! No matter that she is in a frame of mind that attacks rather than thanks, that she is so full of self, that she can't see or hear reality. No matter that her selfishness prevents her from stating the truth...YOU HELPED SAVE HER L I F E !!!

    Those around you know what you did for her, GOD knows what you did for her, but most of all Y O U know what you did to assist this woman to be able to even see her daughter again, even though it was to LIE on you! You forgot about yourself, and opened your heart to put her survival first and foremost. Y O U did EVERYTHING in Y O U R power to make sure you helped her to have a fighting chance by lending her your strength, your caring, and your prayers, to assist her to rebound back from the brink of death. Just the fact that this is still troubling you speaks volumes to how much you laid yourself bare.

    Now must lay this aside...because no matter what she says, or doesn't say...she can NEVER change the fact, that Y O U were there for her! She had the BEST nurse she could have ever had, and in her heart I BET she knows it! If I ever have the misfortune to be on the edge, I sincerely hope I have someone with Y O U R compassiionate and determination to be at M Y bedside to fight the battle for M Y life, as you fought for HERS.

    WELL DONE won in the eyes of those it matters. Y O U W O N!
    Last edit by Brownms46 on Feb 18, '02
  5. by   prn nurse
    I think the phrase is, ..."" I'm so Pi_sed I could Puke !!""
  6. by   oramar
    The woman was probably carrying on that way because po2 or co2 were out of line . People really do act differently when their gasses are out of wack. Sometimes the family will not believe it because they have never seen the family member act this way. My dear old mom is in early Alzheimers. A few years ago she threw away a family heirloom and I was angry with her about it. It was so uncharacterist of her. Now I realize it was just the first odd thing she did. I would gladly have blamed someone else if I could have. These people would rather blame you than face up to what is going on. Your manager should be more supportive, managers who are not supportive have many more problems with keeping staff.
  7. by   askater11

    I have lots of stories I could share, but I'll just give you one.

    I had a patient post angioplasty. He had no complications. Stayed on our unit x 2 days. I started my shift at 3 P.M. the patient was supposed to be discharged at 4:30 P.M. The first room I entered was this patients room. He had pressed his call light promptly after report. I went straight in his room and asked, "can I help you?" The patient abruptly said, "I'm supposed to be discharged when will I be leaving." I explained to the patient regarding the time he'd be discharge per Dr. order. He was yelling saying how horrible nurse's we all were....saying how we don't help him right away. I was preggo and very emotional. I felt like melting in front of him. By that point almost every nurse was in his room (he was yelling that loud) I explained to the patient. "I understand you're upset and frustrated. You do not need to yell at me." He became more incoherent, "stating I can yell when I want" I explained, "Mr. *** I'll be back in a few minutes when you calm down and we can discuss over your care."

    I came back the man was crying. I said, "Mr. *** are you okay?" He started apologizing and saying we're a good group of nurses. He explained his frustrations related with work. We talked and he was a different man at 4:30 when I discharged him.

    Oh I thought of another patient. This was year's ago. An aide and I were helping her get out of bed. She was having difficulty getting out of bed. (she was post-thoractomy day #1 or #2 I forget) Anyway, I went to help her sit up at the side of the bed. She started yelling at me. A month or two later my boss told Mrs. *** wants to show your gratitude of the care you gave her. I said "me .... so and so...she was yelling at me!?!?"

    What I'm trying to get often there's more to it...then what's at the surface. Do I think she'll apologize....more than likely not. A lot of patients have frustrations...they have lack of control due to their illness. Is it right to let frustrations out at We're the one's at their side....the first outlet.

    Keep your head're still as good of a nurse as you were before this situation!!!!

