Why do people think the hospital is like the Holiday Inn Express?!!! LONG...

  1. UGH! This is my first vent since I've become a Nurse Intern II while attending nursing school.

    I worked over the w/e and had a pt who was extremely large (well over 300 lbs), came in with UTI and A-fib and was incontient. This woman literally drove me to nuts the entire 12 hours I worked her floor.

    For starters, for some strange reason, she couldnt lift her index finger to push the call light that was LITERALLY an inch from her finger so she would yell to the top of her lungs, NURSE, NURSE whenever I walked by. I would go into her room and asked her why she felt the need to yell and not use her call light and she said she "couldnt raise her hand" to reach it, (although she could have pressed the call button on the side of the bed rail near her arm). So I ask her what I can help her with and she wanted me to (get this) close her miniblinds. I closed the miniblinds and she said, "the light is still in my eyes, can you move my bed to get the glare out of my eyes since the blinds won't close any further?" This woman is hooked up to 2 L of O2 so I told her there is no way to "move her bed" to the opposite side of the room because of the window, I told her I can turn out all the lights and close the door to see if that would help. She says, "can you put a cover over the window?" I told her no and told her if she needed anything else, to lift her finger and use the call light on the side of the bed. I even put the call light box right on her chest (within arms reach) to use it.

    Why no more than 30 seconds later (literally), she is SCREAMING NURSE again? I run into her room and ask her what I can do for her, and she says (get this) Can you move my cup closer to the edge of the table so I can use the straw to drink it? She was USING her hands to eat breakfast, but couldnt use her index FINGER to press the call light.

    Then the kicker, I leaves her room (after pulling her cup literally a half inch further than it was on the table) and she is SCREAMING nurse again and this time, she managed to pull out her IV and there was blood everywhere. So, I had to do a linen change (while she was in the bed, as well as clean her up and put on a new gown). The nurse had to start a new IV in which she CRIED, MOAN and complained the entire time. When I put on her grown, she couldnt lift her arms up to put them in the sleeves so I had to pull the gown over her arms, in which she complained I was "hurting" her and she needed a pain pill.

    Fastfoward, to an hour later, she is constantly on her call light for little things, like "can you make me some ice tea? can you turn me to the right side? can you turn the channel on the TV?", etc. I ended up putting her on the bed pan and she would ring the light literally as soon as I walked out of the room and to say she "thinks" she is finished pooping and when I go to remove the bed pan, she "squirts" diarrehea all over the damn place, including on my sleeve. NOTHING is in the bed pan. It took 2 nurses and myself to clean her up, and this happened 4 times over the course of 12 hours. Due to her hemmroids, the nurse didnt think she would be benefit from a rectal tube.

    Meanwhile, while I'm spending all this time in this pt's room, there is a little ole lady two doors down that is Influenza type A, incontient, and NEVER rings her call light for anything, and I feel bad because I know she's in need of a bath, change, and linen change and I'm wasting all my time in this pt's room who thinks she is in a Holiday Inn Express!

    And her family members are just as bad! They literally hunted the nurse down to say that "my sister wants her food cut up because she can't cut it herself because her hands hurt", although her "sister" was eating just fine with BOTH her hands before she got there.

    Sorry so long. I just don't get why people don't understand they are in a HOSPITAL and not a HOTEL! We are not room service there to serve your every demanding comand.

    Am I alone in feeling like this?
    Last edit by shoegalRN on Feb 12, '08 : Reason: grammer
  2. Visit shoegalRN profile page

    About shoegalRN

    Joined: Dec '06; Posts: 1,379; Likes: 2,139

    106 Comments

  3. by   RNsRWe
    You are not alone, and there are LOTS of threads JUST like yours....we all need to vent sometimes! People suddenly become invalids when they were perfectly capable of stomping themselves into the ER waiting room, stomping up and back to the registration desk while waiting to be seen, and so on.

