I am a home health nurse and work with a 22 year old female patient who is a ventilator-dependent quadriplegic.
There is a ton of work which must be done during my 10 hour shift. The problem I’m having is she expects me to stand next to her bed for my entire shift while she tells me “open my phone. Open Instagram. Scroll down. Down. Tap her name. Tap on following. Tap the first girl. Block her. Back to new feed. scroll. Scroll. Go back” FOR HOURS. She will interrupt me in the middle of a procedure so she can look at her own Instagram profile for the millionth time.
I have tried introducing her to Apple’s voice control accessibility, it does not recognize her voice d/t her trach. I have tried suggesting eye-gaze technology and she said she tried it and did not like it “it’s easier if you just do it for me”. I have tried telling her nicely “I’m sorry I won’t be able to do your iPhone/iPad for you since I’m going to be doing this procedure and it’s important that I keep my hands clean” she doesn’t listen and interrupts me 3 minutes later. Sometimes, I give in and stand by her and control her phone for her, and I’m sorry, but I just don’t look excited while doing it. Other times, I don’t indulge her and reinforce that I have work to do and ignore her subsequent requests. Its a mix of both, I never spend an entire shift ignoring her. But I’ll admit, standing by her to control her phone... it’s frustrating, it’s absolutely demeaning, and it is not promoting independence where it could otherwise exist.
Her other nurses all enable this behavior and sit by her bed for hours and scroll on her phone endlessly. Since I don’t give in to her requests all the time/don’t look happy when doing so, she does not like me. She has taken to making comments about me in front of my face to the aide (she comes for a 3 hour block during my shift). She’ll say things such as “did you smell it??” “Thank god only one hour left (with me)” and “bye! (to the aide) I’ll miss you SO much. Don’t worry. I’ll be okay with you know who”.
How should I deal with this situation? It’s clear to me that this patient is never told “no” if I don’t give in and be her phone monkey I’ll just be the “mean nurse” forever. I’m thinking I may just quit and move on to a more appropriate job because honestly, this is not what I went to nursing school for.