Which patients are easier to deal with: young or elderly?

  1. Do u prefer older patients or the young ones?
    In my experience, young patients usually recover pretty fast and strive for independence, but many times I see them anxious, sometimes angry, refusing to comply with orders, etc I feel myself carefully picking out words and conduct , when i'm dealing with men especially.

    Older patients sometimes get bell-happy on my floor, demand pills at a certain hour and get irritated if the pill doesn't come on schedule, and/or require much more care (rectal temps, cleaning, turning, feeding), which i don't mind , but they often are very receptive of what needs to be done, they also don't get embarrased by nudity as much.

    I only worked in surgical and cardiac so far. Maybe it's different on other areas of care, but I prefer to tend to older people.
    how about you?
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    About Anagray

    Joined: May '02; Posts: 338; Likes: 43
    RN; from US
    Specialty: 8 year(s) of experience in ER,med-surg, LTC, psych, dialysis


  3. by   Zee_RN
    My PERSONAL preference is give me the old folks anytime. I just groan when I hear I'm taking care of anyone under the age of, oh, about 60. They (generalizations here) expect you to drop everything and attend to their every need--they're consumer-educated, ya know. And they bring a multitude of know-it-all family members with them too.

    I like the old folks! (but I always have, even before I was a nurse )
  4. by   nursemicke
    Absolutely the elderly. A friend asked me if I would watch their friends children. I said no but I would watch their grandmother. ha
  5. by   MarnnaRN
    the old people definitley. Young people tend to be more whiney, or can't handle pain, want things all the time, give me, give me, give me.
  6. by   meownsmile
    I think ill take the young patients myself. Even some of the sickest ones will settle in with a disney movie. Ninetendo is a godssend for the pre-teen set during a hospital stay, and is also good leverage to get compliance with instructions. Have to be diplomatic but if it works it works.
    I find to many of the elderly patients expect way to much. They grew up in a era where the nurse did literally everything for them and they still expect it. One of my patients today got very mad and abusive when he thought we were just to lazy to come answer his light because someone at the desk was answering his light over the intercom. I politely told him that i was in a room down the hall with a very sick woman who needed care also. He did settle down a bit when he realized he wasnt the only patient in the hospital. They tend to get tunnel vision and cant seem to understand they dont have a private nurse.
  7. by   SmilingBluEyes
    I take care of em all except pedi's.....I love lil old ladies who come to our floor for post-op gynie care...I love laboring mommies; I feel a "kinship" with them. And I Just LOVE "other people's neonates" cause I get to rock, love and spoil em when we are slow, and then they go HOME! Only pts I care NOT to deal with are pedi's after neonate thru teens. No thanks.
  8. by   susanmary
    It makes no difference to me -- young/old -- I'll take care of them all. Each patient is unique -- I've taken care of "old" young adults and young "very very very senior citizens."