Getting sucked in

  1. I know that one of the hardest parts of nursing is not getting sucked in to the sad stories and drama of our patients, but in home health it is so much more difficult because you are right there, amidst the drama.
    I have had to really stand back and harden my heart, and that makes me sad. I can't believe how many people are living alone, need money, need a phone, need money for meds, need their med fix, need AA, NA, need SOMEONE who cares. And we are the ones who come in for a job and are the only ones in their lives who do care. But it is a job, and you can't get sucked into enabling. For me this has been one of the greatest hh challenges.
    The patient who calls me because I live a mile away, she is SOBBING because her caregiver has called in sick and she is laying in feces, and will be from Friday until Monday.
    The patient who is drinking a beer at 10 am but "has been up since 2 am so it's really like 4pm right now" and three days later you see her in obvious withdrawl, needs an ativan and no one will prescribe because she is a drug seeker.
    Yes, on everyone I call MSW, the psych nurse, but it is always the case manager who's shoulders it falls on.
    I am exhausted. I really like the simple wound care cases. The drama gets to me.
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    About nurseby07

    Joined: May '05; Posts: 348; Likes: 317
    HH
    Specialty: oncology, trauma, home health

    6 Comments

  3. by   caliotter3
    Yeah, it seems like the ones with the most drama are the ones that do the best job of sticking it to you when they get a mind to. One of the reasons one needs to know how to draw the line.
  4. by   nurseby07
    I agree, and as I mature into nursing I am trying to do that. What is another MS patient doing getting a 90 pound slobbering puppy (i love dogs) when she is short on money and bedbound? She can't even get her trash to the curb much less care for that crazy but sweet dog. She asked me to take it for a walk. The dog really needed it, but I couldnt. A year ago I would have. Uuugh, the stories go on and on. "can you take my script to the pharmacy? I don't have anyone to do it and I HURT"
  5. by   caliotter3
    I find myself doing little things here and there that cost money and then I have to ask myself why don't I spend my money on me. It is as if I feel like I am really responsible for these people. Nobody gives my family or me anything for nothing, not that it should make a difference. I was at a job one time when one of the other nurses and I got into a discussion about Codependents Anonymous. We both were in agreement that we should go and also the other nurses at the facility. It seemed that all of us had more emotions invested at our facility than we did with our own families.
  6. by   nurseby07
    That would be a good idea to bring up. Today I almost forked out $29 so my pt with an O2 sat of 54, without oxygen, who refused to go the hospital, would have a way to call 911. I didn't. I just documented and gave a hug while I stepped around all of the coffe cans filled with cigarette butts.
  7. by   caliotter3
    Quote from nurseby07
    That would be a good idea to bring up. Today I almost forked out $29 so my pt with an O2 sat of 54, without oxygen, who refused to go the hospital, would have a way to call 911. I didn't. I just documented and gave a hug while I stepped around all of the coffe cans filled with cigarette butts.
    Yes, it seems like it would be worth the effort if the patient would make an effort to quit smoking. But all they would do is continue to smoke away. I had one of these when I did a visit alone when I was still a student. Scared the dickens out of me. I called the office and they told me to just call the doctor, inform the doctor, leave, and document. I was scared the house was going to blow up with both of us in it. I worried about that patient all the way home and late that night.
  8. by   GmaC13
    I can relate to the dog story. We have been caring for this elderly couple for about a year and working hard to get them into assisted living. I am not the case manager so I only see them occasionally. The case manager had arranged for them to visit a few local assisted living facilities to see what might work for them. I went out to do a routine catheter change and asked how the visits went. The wife (who needs a walker to get around their single wide trailer) responds " oh those places where just too expensive so we decided to stay here and get some puppies" She proceeded to show me her 2, 8 week old pups. I nearly busted up laughing and knew the case manager would blow a gasket after all of her hard work trying to get them place. The pups where so cute it was hard to be mad. I love my job but at times it is so frustrating.

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