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I need an ER nurse to answer this question for me (pt with HIV related)

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by Risan Risan (New) New

  • I'm new to this site, I hope I post this in the correct place.
  • Question: Does the ER keep medical info about you in the computer after each visit?
  • I'm currently an LPN and I'm in school to become a RN. I am HIV + and have been for years. I will try to make this as short as possible.
  • I went to the ER a few months ago for a headache. This was my first time in the ER in a very long time. When asked what medicine I was on, I told them the med and that it was for HIV. The lady kind of gave me a weird look and ever since then I've been paranoid of going to the ER or Dr's appointment.
  • Today I'm in the ER for another reason. I really didn't want to go because of my last experience but went anyway. When asked if I had any illnesses, this time I said no. The Dr. asked was I sure that I don't have anything to tell him, almost as if he knew I was lying. Before all of this, I saw the one nurse who checked me in mouth something to the other nurse before she took me in the back. A lady later came in my room to verify my insurance and address so I take it they still did have some of my information in the system from the last visit. Is it possible they put the HIV info in there too? I didn't even know ERs kept a chart on patients.
  • Maybe I'm just paranoid but it's only because of the way I've been treated after disclosing my HIV status.
  • Thanks in advance.

sallyrnrrt, ADN, RN

Specializes in critical care, ER,ICU, CVSURG, CCU.

Your triage assessment, of home medications etc....stays in the EMR medical record

blondy2061h, MSN, RN

Specializes in Oncology. Has 15 years experience.

Yes, they almost certainly have your information from last visit in the EMR. Once a diagnosis is entered in our computer system, there it forever stays. Even an inaccurate diagnosis or one that's temporary, stays as a historical diagnosis once discontinued

ktwlpn, LPN, RN

Specializes in Med Surg, Homecare, Hospice.

  • I'm new to this site, I hope I post this in the correct place.
  • Question: Does the ER keep medical info about you in the computer after each visit?
  • I'm currently an LPN and I'm in school to become a RN. I am HIV + and have been for years. I will try to make this as short as possible.
  • I went to the ER a few months ago for a headache. This was my first time in the ER in a very long time. When asked what medicine I was on, I told them the med and that it was for HIV. The lady kind of gave me a weird look and ever since then I've been paranoid of going to the ER or Dr's appointment.
  • Today I'm in the ER for another reason. I really didn't want to go because of my last experience but went anyway. When asked if I had any illnesses, this time I said no. The Dr. asked was I sure that I don't have anything to tell him, almost as if he knew I was lying. Before all of this, I saw the one nurse who checked me in mouth something to the other nurse before she took me in the back. A lady later came in my room to verify my insurance and address so I take it they still did have some of my information in the system from the last visit. Is it possible they put the HIV info in there too? I didn't even know ERs kept a chart on patients.
  • Maybe I'm just paranoid but it's only because of the way I've been treated after disclosing my HIV status.
  • Thanks in advance.

Of course the medical record is retained and anyone treating you MUST know your complete history.The first mistake you made was not dealing with "the weird look" you feel you received.Having had HIV for years you should be comfortable with your diagnosis and well able to deal with any prejudice you face.YOU have to take care of yourself,you can't avoid going to appointments.An appropriate reply would be"Oh,do you have a problem with that?" And then report it to management immediately.You should report it now....and straighten out your medical history while there and also call your insurance company.You may have caused yourself some issues there....

Have you gone to counseling? Joined a support group?

Please take care of yourself.You have nothing alto be ashamed of.Confront this and take every opportunity to educate these ignoramuses

JustBeachyNurse, RN

Specializes in Complex pediatrics turned LTC/subacute geriatrics. Has 11 years experience.

It's called continuity of care. That's a critical piece of information and there are risks of drug interactions if you elect to withhold such important information. The "look" was more "why risk your life & safety by withholding important info" as opposed to "OMG he has cooties". Everyone has cooties. I'm not afraid of HIV. I'm afraid of unvaccinated school aged formites though.