    Oh another thing I do, is when a patient is voicing a complaint regarding anything.I always tell my supervisor. Explain the situation.
  8. by   Teshiee
    My heart goes out to you! Thankless job! But don't let other patient's actions change you from being a good caring nurse. Unfortunately you are going to run across difficult patients, just as long as you know in YOUR heart you did your best that is all that matters. You will have very gracious patients and very crabby mean patients. I personally don't let it get to me because sometimes it is some issues they are having that have nothing to do with you! You should pat yourself on the back. We need great nurses like you. :-)
  9. by   mario_ragucci
    Take it easy!!! People are in a hospital because they are sick, right? Now I don't know exactly how you feel, so I won't pretend to. Yes, I would be offended too, because the pay-off comes when people smile and say thank you. In your case, you provided care and then got dumped on to spite your efforts. I know that is sick and wrong. Free yourself to another mental position in your mind: If you get to be 77, would you feel bad about this? Think of how many billions of cerebral and neural connections there are in a brain. In this case, just one could have crossed, turning a smile upside down, setting off a cascading effect of mis-emotions. Have compasion for the woman, and preserve your composure.
  10. by   jshudson1
    As a manager, I see this from a different perspective. You feel unsupported and your supervisor did not help. Patients are not necessarilly expected to behave appropriately. Your supervisor could have said something like "you are a great nurse, you did a great job, it is time to go home now, if anything comes of this I am with you all the way."
  11. by   Brownms46

    shudson1 where do you work in Charleston?
  12. by   yipididit
    I don't think we have seen a pic of you when you were 9 years old yet. heeheeheeeheheheheheh

    Just kidding! Take care and have a joke and a smile.
  13. by   hapeewendy
    thanks for all your support guys, upon resting for awhile and reading what you all wrote I feel much better, I know I did what I could , and what she said is not a reflection of my nursing care or spirit for the job, I was tired, purposely gave up
    my break on nights to be there cuz the other nurses were so busy also, so a combination of fatigue, feeling great about helping her, and then her comments probably just came to a head , and I'm human, so I'm prone to feeling things now and then
    as for the compassion bit, believe me I have had compassion for every single person I've taken care of, and despite being upset at what she said, she herself had no clue that I was bothered, my attitude and caring when with her did not change one bit, it was after, on the way home, thinking about the whole situation that got to me.....

    and as for her CO2 etc, despite having the initial desaturation , she was placed on bipap as a precaution incase we had to send her to the ICU and was removed within 2 hours , Blood gases and lytes all came back normal, the only abnormal blood work throughout all this was a hgb of 94.
    I know that nursing is a thankless job and I believe it was mario who said that the pay off comes with a thank you and a smile - for me it doesnt, I am not here to get a pat on the back for what I do, the reward is helping to save someones life, being caring and compassionate and giving quality nursing care is the only reward you can count on because it comes from within you, nursing is truly a thankless job at times, so if youre in it for the thank yous and kudos youre bound to be disappointed, that said, I hold nothing personally against this patient, I was just admitting to the fact that this was the first negative thing said to me and yes ok my feelings were hurt, takes all kinds to make this world go round, the land of patients is no different, I'm not naive, just capable of being sensitive and having my feelings hurt at times. I'm over it now, I realize I did have a major role in stabilizing the pt, and nothing can take that away

    thank you all again, I am proud to call you my fellow nurses!

    and truth be told I did feel unsupported by the supervisor at the time, she had given me so much positive feedback on other occasions that to have not to heard any when youre feeling REALLY down about things can hurt, but I just recall what has been said about me, and you know what, its great stuff! I'm sure you all know the feeling, being that youre awesome nurses!

  14. by   plumrn
    My story...( hope it helps to know others have had their share of these situations) ... we had a woman who became very confused after big abd. surgery. She was a volunteer at our hospital, so we all knew this was not her usual self. She was so confused she pulled her NG out and almost got her central line out. She kept trying to get up to go home. Even with repeated explanations of why she was there, she did not believe us. She denied having had surgery and said we had kidnapped her. She called her husband at home to tell him how bad we were. He came and stayed with her, but she still had to have wrist restraints to keep her tubes in, and herself in bed. It was one- on- one most of the night to keep her safe.

    With the light of day, her confusion left, but her memory of the nights events were still very clouded. She told the doctor and all of her many visitors how awful the nurses were. She exclaimed over and over...
    -If they had just told me not to get up, I wouldn't have; and if they had just told me what those tubes were for, and not to pull on them, I would have left them alone. There was no need for them to tie me down.
    Even when her husband explained to her how many times we did just that, she refused to believe it. She was upset with us for a long time.

    Later on, maybe with the help of her husband, she did realize how confused she had really been, and she really felt bad about it. We were lucky that she volunteered at our hospital, or we may never have known that she 'finally got it right'. I wonder how many people that she told how 'bad' we were, ever heard the real version of what happened.
    Last edit by plumrn on Feb 19, '02