Ignorant Stupid Patients

Nurses Relations


  • by KY RN
    Specializes in Med-Surg/home health/pacu/cardiac icu.

:angryfireWhy do the patients that do not pay for any healthcare complain and gripe the most? It irritates me when a patient is on Medicaid and expect to be treated like they are at the Ritz Hotel. "GRRRR"!!!! It seems like a vast majority do not want to accept responsibility for their own actions. Perhaps if they paid for some of their healthcare, they would be more willing to be compliant with their treatment plan.

I had a pt. today post op with a BKA. She already had a previous BKA a year ago. I walk into the pt's room and the family has brought in 6 Snickers bars. Ok, your BS is 600, you just came from surgery 2 days ago, you have no legs, you weigh 600 lbs. and you are in the process of eating 6 Snicker bars at once!!! I have tried to educate the pt. and the family and I feel like I am banging my head against the wall.

She told me, "Honey, it's ok for me to have Snickers. I know how to control my blood sugar." UMMM, NO YOU DON'T!!!! You would not be in this situation. If she was responsible for a portion of her medical bill, then I think she would be more compliant. Since there is no incentive to change, these populations continue making poor choices. It is SO frustrating!

Specializes in Rehab, Infection, LTC.

*breathe woman, breathe!*

i share your frustration with people that are on public assistance and expect to be treated as if they are royalty. and i love it when they tell me that they pay my salary. makes my day, doesnt it for you?

but in the post above i dont know if the patient having to pay for her care would change anything. she probably did work and have insurance before she had that first BKA or gained the first 100 pounds. problems like she has is probably a lot more than just poor choices. given that she weighs 600 lbs, she's probably a food addict.

NOT that i'm excusing her behavior mind you! i'm just thinking that it is probably a compounded problem and her being on public assistance might be the result instead of the reason.

but then again, anything is possible.

Specializes in Cardiac Care.

I feel your frustration, but you know... it happens with people who have wonderful coverage, too. Sometimes, I think it's worse because they sometimes feel they can "buy" health. You can teach and teach and teach, but it doesn't mean anything. I think society in general has become more "entitled" with lots of posturing and preening about "rights", without realizing or understanding that someone has to pay for those rights. Many people "in the system" are likely raised to believe that this is their due. They don't have to pay, they don't have to work... someone will take care of them. It's sad that it's often perpetuated for generations.


72 Posts

I have to agree. I hate the customer service aspect we are now having to do. I am sorry I am a nurse to take care of you and your health problems not KISS YOUR ASS. I think we need to make it a three strikes and your out. I hate this behaviour. It takes away from the patients who really need us and want us.

I would have disagree, I understand that people make poor choices.

I do have to say though, I disagree. I wouldn't say it is just those on medicaid or assistant programs.

I am on medicaid for pregnancy, I lost my job in Oklahoma due to the facility I worked for (private owned nursing home) went under.

I have recieved terrible care through out my pregnancy. I have never had my urine tested for proteins to insure I am not at risk for pre eclampsia. I have high blood pressure, and a heart murmur so this is a very real possibility.

I also went to the ER for severe back, stomach, and leg pain. I couldn't walk. This was on a thursday night. A urine sample was collected. I had WBC's, trace proteins, large amounts of blood, and large unidentified debride.

I went to my regular schedule OB/GYN appointment that Monday and took the lab results and informed my OB/GYN. He thought nothing of this, and never did a thing. I am a college student and that Thursday a week after the initial urinalysis, we did a urinalysis in my Physiology lab. All of the abnormal results had escalated.

I have also not been tested for Gestation diabetes, this is a routine test done between 24-28 weeks. I am 30 weeks.

I have tried to trade OB/GYN but this late...nobody will accept you.

So please be considerate and treat every patient equally. Despite what insurance they are on...

I do understand the frustration with this patient, I have had patients like this!!!


103 Posts

Specializes in Med-Surg/home health/pacu/cardiac icu.