    Family members frequently encourage such behavior, fussing over their poor, sick loved one and making sure that mean old nurse takes special care of them. Sick patients be dam*ed, the one who refuses to wipe her own BUTT is the one who should take priority, right?

    Vent on, we'll understand
  4. by   Ms Kylee
    It stinks that's for sure. It also drives me nuts because I know there are other sicker patients that need me and I can't get to them. I had one patient yesterday who is adorable. She was scheduled for a test and very scared. I couldn't spend much time with her because I had another demanding and needy patient that was sucking up all of my energy. I was so close to not being Mary Sunshine (which I hate because I feel my patients need a cheerful nursing assistant).

    They all drive us crazy, but unfortunately, there's not much that can be done.
  5. by   oramar
    You just gave a good discription ONE of the reasons why this 60 year old granny nurse is sitting at home watching soap operas and eating brownies. If this was the only complaint I would still be in there slugging it out. However, it is only one of the problems, there are 999 others and all you have to do is keep reading all the threads on this site to find out what they are, be my guest. You have my sympathy but not my two hands and my back. No you are not alone.
  6. by   SDS_RN
    Totally feel your frustration.:angryfire
    This is what I had this w/e. A 19 yr old who comes in w/ 103 T feeling very cruddy brings 2 friends w/ his mom, his grandma, and his dad. Why not just spread the crud around! Anyhoo, after getting him up to a room from the waiting room his BP is in the toilet 68/27 start an IV which he wines about the entire time, then we start IVF to get his T down and BP up. We ran the first 2L in then he says my BP better be better so I can get out of here. No such luck so start 3rd L DR. told pt if BP not better after this he will have to stay. Meanwhile mom keeps asking if he can have food because he has not eaten since 1300 that day and it's not 2230. I said no he can't have anything until the doc figures out what's going on. Pretty soon he's crying because he can't eat and his stomach hurt soooo bad. Mom is on the phone asks me again can he have something to eat he's so hungry. I say no, mom tells the person on the phone "They still won't let him have anything to eat." Oh poor baby! Mom was not helping matters what so ever. Finally the 3rd liter is in BP 92/43 said will let doc know. Pt is huffing and puffing literally because he does not want to stay. He keeps saying give me some caffine and a smoke that'll help. Ya Sure buddy! Doc comes in says well we're probably going to keep you. Pt said I'm not staying so doc says well I can't make you but I want you to try to give us a UA doc walks out. I go in say we need a UA. Pt said I don't have to go. I said you've had 3L of fluid can you at least try? Pt proceeds to tell me "I'm not going to unless you get this thing out of my arm." I said I can't do that no order from the doc to take it out yet. So I say you come to the BR try to give me a sample and I'll see of I can take it out. Huffs and puffs all the way to the BR. I wanted to slap him and his mother. They were'nt really demanding but just a pain in my ass. This age group is a bunch of whiners I don't think they've ever heard the word NO. Sorry I needed to vent about this one.
    Last edit by SDS_RN on Feb 12, '08
  7. by   ShayRN
    Ahhh, you have met one of my favorite types of patients:icon_roll This is how I usually handle these kinds of patients..I will be in to check on you about every 30 minutes. If you need something between now and then, put your call light on, but if it is something you can do yourself (move a cup, cut up your own food would certainly quailfy) then you need to do it yourself. You do not do any good to yourself by playing helpless while in the hospital and I would not want to do anything to hamper you from going home. If you scream, I will shut the door so that the other patients on the unit will not be disturbed.

