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Old wives tales

Posted

Specializes in Peds(PICU, NICU float), PDN, ICU.

I was taking with a parent who insists that the things she was taught about healthcare are correct. All of this parents "knowledge" comes from old wives tales. The things I've seen/heard are just plain scary.

So what are things you've seen and heard? Have you been able to educate those parents at all? Do you just go with it and document to cover yourself? Do you try to teach them right? I want this to be a fun thread to share stories and have a laugh. But I also want it to share ways to handle this type of parent.

So I just heard that corn starch draws out toxins from a brown recluse bite and heals it. Apparently the hospitals and doctors have been treating it all wrong all of this time! Haha! Of course, I just nodded and smiled and let that one go.

meanmaryjean, DNP, RN

Specializes in NICU, ICU, PICU, Academia. Has 40 years experience.

We have a fairly substantial number of Amish children at our hospital. (Indiana has a large Amish population and we treat their children with congenital heart disease and hemophilia - as well as the usual stuff, RSV and the like)

They are HUGE int folk remedies. They also have very low health literacy and only an 8th grade education which is very weak in the sciences. So, if their folk remedy is harmless, we just let it go. (I'm thinking a quarter taped to an easily reducible umbilical hernia.) If it is important to the child's recovery (the liberal use of cornstarch as a diaper rash treatment in a kid with asthma) we educate and do our best. Even if they comply while hospitalized, we're fairly certain they will go back to the old remedies once discharged. They are, on the whole, compliant with standard treatments and meds - Lasix for the cardiac patients for example.

SDALPN

Specializes in Peds(PICU, NICU float), PDN, ICU.

I was also told that if the kid has a rash to let them sit in the sun for a while. They said it will even out the rash on the skin so it goes away. I'm thinking it just makes them sunburned and the redness hides the rash a little. Some of that "advice" can cause a lot of harm.

They know it all and fail to realize how little they really know. And they don't try to better themselves which makes it worse.

What stands out in my memory, (as much as it does), was one client from another country, who started talking some weird stuff akin to ghosts in the apartment or some such, don't quite remember the details. Only remember that her talk did not directly involve care for her child, and for some reason, I bent over backward to appear that I was taking her statements seriously. No challenges from me on that one! I had a bad enough time with her concerning all the other stuff that was/was not being accomplished according to the care plan. I felt there was no way I was going to expend energy arguing with her over something that did not concern caring for her child.

I was working in the ED when a lady brought her 9 year old daughter in. Mom was screaming saying her daughter had died. We all rush to the girl. Sats 100% B/P 96/60 Respiration 16 Temp 99.1 no pain reported. So we start asking a lot of questions. The mom says she brought her daughter back to life by pouring rubbing alcohol on her. She told us that her daughter had bronchitis a few days before. Mom hadn't been to get medication filled yet. The mother had also called the school prior to arriving at the ED. We had students crying and teachers asking questions. The doctor finally came out and spoke to the girl's teacher that she wasn't dead nor had she died. To this day, I don't think any of us know what the hell that mother was on.

LoveMyBugs, BSN, CNA, RN

Specializes in Pediatrics.

I have had many parents put table sugar on abrasions to get them to stop bleeding. Not fun trying to get the sugar off to clean the wound.

Had a grandma put diaper rash cream on a knee laceration...again not fun for the patient to get irrigated as the cream made it impossible for us to use LET to numb the site.

Worst one was a child with burns from fry oil who the family covered in tooth paste....😞

smartnurse1982

Has 7 years experience.

I have had many parents put table sugar on abrasions to get them to stop bleeding. Not fun trying to get the sugar off to clean the wound.

Had a grandma put diaper rash cream on a knee laceration...again not fun for the patient to get irrigated as the cream made it impossible for us to use LET to numb the site.

Worst one was a child with burns from fry oil who the family covered in tooth paste....������

I have heard of diaper rash ointment being used around red gt stoma areas.

Actually,the Dr ordered the diaper rash ointment be used.

SDALPN

Specializes in Peds(PICU, NICU float), PDN, ICU.

I have heard of diaper rash ointment being used around red gt stoma areas.

Actually,the Dr ordered the diaper rash ointment be used.

