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Pt./Family Comments that Leave You Speechless

Posted

Specializes in Medical Surgical. Has 15 years experience.

I seem to be hearing more and more comments from patients and families that just leave me speechless. I can think of no good response except helpless laughter, which I can't indulge in, so I bite my tongue and say nothing at all.

Here's two from last night:

Family observing nurse use barcoder to give insulin (or rather, struggle valiantly to use the barcoder, since it malfunctions about every three minutes): "Aren't you glad that you won't have to worry about making so many medicine errors anymore now that you have a great machine to do your thinking for you?"

And from a patient who wanted the max in IVP pain meds and slept very soundly through one of the prn time windows: " You should have woke me up or at least have it all drawn up and been standing by my bed waiting for me to wake up." What in the world can you say to comments like those? :smackingf

Edited by Joe V

chenoaspirit, ASN, RN

Specializes in Med/Surg, Home Health.

omg, so funny. I had a patient once ask me ow he got a fishing line stuck in his arm (IV tubing).

PICNICRN, BSN, RN

Specializes in PICU/NICU. Has 14 years experience.

All the time family members say to me "I don't know how you do this everyday" and then I know what is coming....

"I could never do this, I hate to see children suffer" or "I could never do this, I just love kids too much!"

I just want to say "Yeah... I love seeing kids suffer!" I've spent my entire adult life taking care of critically ill children because I don't really like them!":eek:

meluhn

Specializes in acute rehab, med surg, LTC, peds, home c. Has 16 years experience.

Heads are going to roll if my mom gets any sicker and you will all be held accountable, as she points to everyone at the nurses station including the unit sec., house keeper, MDs etc. The worst part was, she was a nurse.

blondy2061h, MSN, RN

Specializes in Oncology. Has 15 years experience.

The patients that call at 2150 saying, "Don't you remember, back at 8:30 I told you I wanted my sleeping pill at 9:45." Yeah, sorry about that, I was doing an EKG on my patient that just converted to rapid afib and hanging a cardizem drip. Next time, I'll make sure your sleeping pill is a higher priority and be there by 9:46 at the latest."

Cinqly, BSN, RN

Specializes in ICU, Med-Surg, Post-op, Same-Day Surgery. Has 8 years experience.

At 2 in the morning after patient X calls for pain meds but subsequently refuses them down her NG tube when we get to the room: "I know my rights! You can't force me to take anything! I'm going to call the TV News people on you! You'll all be on Fox News because of this."

Nurse to patient X: "M'am, you don't have to take anything if you don't want to. But these are the pain meds you just asked for...?"

Patient responds: "Pain meds? Oh. I guess that's ok. Hold off on the news people for now. You can juice me up with those pain pills now."

Oh. OK. No problem then!!!! But I always did want my 15 minutes of fame.....!

ShayRN

Specializes in Corrections, Cardiac, Hospice. Has 18 years experience.

Family asked if they could stay in the room for the night after the body of patient went to the morgue.

When I worked the hospital I had a patient leave AMA one night and the next night show up with his suitcase in hand. Seems he changed his mind and wanted to check back in to his room from last night.

How do you respond to this nonsence?

icyounurse, BSN, RN

Specializes in MICU, SICU, PACU, Travel nursing.

Had a patient who had a tear in his airway that was incompatible with life, not to mention advanced terminal lung cancer who was vented and on SEVEN drips after wife had given him some "miracle juice" she bought at the healthfood store through his G-tube and he aspirated it. She was loopy religious and I had the pleasure of participating in the discussion with MD and family about how the patient is going to die and they need to consider DNR/hospice. She refused adamantly and asked the doctor if he was going to go on TV with her and tell everyone about it "when the miracle happened" and he was cured.

Also told nursing staff we were all "the devil" and that we were trying to kill him and that even if we managed to kill him she could resurrect him from the dead. She had "prophecies" everyday and told us all about them.

Oh and yes, she was POA and hospital lawyers were involved and told us we must respect her wishes and keep this poor man alive. Needless to say, the patient had a new nurse everyday as it was too much for the same person to have more than one shift..............

Edited by icyounurse
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ShayRN

Specializes in Corrections, Cardiac, Hospice. Has 18 years experience.

Had a patient who had a tear in his airway that was incompatible with life, not to mention advanced terminal lung cancer who was vented and on SEVEN drips after wife had given him some "miracle juice" she bought at the healthfood store through his G-tube and he aspirated it. She was loopy religious and I had the pleasure of participating in the discussion with MD and family about how the patient is going to die and they need to consider DNR/hospice. She refused adamantly and asked the doctor if he was going to go on TV with her and tell everyone about it "when the miracle happened" and he was cured.