    This type of behavor is all about control. If the family came up to me and asked me to cut up her tray, I would calmly explain to them it would be in her best interest to do it herself, if she cannot than as her family I would expect they can do it. Its all about setting limits with these type of people, if you don't, then you have a night like you had. Good luck, you will find in time you have your own way with dealing with this.
  8. by   shoegalRN
    Quote from jmER
    Totally feel your frustration.:angryfire
    This is what I had this w/e. A 19 yr old who comes in w/ 103 T feeling very cruddy brings 2 friends w/ his mom, his grandma, and his dad. Why not just spread the crud around! Anyhoo, after getting him up to a room from the waiting room his BP is in the toilet 68/27 start an IV which he wines about the entire time, then we start IVF to get his T down and BP up. We ran the first 2L in then he says my BP better be better so I can get out of here. No such luck so start 3rd L DR. told pt if BP not better after this he will have to stay. Meanwhile mom keeps asking if he can have food because he has not eaten since 1300 that day and it's not 2230. I said no he can't have anything until the doc figures out what's going on. Pretty soon he's crying because he can't eat and his stomach hurt soooo bad. Mom is on the phone asks me again can he have something to eat he's so hungry. I say no, mom tells the person on the phone "They still won't let him have anything to eat." Oh poor baby! Mom was not helping matters what so ever. Finally the 3rd liter is in BP 92/43 said will let doc know. Pt is huffing and puffing literally because he does not want to stay. He keeps saying give me some caffine and a smoke that'll help. Ya Sure buddy! Doc comes in says well we're probably going to keep you. Pt said I'm not staying so doc says well I can't make you but I want you to try to give us a UA doc walks out. I go in say we need a UA. Pt said I don't have to go. I said you've had 3L of fluid can you at least try? Pt proceeds to tell me "I'm not going to unless you get this thing out of my arm." I said I can't do that no order from the doc to take it out yet. So I say you come to the BR try to give me a sample and I'll see of I can take it out. Huffs and puffs all the way to the BR. I wanted to slap him and his mother. They were'nt really demanding but just a pain in my ass. This age group is a bunch of whiners I don't think they've ever heard the word NO. Sorry I needed to vent about this one.
    This is what I don't get. Why do family members think if we "just feed" the pt, they will get better? Even if they are in there for complaint of N/V and abdominal pain? And the ones that really get me is the family members who says stuff like "y'all are starving him to death, that's why he's in pain", blah, blah, blah.

    Like giving them food is gonna magically clear up any medical diagnosis they may have. :angryfire
  9. by   SDS_RN
    We are just the big mean nurses who won't feed our patients. Ya I became a nurse so I could torture my patients by not feeding them. If you're that sick then you should not be asking me for food, a smoke, or caffine! Drives me crazy!!! I explain to them that if surgery were to be an option the patient can not have any food or drink because their is a risk of aspiration which could lead to being dead! Oh so he can't even have a soda cracker? What? Did you hear a word that just came out of my mouth? It's soooooooo frustrating.
  10. by   marie-francoise
    Is the general public just getting, well, dumber? The scientists insist we are getting smarter as a population - something calld the Flynn Effect; but I don't buy it.

    Although, every generation has always feared the same thing - that we're gettting dumber with each new generation. So it can't be all true or we'd be a nation of imbeciles by now...

    Or, maybe we're just growing more vapid at the same time as we're growing more demanding. I don't know. Why service-related jobs like nursing can be so frustrating I guess.

    But as long as the almighty dollar rules, people will have to kiss butt for those ever-lovin' dollar$ - no matter how trivial the request of the arse-producing "client" is, or how unworthy of a kiss that arse is.

    I don't mean to sound uncharitable about humanity, especially truly ill & suffering people - I'm just being cynical about service jobs and the general public, in general.
  11. by   shoegalRN
    Quote from ShayRN
    Ahhh, you have met one of my favorite types of patients:icon_roll This is how I usually handle these kinds of patients..I will be in to check on you about every 30 minutes. If you need something between now and then, put your call light on, but if it is something you can do yourself (move a cup, cut up your own food would certainly quailfy) then you need to do it yourself. You do not do any good to yourself by playing helpless while in the hospital and I would not want to do anything to hamper you from going home. If you scream, I will shut the door so that the other patients on the unit will not be disturbed.