I'm sorry that you are feeling this way. As other posters said they do indeed keep records. They must. I'm with ktwlpn, this needs to be addressed with the hospital as well as with yourself...

I feel even more dumb now lol. Thanks for your words of encouragement though. I know they probably thought I was crazy for lying. I shouldn't have lied but I just felt so judged during my last experience. Felt like that was the only way I could contain my anxiety. Guess it's something I have to work on.

Dogen

Specializes in Behavioral Health. Has 1 years experience.

Having had HIV for years you should be comfortable with your diagnosis and well able to deal with any prejudice you face.

I don't want to side track this conversation, but you don't get to tell people how they should feel about their diagnosis. Even if you have the best of intentions. Even if you have experience. Even if you happen to share that diagnosis. Everyone experiences their diagnoses in their own way, and telling them they're doing it wrong is rude. Not everyone wants to be a crusader for social justice, and not everyone is comfortable exposing stigmatized conditions and daring people to say anything. It's just not fair to the OP - or anyone, with any diagnosis - to say they should act in only one ktwlpn-approved way.

ktwlpn, LPN, RN

Specializes in Med Surg, Homecare, Hospice.

I don't want to side track this conversation, but you don't get to tell people how they should feel about their diagnosis. Even if you have the best of intentions. Even if you have experience. Even if you happen to share that diagnosis. Everyone experiences their diagnoses in their own way, and telling them they're doing it wrong is rude. Not everyone wants to be a crusader for social justice, and not everyone is comfortable exposing stigmatized conditions and daring people to say anything. It's just not fair to the OP - or anyone, with any diagnosis - to say they should act in only one ktwlpn-approved way.

So it's better for the OP to walk away and try to avoid medical care in the furniture because she felt judged by this person?I am not saying she needs to "be a crusader for social justice" ,only that she make a stand for herself.I disagree with your post on many levels,it was not fair for staff to make her feel uncomfortable in any way.I offered her an alternative to walking away from the help she needs.That's my "ktwlpn" opinion.Thanks for your take

Edited by ktwlpn

Dogen

Specializes in Behavioral Health. Has 1 years experience.

So it's better for the OP to walk away and try to avoid medical care in the furniture because she felt judged by this person?I am not saying she needs to "be a crusader for social justice" ,only that she make a stand for herself.I disagree with your post on many levels,it was not fair for staff to make her feel uncomfortable in any way.I offered her an alternative to walking away from the help she needs.That's my "ktwlpn" opinion.Thanks for your take

No, what's best is to meet people where they're at, not to try and make them come to where you're at. The former is patient-centered, the latter is self-centered. You're right that it was wrong for staff to make OP feel bad, but it's also wrong to assume you know what's best for the OP. You seem to have good intentions, but that's not enough. What's right for you may not be what's right for them, and telling them their behavior is wrong implies a patronizing relationship in which you're the arbiter of what is and isn't good enough. That's not your role in anyone's life but your children, and OP is not a child. Even in the event that a person does need to change their behavior, browbeating them is the absolute worst way to encourage them to go about it. And it's rude.

P.S. OP appears to be male.

annie.rn

Has 21 years experience.

The "look" was more "why risk your life & safety by withholding important info" as opposed to "OMG he has cooties".

I hope that's all the look was. I still have a fair number of co-workers who are less than matter of fact when a patient's history includes HIV+. I do think there is still a considerable amount of judgement toward these patients but it may just be where I live.

To the OP: as others have said and as you now obviously realize is the right thing to do, please report your HIV+ status. I know it must be hard when you know there are people out there who are incredibly bigoted. If others treat you differently b/c of it, that is on them and their ignorant selves. Not you.

I am sorry for the way you've been treated in the past, whether real or perceived.

((Hugs))

(Edited to fix typos and add a thought)

Edited by annie.rn

JustBeachyNurse, RN

Specializes in Complex pediatrics turned LTC/subacute geriatrics. Has 11 years experience.

