So, about a week ago, a rather "interesting" patient was admitted. From calling the ambulance herself not once but three times to accusing the facility of giving her a UTI that was likely already present the day she was admitted, this patient has, from day one, expressed her dissatisfaction with the care she has been receiving.
I have been this patient's nurse every day that I'm working there, and while there haven't been any actual issues between us, almost every time she puts on her call light for a nurse and I go into her room, she asks for another nurse, even giving a specific name of a particular nurse she wants. This patient does allow me to give her medications, but whenever she has questions, she always requests to speak to this other nurse instead. Even during situations that she calls "emergent," whenever I ask if I can help, she says, "Oh, no, I'll just wait until so-and-so is available." She also frequently comes to the nurse's station, and even if I'm the one sitting there, she always asks to speak to this other nurse.
I'm not terribly offended, because it sounds like the nurse she keeps asking for is the only one in the facility that she likes. Other nurses have had similar issues, even worse issues (I would hate to be the nurse that she accused of giving her a UTI!). However, my thought is, it seems like this patient does not really want me as her nurse, for whatever reason, even though she has not specifically said "I do not want you for my nurse."
However, there are some options that I have been thinking about and wondering which may be the best:
1. Remind the patient that while I'm there for my shift, I'm her nurse, and that the nurse she is requesting is busy with other patients.
The main reason for this option is that it involves not bothering this other nurse with issues that I, as this patient's nurse, should be taking care of. However, doing so may also cause further resentment in this patient, and if there's someone that the patient finds more suitable, it may not be in anyone's best interest to force her to keep working with someone she is reluctant to work with. The only problem is, sometimes this specific nurse is not available, so at one time or another, she will have to work with a different nurse.
2. Continue to take this patient as part of my med-pass assignment, but whenever she has a question, find the other nurse.
With this option, I would be taking care of the medications for this patient, so the other nurse would not have to worry about that, but would also be accommodating this patient's request to work with someone she feels more comfortable with. At the same time, this may be unfair to the other nurse, who has her own patients to take care of.
3. Change assignments altogether. Since there are 20 patients that we split into two groups of 10, maybe, until this patient is discharged, I should take the group of patients that this one particular patient is not a part of.
This may be the best option so the patient can have the caregiver she provides and the other nurse would not be "bothered" since it would be her patient anyways. This may also relieve frustration on both of our ends. For the patient, it is frustrating when the nurse who seems to be able to answer her questions the best is not available. At the same time, the constant "rejection" is frustrating for me, and I feel guilty about passing on my work to this other nurse.
Honestly, I feel that this has more to do with this patient "connecting" more with this other nurse than it has to do with mine, or the other nurses', abilities to be a nurse. In the past nine months that I have worked at this job, this has been the only patient that has repeatedly asked for a different nurse, and there have been many times that I have been the preferred nurse.
However, I am just trying to figure out a way for this patient to receive the care she needs in the way that is most comfortable for her. If that means that I am not her nurse, I am willing to step back and let someone else do it. At the same time, this patient seems to have unrealistic expectations that this one nurse that she favors will always be there for her.
What are your thoughts?