Ok, so this is what just happened and I need my nurse friends to guide me on what to do next.
I go to my local corner store to buy a candy bar (need my fix for the day). The people that own/work the store are from Pakistan.
I am a friendly person and ask how he (the cashier) is doing. He says that he is ok with a bright smile on his face. As I was turning to leave his expression changed to a somber one.
I asked him if he was ok. He said, "Well, I guess." After some minor prying on my part he opened up and said that he has been having some problems with his heart. He said that a couple times a month he gets a "lightning bolt jolt that goes through his heart down his arm and then feels like someone is sitting on his chest. He was not having any symptoms when I was there, but he chose to "open up" to me.
Ok. I am only a pre-req RN student. Which really means, I know little to nothing about medicine at this point. But what I do know is that what he describes could be a serious problem with his heart.
All I could tell him was to go to the doctor. He explained that he didn't have the money or medical insurance. I told him that hospitals have to treat his condition regardless of his financial situation. This is true, right? I also encouraged him to go and when he gets the bill, pay what he could afford even if it's only $5.00/month. I told him "Your in America now and we take care of our people."
As concerned as he was about his health, I don't feel like I got through to him to go to the hospital. What should I do or say to encourage him to get this checked out?
Mar 29, '02
Look in the blue pages of your phone book to see if there are state or federal clinics in your area. They treat anyone without insurance--if person working, some operate on a sliding scale basis. They will even treat if an illegal alien---all ER's are required to treat and stabilize the person.
Clinics will often provide life sustaining medications for free or on sliding scale basis. All clients discharged from the hospital without insurance in PA are given a one week supply of meds until clinic appointment can be arranged.
Symptoms could be something as simple as angina to a blocked artery needing immediate surgery. Encourage him to get prompt treatment for the sake of this family.
You have the beginings of becoming a good nurse: someone opened up to you and you knew when to seek assistance. Good luck in your studies!
Last edit by NRSKarenRN on Mar 29, '02