It's true that I don't know the experiences behind this woman and what led her to be 600 lbs. However, I feel so frustrated when you teach, teach,teach, and teach some more and they do not respect their health or their bodies. I just feel like it is a waste of taxpayer money that could be better spent elsewhere.


1,446 Posts

Specializes in ED, ICU, PACU.

I really believe that your patient just illustrates the general sense of entitlement that is running rampant in society. The cause and effect concept just seems to be lost...

Specializes in LTC.

Maybe its just me because I'm a student nurse... but why can't patients be ignorant in general ? Rich patients can be ignorant and non-compliant too you know... Just my 0.02 student nurse cents.

Lovely_RN, MSN

1,122 Posts

It is really frustrating isn't it? I've figured out that teaching is a two way street. Patient teaching isn't that different from classroom teaching if the "student" isn't receptive to learning then your doing this :hdvwl: by making yourself upset about it. I make myself feel better by knowing that I'm doing my part and I don't feel bad for people with poor outcomes who refuse to make the tiniest effort to be compliant. It does suck that limited resources are wasted on people with a big sense of entitlement but then again our tax dollars are spent on a lot of things we don't approve of. I'm at a point where I try to remove my emotions from a situation. It's the patient's life not mine. They might be making the choice sub-consciously but it's still their decision to live and die in in what looks like misery from my point of view. If you lived in my state I would be depressed because the next stop for patients like her is my "rehab" where she would languish for the next couple of years in non-compliant bliss. Count your blessings at least your patients don't hang around for years and years whining about the lack of service, blaming you for their inevitable decline in health, and threatening to sue you for all you've got.

Roy Fokker, BSN, RN

1 Article; 2,011 Posts

Specializes in ER/Trauma.

I have no problems with rights. Fact is, I don't think we have enough!

What I DO have a problem with is 'lack of accountability'.

It's almost always "someone elses fault" or "someone elses problem". Few people are held accountable for their actions these days - be it bailouts of corporate screwups or endless welfare.

I've said it before and I'll say it again: Hold people responsible and accountable for their thought, word and deed and you'll see a dramatic drop in misbehavior.


Specializes in Emergency Dept. Trauma. Pediatrics.

Funny enough, I have paid for health care for many many many years, I have also had to use medicaid before to, which I was still working so yes I was still paying towards it as well, when I have gone for services for me or my children using medicaid we often had to go to these disgusting filthy clinics and were treated like second class citizens because we were using medicaid.

I have ALWAYS been compliant with things my Dr. have told me and always have with my children as well. Never missed a well child check up, never missed an immunization, between 4 kids I have dealt with 2 ear infections EVER, 2 hospitalizations due to respiratory issues on the same kid and not caused by me, in fact he wouldn't have had to be hospitalized had the Dr. taken the time to actually look at him in the appointments instead of blowing me and my concerns off until my sons breathing was so bad I had to take him to ER where he was admitted for 3 days.

When I was on Medicaid I often had to drive an hour away to find a dentist that accepted it to get dental care.

I can understand the frustrations with non compliant patients, completely understand.

The assumptions made on people that receive medicaid are just as stupid and ignorant though.

I would hope that those that make such big generalizations don't find themselves in line at the social service office applying for assistance because life took a very unexpected course. It's humiliating in itself without all the assumptions made.

Firstly I do not want to reply to your post on a negative note but it is realy had not to. I believe that your choice of words "ignorant stupid patients" speaks for itself. I am sure patients can be very very challenging but if your in nursing and don't think your going to be challenged then you are in the wrong profession. You are dealing with the public and in a position as a nurse are expected to show compassion even with the most challenging. If you are judging this patient and labeling them as challenging because of the insurance they carry then I would say that you are the ignorant one and really need a reality check. Do not assume that because someone carries a "free care insurance" that they are below or less complient then others. Your really need to choose your words differently and open your mind. I am not here to put you down but it seems that is exaxtly what you are doing to your patient-complient or NOT.

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