2 patients. One was the greatest patient, and I really enjoyed taking care of her, and the other was on my last nerve by the time I left. I'd had the both of them 2 days in a row.

I'm wondering if I'm alone in this:

great patient was a spry, sharp LOL. Polite, nice, great sense of humor etc. She would tell me if she was in pain or wasn't feeling great at the moment etc, but other than that, she didn't complain, act overly dramatic etc. She was fussy- would ask me to do things like fix her blankets just so, pour her a glass of water from her pitcher, raise the head of the bed a bit etc, fix her pillows behind her bed, etc, but you know what? I was happy to do those things for her, and would have done anything she wanted! I think its because even though she was fussy, she said thank you, she was pleasant and wasn't an incessant complainer/nagger.

Now, I know, people who are in the hospital are sick, and will not be on their best behavior, and I don't expect that. But you know what I'm talking about... Just the way someone asks you to do something makes a difference.

The other patient was a constant nagger/complainer, incredibly dramatic, demanding, etc. Granted she had some psych issues...but nothing that could explain her behavior. She was just strange in a way that is difficult to explain, on top of the nagging/complaining/drama/demands. To the point that the LOL on the other side of the curtain finally asked me what was wrong with her!

I still acted on the outside like she wasn't driving me nuts, and gave her good care, but I was much happier and more willing to do above and beyond for the LOL than the PITA. Being new and all I'm wondering if this is normal, or if I just need to learn not to let patients get on my nerves.


60 Posts

Well, I'm still a nursing student, and aside from clinical, my experience thus far has been as a nurse's aide in LTC, but I think your feelings are completely normal. Despite being nurses (or aides), we're still human and it's natural to feel less than thrilled about "serving" someone who is melodramatic, rude or ungrateful. I honestly feel that nurses take much more of people's bad behavior than many in other professions could even dream of. As long as you remain outwardly kind and professional, I don't think a little inward seething matters :-)

Chaya, ASN, RN

932 Posts

Specializes in Rehab, Med Surg, Home Care. Has 15 years experience.

Yup, these patients can be a challenge. I llike to see if I can "crack through" their behavior to understand the real reason they behave this way. Usually I'll find they have some specific anxieties, like that no one will know they need help, or they won't get pain medication, etc. I try to be pro-active and anticipate these concerns, making sure their call bell is with reach and asking if they need pain med in advance if when it is due. It also helps if I make sure they have accurate expectations of how things work at your place,ie: first thing each shift the nurse makes a quick round early to assess everyone, then later returns to pass meds/ change dressings. Use the call light to gat assistance; the first person free will answer. Anyone available can help with toileting, etc. If you have a question about meds or wound care, your nurse must address that or bring it to the doc's attention.

Anyway, often if I can demonstrate to them that I am conscious of their specific needs, they lighten up and become quite pleasant to work with.

mpccrn, BSN, RN

527 Posts

Specializes in ICU. Has 30 years experience.

as you gain experience you take solace in the days where you find a patient that reminds you of why you chose this profession in the first place and you put a game face on for those you'd rather avoid. sometimes it helps to recognize how empty their lives must be if all they hold onto is how to manipulate and boss those trying to help them. :smokin:

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