    This type of behavor is all about control. If the family came up to me and asked me to cut up her tray, I would calmly explain to them it would be in her best interest to do it herself, if she cannot than as her family I would expect they can do it. Its all about setting limits with these type of people, if you don't, then you have a night like you had. Good luck, you will find in time you have your own way with dealing with this.

    I did tell this pt in a stern firm tone of voice that I will not be responding to her yelling out NURSE when she could use her call light (after the 3 yell). Then I think she purposely tried to get back at me by ringing her call light every 10 minutes. What I started to do was take my time getting there. I wasnt gonna stop giving someone a bath because she wanted a cup of ice tea.

    And she made a comment that burned me up. She said it takes the nurse a "long time" to get there because she pressed the call light "a minute ago" and don't know why they take so long to get there. I told her in a firm way that the nurses have 5 pts including her, and there are deathly ill pts in the hospital right now and they are in other pts' rooms probably passing meds right now and she is gonna have to wait until they get to her. That shut her up for the time being.
  12. by   RNperdiem
    And after you left your shift exhausted, the patient and family probably complained in indignation among themselves about what a lazy nurse(you are female in scrubs=nurse) you are. You can't win with some.
    Luckily these patients are a minority.
    I hope your next day goes a little better.
  13. by   NurseCherlove
    Just to echo the "Holiday Inn Express" line of thought, I actually overheard a patient on the phone the other night reply something about being "waited on". I can't remember exactly, but from what I could tell, it was the person on the other end of the phone telling the patient something about being waited on - this after the patient mentioned that the nurse is in the room.

    The patient herself was fine, but I just about wanted to grab that phone from her and tell the person on the other end, "Yo moron, I'm not a waitress. I'm a nurse, as in one who is educated in monitoring patients' medical conditions, utilizing nursing judgement for new concerns, etc. etc." - you get the point!

    I know this is horrible, but just recently, I have been very tempted to really exaggerate the goings on with my other patients just so the time bandits can get a clue. Well, ok, maybe I actually did do it the other night....Every single patient needed/wanted something from me at the start of my shift the other night. And then my fresh post-op was just rolling up.

    Sorry guys, this woman is my priority unless you are having CP or SOB. So, going down the line, trying to prioritize the needs, I finally get to the last patient or two. And I tell them that I am so sorry to take so long to get back to them as I had a patient who just came back from surgery who was having some bleeding problems. They seemed much more understanding then.

    OK, the bleeding issue was a big ol' fib, but you almost have to say something of that magnitude to make people understand why you couldn't just come right to them right when they asked. I really would never want an "average" patient to ever think that I was somehow neglecting their needs or just responding at my leisure.

    But for the actual time bandits, using the above tactic, hopefully putting them on a guilt trip, may give them a wake up call that other sick human beings really need me!
  14. by   SDS_RN
    When I was still on the surg floor I had a very bad noc very critical pt, IV restarts and so on and so forth. So I got to my last pt about 2230 (I didn't think it was that bad esp under the cirucmstances,some nocs it was mdn)and she made me feel soooooooo bad. She said I've been here since 1830 and nobody has been in to see me. I found that hard to believe because my CNA had been in their. I asked her if she turned her light on when she needed something and she said yes and that nobody came in. Highly doubtfull. Anyways she just kept taking jabs at me saying "Oh I could be sitting at home right now if I knew this was the type of service I would be getting." Type of service EXCUSE ME. I did apologize to her but she would not hear of it. Anyways she just kept jabbing and jabbing at me and I finally couldn't take it anymore I left the room in tears and had another nurse take over for me because I absolutly was not going back in that room. That was probably my worst pt encounter.
    PS She was also a volunteer at the hospital, I didn't find that out until after the fact. I don't think someone that rude should be allowed to volunteer. I have not seen her since so I hope she quit or got fired!
    Last edit by SDS_RN on Feb 12, '08

close