I hope that's all the look was. I still have a fair number of co-workers who are less than matter of fact when a patient's history includes HIV+. I do think there is still a considerable amount of judgement toward these patients but it may just be where I live.

To the OP: as others have said and as you now obviously realize is the right thing to do, please report your HIV+ status. I know it must be hard when you know there are people out there who are incredibly bigoted. If others treat you differently b/c of it, that is on them and their ignorant selves. Not you.

I am sorry for the way you've been treated in the past, whether real or perceived.

((Hugs))

(Edited to fix typos and add a thought)

In the second scenario it seems more like we need the truth so we can safely help you. The first experience may have been bias exacerbated by the patient's anxiety of seeking healthcare apprehensive that they may be a victim of bias.

Sometimes I forget. I've worked so hard to help my son accept others for who they are, I forget when I step out of our bubble that the rest of society isn't like minded.

To the OP I hope you encounter more people like my son and less than you did in your first ED visit. I think now you understand the importance of full disclosure so you can receive the best and safest care for your current ailment. Good luck

ktwlpn, LPN, RN

Specializes in Med Surg, Homecare, Hospice.

No, what's best is to meet people where they're at, not to try and make them come to where you're at. The former is patient-centered, the latter is self-centered. You're right that it was wrong for staff to make OP feel bad, but it's also wrong to assume you know what's best for the OP. You seem to have good intentions, but that's not enough. What's right for you may not be what's right for them, and telling them their behavior is wrong implies a patronizing relationship in which you're the arbiter of what is and isn't good enough. That's not your role in anyone's life but your children, and OP is not a child. Even in the event that a person does need to change their behavior, browbeating them is the absolute worst way to encourage them to go about it. And it's rude.

P.S. OP appears to be male.

...This person came here to ASK FOR ADVICE,I gave it respectfully.No "browbeating" about it.Let's get back on track here,please.Peace out.....

Racer15, BSN, RN

Specializes in ED. Has 5 years experience.

Long story short, yes. All I have to do in my ER is click on clinical data and all information from previous visits is pulled over. You are only hurting yourself by lying about medical history.

Yes, you should have disclosed, however, I agree that if the practitioner knew your status, why the "are you sure there's not something you don't want to tell me" stuff came into play. A "I understand you are HIV+" would at least suggest that the practitioner was being direct and read your medical record.

And as a nurse you do know that some medications interfere with HIV meds, and some meds will not be effective for HIV related symptoms--or sometimes a stronger more direct treatment needs to occur so that things don't get out of control.

There are lots of nurses who have HIV, who have other chronic conditions. Which is a protected class. And yes, it is really none of their business in a personal sense, but this is not personal. You want effective treatment that is going to work for you, OP.

Thank you for opening my eyes to the fact that this kind of bias still exists. And to be mindful of it. I am of the 80's full PPE generation, and it was a frustrating educational process then, and apparently is still somewhat the same.

I would report this, even if it is to your parent company through their website and protect yourself--especially if you are being treated differently than your co-workers (ie: if you are asking for assistance with a patient, and you are not getting it that type of thing)

Best wishes!

I didn't think bias towards people HIV+ still existed,best wishes to you.

Of course the medical record is retained and anyone treating you MUST know your complete history.The first mistake you made was not dealing with "the weird look" you feel you received.Having had HIV for years you should be comfortable with your diagnosis and well able to deal with any prejudice you face.YOU have to take care of yourself,you can't avoid going to appointments.An appropriate reply would be"Oh,do you have a problem with that?" And then report it to management immediately.You should report it now....and straighten out your medical history while there and also call your insurance company.You may have caused yourself some issues there....

Have you gone to counseling? Joined a support group?

Please take care of yourself.You have nothing alto be ashamed of.Confront this and take every opportunity to educate these ignoramuses

I get what your saying....I even reread it like three times trying to get your tone. HOWEVER, who gives you the right/authority to tell someone they should be comfortable with their diagnosis by now?

With all that said, you did close it up with something nice lol