What makes a "good patient"? - page 2
I have seen venting (normal and appropriate) about problem patients, and sometimes it's enough to make me wonder how anyone can go into the profession. Yes, it's part of what made me decide to focus... Read More
Mar 11, '13Occupation: RN Specialty: 7 year(s) of experience in Trauma | Surgical ICU ; From: US ; Joined: Oct '12; Posts: 255; Likes: 367A good patient, at least for me, is someone who takes control of his/her medical illness. They are involved with every process and eager to learn about their condition. Those patients are the ones who will probably maintain their health regimen outside the hospital and hopefully, stay away from hospitals.
Mar 11, '13Occupation: Nurse Aide From: US ; Joined: Feb '12; Posts: 21; Likes: 6In school we're trained that a "bad patient" is one who prevents you from dealing with their problem. Someone who doesn't complain of pain or new symptoms prevents you from helping them. It may not add to the nurse's daily aggravation, but it makes the job harder.
It seems like the do-gooder thing to say, but after working in rehab a few months, I've seen people hurt themselves because they didn't want to be a bother. The end result is an incident report and crap from a manager.
Even if it doesn't get to that extreme, I'd rather have a needy whiner than someone who says nothing to me and complains to their family/friends or our supervisor that we're not doing anything for them.
Mar 11, '13Occupation: Registered Nurse Specialty: Med-surg, mother-baby ; From: US ; Joined: Jan '12; Posts: 1,162; Likes: 2,284Quote from Nurse_A good patient, at least for me, is someone who takes control of his/her medical illness. They are involved with every process and eager to learn about their condition. Those patients are the ones who will probably maintain their health regimen outside the hospital and hopefully, stay away from hospitals.
The exception to that rule are the Web-MD licensed doctors lol. Its great to want to know more about your health issues, but making yourself a hypochondriac with Web-MD is no better than knowing nothing at all!
Mar 11, '13Occupation: Registered Nurse Specialty: Med-surg, mother-baby ; From: US ; Joined: Jan '12; Posts: 1,162; Likes: 2,284Hmm, good patient...
-Polite (as others said, please and thank you, pay attention to you when you are talking to them)
-Involved (ask questions when the doctor is there, know their medications and health problems)
-WANT to get better, and do what is required for that to happen.
-Do what you can for yourself. If you can use the bathroom, do it. If there is nothing physically keeping you in bed, I would rather push you to the bathroom on a commode chair than have you use the bedpan. And for Gods sake, wipe your own butt!! :P
-Don't make me chase you for treatments and medication. If you have IV meds due at a certain time, try to be at your bedside 15-20 minutes early, just in case I can get there earlier.
-Be reasonable. That goes both directions. If you want something that is not a priority ie. an extra pillow when there is no respiratory issue, then expect that you might have to wait while I deal with more urgent problems. I will get to it, but not before someone who can't breathe or is actively crumping. Then if you have an actual problem or issue, ASK ME! They don't give us a crystal ball when we pass NCLEX. I can't read your mind. If I could, I probably wouldn't be where I am today. You are my patient, and I want to help you, but I can't do it if I don't know what is wrong.
Mar 11, '13Joined: Jul '10; Posts: 1,925; Likes: 4,312I agree with "imintrouble" about getting off the cell phone. Don't lunge and grab the phone just because it rings while I have a stethoscope to your chest. Please turn down the TV when I (or a doctor) come into the room. Don't cough directly into my face, esp. without covering your mouth.
Mar 11, '13Occupation: RN & Critter Mama From: US ; Joined: Feb '04; Posts: 4,977; Likes: 20,736Polite and reasonable.
That's all we really want.
If you need something, call.
Mar 12, '13Occupation: RN Specialty: 2 year(s) of experience in Trauma/Tele/Surgery/SICU ; From: US ; Joined: Jan '07; Posts: 421; Likes: 977What is a good patient? Vented, sedated, orphaned! lol, just kidding.
For me a good patient is one who is polite and actively participates in their plan of care and really seems to want to get better. One who does not fight me tooth and nail for every intervention. Example: Come back later to assess me, I am too tired to try to walk, I am not using that IS, I need you to wipe my butt even though I have always done that myself.
I don't mind if you are a little talky, a little needy, a little anxious. I expect that from people who are scared. I do mind if you try to monopolize my time, constantly use your call light to call me in for multiple ridiculous little things which is obviously just a ploy for you to get someone in the room so you can continue to be the center of attention. I also hate the malingerers and the invent a scenario (Chest pain) to try to score more pain meds. Also, if you ever utter the words "I am the sickest person here" You will annoy me and I will reply with: I am sorry did you just say something? I am just not used to having a patient who is well enough to actually talk here in the ICU.
Mar 12, '13Occupation: RN Specialty: 2 year(s) of experience in Trauma/Tele/Surgery/SICU ; From: US ; Joined: Jan '07; Posts: 421; Likes: 977OP I think it is sweet that you were concerned with making more work for your nurses. Low sats and trouble breathing sounds pretty darn sick to me and I would have expected you to be extremely anxious as anyone who feels they cannot breath will be. I also think that over an hour for pain meds is not acceptable. I would have called and asked again. Pain medication should be a priority barring an emergency with another patient.
I think most nurses would agree with me that they do not get annoyed with legitimate needs even if it is for water, extra blanket, snack etc. It is the abusive, manipulative patients (and their families!) who annoy us.