I've seen that and even Pepto bismol used. Makes sense though.

JustBeachyNurse, RN

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

I have heard of diaper rash ointment being used around red gt stoma areas.

Actually,the Dr ordered the diaper rash ointment be used.

Zinc oxide (what makes diaper rash ointment white) is a healing skin protectant. You don't put it on an abrasion or cut but it's effective for early granulation or irritation at a stoma site. Not an old wives tale.

Maalox, Milk of Magnesia, pepto bismol have similar protectant qualities so are also effective for stoma irritation and moist rashes.

SDALPN

Specializes in Peds(PICU, NICU float), PDN, ICU.

Zinc oxide (what makes diaper rash ointment white) is a healing skin protectant. You don't put it on an abrasion or cut but it's effective for early granulation or irritation at a stoma site. Not an old wives tale.

Maalox, Milk of Magnesia, pepto bismol have similar protectant qualities so are also effective for stoma irritation and moist rashes.

Agreed. I think she was just mentioning some off label, stuff we don't see often kinda things.

I wish we could write a book for these parents explaining everything. But the book could have a chapter on folk remedies/old wives tales that don't work.

I had one parent who put onions on the windowsill. I think it was to remove germs from the room or something. I can't remember exactly. It didn't hurt anyone, so I didn't bother wasting my energy explaining that one.

Jensmom7, BSN, RN

Specializes in Hospice. Has 36 years experience.

This didn't happen to me, but a friend working in ER in the early 80s who had a patient with main c/o "leaves growing out of my Virginia" (not a typo, that's what the patient called it).

This was an older lady with a prolapsed uterus-apparently she was told inserting a potato would take care of it. Kind of an organic pessary. Then it sprouted...

This didn't happen to me, but a friend working in ER in the early 80s who had a patient with main c/o "leaves growing out of my Virginia" (not a typo, that's what the patient called it).

This was an older lady with a prolapsed uterus-apparently she was told inserting a potato would take care of it. Kind of an organic pessary. Then it sprouted...

No wat that actually happened.

Funny story, though!

Jensmom7, BSN, RN

Specializes in Hospice. Has 36 years experience.

No wat that actually happened.

Funny story, though!

I've been around Nursing for almost 4 decades, I've seen and heard just about every weird, bat-crap crazy thing out there. I don't have to make things up.

Frankly, if I were to write a screenplay and try to sell it in Hollywood, no one would believe it!!

smartnurse1982

Has 7 years experience.

Zinc oxide (what makes diaper rash ointment white) is a healing skin protectant. You don't put it on an abrasion or cut but it's effective for early granulation or irritation at a stoma site. Not an old wives tale.

Maalox, Milk of Magnesia, pepto bismol have similar protectant qualities so are also effective for stoma irritation and moist rashes.

Yes i know that,i was just mentioning the off label use.

I have read that Milk of Magnesia neutralizes the stomach acid that sometimes leakes from G tube stomas.

smartnurse1982

Has 7 years experience.

I had a parent that would put diced onions in her daughters sock.

She said it was to cure the child's cold.

Also had a parent put Vicks liquid drops into the heated chamber of the vent.

I did not know what to say,as i have never seen that before.

The nursing supervisor said it was ok,do not be alarmed.

Straight No Chaser, ASN, LPN

Specializes in Sub-Acute. Has 5 years experience.

Freaking FAT BACK (the southern phrase for the sliver of fat you trim off of meat/pork) over a laceration. SERIOUSLY, I know the person who did this and he WOULD NOT listen to reason.

Ended up with a raging infection and had to have it lanced and was on abx for a few weeks.

Nurse Leigh

Specializes in Telemetry.

This didn't happen to me, but a friend working in ER in the early 80s who had a patient with main c/o "leaves growing out of my Virginia" (not a typo, that's what the patient called it).

This was an older lady with a prolapsed uterus-apparently she was told inserting a potato would take care of it. Kind of an organic pessary. Then it sprouted...

Ahh yes...the DIY pessary. Have heard of these before. Thankful I have not had first hand experience with them, just heard stories.

What I would like to know is how these "cures" spread so long ago when the Internet and even telephone had yet to be invented. :what: