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People you "know "coming to your unit for care

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by anewday anewday (New Member) New Member

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I was the only RN on the L&D unit (left with a LPN). We had no patients.

My former SISTER-IN-LAW came in as an outpatient and of course the doctor wanted her to have a VE. UGH! I discussed it with her, she was okay with it, no problem. But it was somewhat uncomfortable.

Most people I know say they feel better having someone they know with them - so the discomfort may be just on your end. But we have definitely switched assignments around for the comfort of all involved. Not a big deal.

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brillohead has 5 years experience as a ADN, RN and specializes in Cardio-Pulmonary; Med-Surg; Private Duty.

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I think I would have a different perspective for different situations.

If the patient is a child whose family the nurse knows, I think most people would want to have a nurse that the child is already comfortable with. Being in the hospital is stressful for anyone, and exponentially for a child. Having a familiar and trusted face be there would most likely be a comfort rather than a concern for both parents and child.

If the patient is with the nurse's own age range, I'd think it might depend both on gender and on the "level" of the relationship. As a patient, I wouldn't mind being cared for by a female friend/relative, while it might be more awkward with a male friend/relative. Or the preference might be different for an acquaintance vs a close friend.

If the patient is an elder, they might be more comfortable with a stranger. Older people might be more inclined to have cultural/societal issues, feeling it is demeaning for them to be seen by someone they know while "indisposed".

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Ruby Vee has 40 years experience as a BSN and specializes in CCU, SICU, CVSICU, Precepting & Teaching.

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i've taken care of my grandmother's first cousin, my cousin's best friend (he was 17 and died in my unit), and (briefly) a guy who got arrested for biting women on the ass in the college bars. (i was one of the women he bit, and although i couldn't have identified him, he remembered me.) but one night i was working in the icu on a very slow night, and we got a call from er that they were bringing in a police officer who had been injured in a shoot-out with another officer. the gal i was working with that night was a float nurse i knew only slightly, and she was married to a cop. as she was idly speculating upon the circumstances that would have two police officers shooting at one another, they brought in the injured cop. it was her husband. he'd been shot by his partner when the partner came home unexpectedly and found his wife and the my co-worker's husband in bed, "carrying on." i think the police department had been trying to find her to notify her of her husband's injury, but because she was a float nurse, there was some confusion about where she was actually working. (long before cell phones!)

pat's (not her real name, of course) husband was shot in the testicles from behind -- a fate that both pat and the shooter claimed he richly deserved. pat didn't take care of him, of course. pat wanted to finish the job the partner had started, and the partner, although in custody, was willing to lend her the gun. a co-worker in the ed got the job of patching up both the unfaithful wife (hit by a stray bullet -- or maybe not so "stray") and the cuckholded husband who was shot in the arm or shoulder or some such.

i've also taken care of the spouses of co-workers. on the night the nursing supervisor's husband died in our unit, i was in charge. i will never forget her standing in the back of the room during the code. she called it -- she said "john's had enough." the young resident running the code didn't know her and kept insisting that "i'm the doctor. the nursing supervisor doesn't get to decide when to call it. i do." to which i said, "when you get to the point where you want to talk to the next of kin, she's right there" -- pointing to the supervisor. the supervisor wasn't the classiest person i've ever known on a good day, but that night she was the very picture of grace, poise and class. john's illness had been tough on them both, and we all knew that john was ready . . . we were just waiting for the primary physician to get back from vacation and sign the dnr order.

i took care of a co-worker's wife who was admitted for an mi. and another nursing supervisor's cousin. i was working on an oncology unit then, and the supervisor asked me to be his primary. i took care of three physicians i worked with -- two of them on the oncology unit, and one who had a seizure at work. that last physician was the worst experience i've ever had with a co-worker.

i guess if i had to take care of an ex-, i'd balk. or one of my dh's many ex girlfriends.

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nerdtonurse? is a BSN, RN and specializes in ICU, Telemetry.

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In a rural community, it happens. I always tell the charge nurse I know the patient, then go see if they want me to look after them. So far, no one's said "no" and it hasn't bothered me; I guess I just keep "work" and "home" firmly separated in my head. It's not like I look a person in the choir in church and wonder "gee, how'd she get that fistula" while we're singing....

I asked one pt's husband (she was in no shape to say yes or no), and he told me that he felt better knowing I was looking after his wife than if I was a stranger to him. So I guess it can also give the family some comfort if they know who's going to be looking after their loved one.

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iteachob is a MSN, RN and specializes in OB, NICU, Nursing Education (academic).

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Sometimes this is unavoidable in a rural community...meaning it happens often! Usually, it's not a problem, but, I've had students say "I can't take care of her....she's my ex's new wife/girlfriend" (this is on an OB unit, by the way). I reassign them in that case.

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nicurn001 specializes in Psych , Peds ,Nicu.

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I was working in psychiatric nursing , assisting in performing ECT , when the patient ( with big smilling face )said Hi Nicurn , how are you etc..., after catching up with each other and seeing doctor foot tapping procedure was completed . Felt a little odd but adds to the fabric of life .

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tattooednursie is a LVN and specializes in Mostly LTC, some acute and some ER,.

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I can't exactly get away from that. In this small town everyone knows everyone else. I've lived here since I was 3 years of age, so yes, I have accumulated a lot of good friends and aquaintences.

In long term care: I take care of so many little old ladies and little old men that I have known since I was knee-high-to-a-pigs eye. It can be hard emotionally when they are struck with dementia and are combative, and can't even remember who I am, and all the after church gatherings I went to with them when I was little, and how amazing I always thought they were. Some I thought could do no wrong back then. It is also difficult when they pass away on my shift.

In an acute settingL: It can be difficult for the same reasons. There are very few people I don't know in the community. So therefore, it never fails that I will most likely be taking care of a friend. It's usually not awkward at all, although I really fear making a mistake on friends. I just don't appriciate it when certain people expect that I will bend Dr.'s orders for them. Sorry!!! Not happening.

In the ER setting: It can be very bad when a trauma comes through, and you know the person. So far I have not been there when any of my good friends had been seriously injured. Sadly. . .I do have some close friends that go overboard with the partying and drinking at times. When they come in and I am working in there . . . things can get a bit embarassing, especially if they are drunk enough to be a pain in the butt, but sober enough to recognize you. I go pale every time they start throwing the, "I don't want anyone but Amanda to take care of me!!! Amanda! you're my bestest friend. . . Are you working Saturday night?" out there infront of all my co-workers, as I am trying to get them to keep there clothes on, or keep them from falling off the gurney. HAHAHAHAHAHAHAAA!!!

Like I said, I really have no way around it. It can be sad, difficult, or embarassing. On the other hand it can be great. Sometimes the people that you know well will cooperate better for you than anyone else.

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TrishJK specializes in elder care; psych.

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A friendly face is welcome to me.

It's not the face to face meetings that bother me so much.... I guess you'd just be happy to turn the other cheek, eh?

having said that, I'd rather my fellow nurses didn't know I was officially crazy ...er... that is, if I was, which I'm not - officially anyway.... you get my drift

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4,412 Posts; 33,587 Profile Views

Trish, your post made me think of this scenario. I knew a nurse who was dealing with co-workers she had spats with, who she thought were viewing her records when she needed TX. She was convinced they had some info they shouldn't have. She worked private practice and one of the docs in the extended practice was her doc. Don't know what came of it, but I bet it went something like this...

RN: So, you tak'in care of (nursewedon'treallylike), huh.

Other RN: yup.

RN: I'm sure she's glad you're "there" for her and all...

Other RN: Uh, yea I guess. Didya know she's crazy?

RN: well, sort of. She's a bit nutty... so.

Other RN: No, Dude! I mean she's crazy crazy.

RN: Whatcha mean crazy crazy... like CRAZY? or just crazy-normal like nutty?

Other RN: Like, C R A Z Y. Not just nutty.

RN: Oh, geeeez. I bet she's the one who keeps taking my pens!

LOL, but I could see this happening, and it would go this way wouldn't it!

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50 Posts; 3,192 Profile Views

I live in a town of 2000 people. It is not possible not to know at least 1/2 the patients any day in the small hospital. I think I could still give good care. Now if you're emotionally involved like your Mom or cousin... Then you may need to be replaced because of how you feel. Of course I'm only a student so far.

Edited by Alma 3323
misspelling

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TrishJK specializes in elder care; psych.

1 Article; 122 Posts; 6,390 Profile Views

Trish, your post made me think of this scenario. I knew a nurse who was dealing with co-workers she had spats with, who she thought were viewing her records when she needed TX. She was convinced they had some info they shouldn't have. She worked private practice and one of the docs in the extended practice was her doc. Don't know what came of it, but I bet it went something like this...

RN: So, you tak'in care of (nursewedon'treallylike), huh.

Other RN: yup.

RN: I'm sure she's glad you're "there" for her and all...

Other RN: Uh, yea I guess. Didya know she's crazy?

RN: well, sort of. She's a bit nutty... so.

Other RN: No, Dude! I mean she's crazy crazy.

RN: Whatcha mean crazy crazy... like CRAZY? or just crazy-normal like nutty?

Other RN: Like, C R A Z Y. Not just nutty.

RN: Oh, geeeez. I bet she's the one who keeps taking my pens!

LOL, but I could see this happening, and it would go this way wouldn't it!

2ndwind you're a comedy writer! I'm laughing - and oh yeah - I can see it - and Act 2 is where RN rushes off to tell all the other RNs ENs MOs cleaners, kitchen staff and anybody else she sees, her delicious new goss.

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rngolfer53 has 2 years experience.

681 Posts; 5,435 Profile Views

Hello. I was wondering if anybody ever ran into people they know outside of work on the job. Like a neighbor, former co-worker, former classmate, or even someone you don't get along with etc... coming to your unit for care... I am still a student extern/tech and this has happened to me, but was lucky enough to be assigned to other patients on the unit. It has made me feel very uncomfortable and I can only imagine how the patient would feel. It's a small world and working at one of the main hospitals in the city where I was born and raised, has made me realize that this might happen even more often. How is this handled? As a nurse can you switch the patient with another nurse to handle their care if it would create an uncomfortable situation?

If you think that being assigned someone you know would detract from your safe, professional care of him/her or your other assigned Pts, then go to the charge nurse and ask for a change.......you don't have to go into details, just state that you know him/her and there are reasons for your request.

Of course, if you find that you know every Pt that comes to your unit w/C diff, you're not going to pull that off for long. :D

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