So just a little background...just like the name says, I am a brand new nurse. Where I went to school and did my clinicals was a part of the country that didn't have much diversity, so I never ran into patients with Sickle Cell. Where I work now is a very busy, inner city teaching hospital with an abundance of patients with this diagnosis.
So anyway, after getting report for my sickle cell patients, I asked the reporting nurse and my preceptor for any tips or words of wisdom on how to provide the best care for my sickle cell patients. Their answers were, "Oh, you'll see. You'll learn quick..." They weren't kidding. I am not trying to categorize sickle cell patients, but the ones I've had are by far the worst, rudest, and ill-natured people I have ever run into in the health care setting.
For example, we have patient X who is an addict. This patient has a high dosage IV Dilaudid ordered PRN for pain every 3 hours and she has an alarm going off telling him/her when he/she is due. Patient is so rude to the nurses and aides. She gets her meds on time every time but complains about every thing and tries to get the staff pitted against each other with manipulation and lies. Patient X also keeps messing with her central line and being non-compliant with the plan of care. Patient Z is the same exact way, just add more cursing and attitude. Mind you, these patients are constantly on their phone and computers showing no outward signs of pain, no change in VS to signal pain, no anxiety, normal labs (minus what is expected for sickle cell). Patient Z goes as far as messing with her IV pump and changing drip settings and trying to be slick by stealing syringes and needles if he/she thinks the nurse is not watching him/her like a hawk. Both these patients are suspected of doing something with their central lines because they both have problems with them. If you ask any of the nurses, they all say the same thing. I feel terrible that the sickle patients are under this predetermined category in this setting, but they all seem to put themselves there.....rude, drug-seeking, addicts, manipulators, non-compliant, liars. The ones I have had will not hear you out no matter what angle you use. It's like their dx gives them an excuse to be horrible human beings...
What has your experience been? I know these patients are sick and in pain, but why act like nightmare people or nightmare patients?