Visitor from He**

  1. Maybe I was just cranky from lack of sleep yesterday (baby was sick and up all night- should have called in), but one of my patients had a visitor that just irritated the heck out of me.

    Note that I've had this patient a couple of times during his 5 week stay in our ICU. He's very ill, but he is getting better. Yesterday was the first day that I had ever seen this woman, but I had been told that the patient had 2 current girlfriends (1 of which visits him daily, and I have gotten to know her pretty well), and an ex-wife that visits regularly. They all get along, surprisingly.

    My first experience with her was when she shows up right after I left his room yesterday morning (after spending an hour getting him straightened out and comfortable- finally). She comes up to the nurse's station and says, "We need our nurse." That just rubbed me the wrong way for some reason- like she was summoning her waiter, or something. When I introduced myself as his nurse, she says he needs mouthcare. I told her I had just done it. Then she says she wants to wash his hair. I told her no, I just had to bump up his sedation medication and give him MSO4 to get him comfortable again. Then she starts asking me a bunch of questions about his status, and gets huffy when I ask if I could inquire who she was, as I had never seen her before.

    She tells me who she is and says she's been here every day since he got admitted. Not true- she hadn't even been there the day before. So, I only give her the basic HIPAA-proof info. She then goes behind me and verifies what I've told her with the PCA. Later on, she wants to get huffy with me again, when I ask her to leave the room, so I could turn him and do skin care to his peri area/coccyx SBD. She says, "Well, it's not like I haven't seen it before." The thing is, he is sedated on a Diprovan drip, and I'm not turning it off so I can ask his permission- he gets very agitated at times. I again asked, "For the sake of his privacy, can you go wait in the waiting room for about 15 minutes while I do this?" She huffs off.

    Fast forward to 2 hours later: I transfer him to the long-term vent unit. She tried to enter the room twice while we were getting him settled in his new room after I repeatedly asked her to wait in the waiting room. As the receiving nurse and I are getting him settled, we notice his toenails have been painted bright orange! She did this to him when she came back in the room after I did his skin care. What a jerk! :angryfire

    Now, I hear the guy has a great sense of humor, but he's really sick, and isn't recovering all that well from his CABG (he ended up being trached, pegged, etc.). The receiving nurse on the long-term vent unit said he wasn't going to allow her in the room from then on. Had I realized what she had done, I wouldn't either. I wanted to go chew her out in the waiting room, but thought better of it, because I probably would've gotten fired.
  2. Visit BBFRN profile page

    About BBFRN

    Joined: May '02; Posts: 8,317; Likes: 6,285
    Nursing Faculty; from US
    Specialty: 15 year(s) of experience in Trauma,ER,CCU/OHU/Nsg Ed/Nsg Research

    40 Comments

  3. by   TrudyRN
    I'm not sure why you took offense at the first request she made (our nurse) but she does sound like she wasn't very pleasant to have around. She actually sounds screwy - a man with orange nails???
  4. by   BBFRN
    Quote from TrudyRN
    I'm not sure why you took offense at the first request she made (our nurse) but she does sound like she wasn't very pleasant to have around. She actually sounds screwy - a man with orange nails???
    I guess it was the way she said it- her tone implied that she wasn't satisfied with her service or something.
  5. by   traumaRUs
    I think it was probably the way it was said...I've reacted negatively to that sentence too. It sounds like you are the visitor's nurse or possession.
  6. by   TazziRN
    My my, she has a huge sense of self-importance, doesn't she???
  7. by   BBFRN
    Quote from traumaRUs
    I think it was probably the way it was said...I've reacted negatively to that sentence too. It sounds like you are the visitor's nurse or possession.
    Thanks- it was the way she said it. She was condescending from the get-go.
  8. by   mercyteapot
    Quote from Baptized_By_Fire
    Thanks- it was the way she said it. She was condescending from the get-go.
    I like the way you answered- I'm his nurse. I might have been tempted to say ''are you feeling ill? Do we need to admit you?'' but like you declining to call the lady on the orange nails, would've thought better of it in the interest of keeping my job.
  9. by   GingerSue
    [quote] She comes up to the nurse's station and says, "We need our nurse." That just rubbed me the wrong way for some reason- like she was summoning her waiter, or something. When I introduced myself as his nurse, she says he needs mouthcare. I told her I had just done it.[quote]

    obviously, I wasn't present, so I can't hear the tone of voice - but, did she know the name of his nurse? If she did not know the nurse's name, then how else could she have asked? Did she know who, from among the many/few staff around, which person was his nurse?
    What else could she have said?
    Why did she think that he needed mouthcare?
  10. by   Sisukas
    An apppropriate request would have been "May I see Mr. Patient's nurse, please?"
  11. by   woundhealer2
    I have definitely been in your shoes, with a "visitor" like that. What on earth is the deal w/ the painted toe nails? I'd be interested to find out what his regular visitors thought of that. Hummmmmmmmmmmmmmm.
    Hope you're at home resting after this weekend!
    Peace,
    WH2
  12. by   mercyteapot
    [quote=GingerSue;2171443][quote] She comes up to the nurse's station and says, "We need our nurse." That just rubbed me the wrong way for some reason- like she was summoning her waiter, or something. When I introduced myself as his nurse, she says he needs mouthcare. I told her I had just done it.

    obviously, I wasn't present, so I can't hear the tone of voice - but, did she know the name of his nurse? If she did not know the nurse's name, then how else could she have asked? Did she know who, from among the many/few staff around, which person was his nurse?
    What else could she have said?
    Why did she think that he needed mouthcare?
    The nurse is assigned to the patient. Family centered care doesn't extend all the way to providing nursing services for visitors. Using the word ''our'' instead of ''his'' implies a sense of entitlement. I wasn't there, either, but I've dealt with enough such situations that I know just to what the OP was referring in his/her irritation to that ''request''.
  13. by   RNsRWe
    [QUOTE=mercyteapot;2171516][quote=GingerSue;2171443]
    She comes up to the nurse's station and says, "We need our nurse." That just rubbed me the wrong way for some reason- like she was summoning her waiter, or something. When I introduced myself as his nurse, she says he needs mouthcare. I told her I had just done it.

    The nurse is assigned to the patient. Family centered care doesn't extend all the way to providing nursing services for visitors. Using the word ''our'' instead of ''his'' implies a sense of entitlement. I wasn't there, either, but I've dealt with enough such situations that I know just to what the OP was referring in his/her irritation to that ''request''.
    Like the couple I stopped coming from the elevators WAY after visiting hours were over, and were heading with Dunkin Donuts bags and cups toward the unit? Who looked like they had just knocked over a gas station, and when I asked who they were there to see, she huffed, "We're going to our room!" Excuse me? After they stumbled down the hall, I grabbed Charge, who said HE was her patient, but of course the broad with him was not...she had slipped through the cracks the previous night and stayed; apparently no one had made clear that she could not move in. Great. Informed hospital supervisor, let him know she was staying (again), and let him handle it!

    "Our room" my foot.
  14. by   crissrn27
    She sounds like maybe she was a lu-lu fruitcake? I mean orange toenails in ICU? Maybe if he was at home sleeping on the couch, as a joke, but in ICU? Crazy!

close