Also told nursing staff we were all "the devil" and that we were trying to kill him and that even if we managed to kill him she could resurrect him from the dead. She had "prophecies" everyday and told us all about them.

Oh and yes, she was POA and hospital lawyers were involved and told us we must respect her wishes and keep this poor man alive. Needless to say, the patient had a new nurse everyday as it was too much for the same person to have more than one shift..............

OMG. You just can't make this stuff up. :eek:

icyounurse, BSN, RN

Specializes in MICU, SICU, PACU, Travel nursing.

OMG. You just can't make this stuff up. :eek:

LOL, no you can't. I went on maternity leave before he passed, so I am still not sure what happened there. I am sure it was pretty bad...........

emmalou*

Specializes in Med/Surg; aged care; OH&S. Has 14 years experience.

middle aged man who informed me before i was about to give him an injection - "if you hurt me with that thing i'll hit you". uh no you won't. i promptly walked outside and asked the very burly, very male charge nurse to give the injection. no more complaints from mr nasty pants for the rest of the shift. :no:

a female visitor who walked up to me with a bag of fruit for her son and asked me to wash them. when i very kindly showed her the sink and tap, she put in a complaint about me for being non compliant. because that's why i went to nursing school, to wash fruit. :angryfire

after i just finished assisting in what was obvious to most people, an emergency situation (code blue) and had hair flying out of my pony tail, was sweating like a pig and was cleaning up the room, a relative asked me why her son's bed hadn't been made. it was around 9am.

picnicrn's comment really resonated with me. i've lost count of the number of people (not just patients/visitors, but friends, family etc) who inform me they are far too "nice" to be a nurse and "just couldn't stand seeing people in pain". yes. i love seeing people in pain and am obviously not nice. passive aggressive much?

honestly! :stone

VivaLasViejas, ASN, RN

Specializes in LTC, assisted living, med-surg, psych. Has 20 years experience.

A female visitor who walked up to me with a bag of fruit for her son and asked me to wash them. When I very kindly showed her the sink and tap, she put in a complaint about me for being non compliant. Because that's why I went to nursing school, to wash fruit. :angryfire

Hey, I just found out that I went to nursing school to be a janitor AND an ant exterminator! Seriously.........my nursing home is built on top of what must be one of western Oregon's biggest ant hills, and since the weather's warmed up they've been coming in to feast on the food that gets left on the floor, in residents' rooms, the lunchroom etc. Tonight a family flagged me down while I was trying to get ten blood sugars and ten sliding-scale insulins done, and told me that ants were EVERYWHERE in the dining room; OK, I'm in scrubs---do I look like the frackin' Orkin man?! So I go check it out, and sure enough, there are trails of them all over the room, crawling over dropped food morsels and residents' feet alike.

I ask the aides, "What do we do?" They inform me that they were told at their last in-service that if someone complained about ants, to have him/her see the charge nurse!! Now, what idiot came up with THAT idea?!!:angryfire I'm not trained to deal with ant invasions, that's what we've got maintenance people for, only they won't come in on the weekends and spray like everyone else does. With this family trailing me all over the building, I consult with the other charge nurse, who says to call the maintenance director to find out what to do. HE tells me just to mop 'em up with some bleach water. Yeah, like I have absolutely NOTHING else to do..........Grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr!:devil:

It's not that I don't want to help. Frankly, I'm embarrassed that our facility has such a bad ant problem, and I wish the people who are supposed to know what to do would just do it so these things don't happen anymore. But here's this family, expecting me to not only kill every ant in the dining room but their grandpa's room as well, even after I explained to them that it wasn't on my unit and I needed to get back to my own patients.

So I got HIS charge nurse, explained the situation to her, and gave her the mop bucket so she could go do battle in the room. Hey, I figured there was plenty of humiliation to go around, and I literally didn't have time to be messing around on another unit when I had all these fingersticks to do and yet another resident's daughter was following me around the unit wanting to know when I was going to replace the dressing SHE accidently ripped off her mother's behind when she oh-so-helpfully pulled down her briefs as she was transferring to the commode. YAAAAAAAAAARRRRRRRRRGGGGGGGGGGGGGHHHHHHH!!!:trout::flamesonb:flmngmd:

RNontheroad

Specializes in critical Care/ICU-traveler.

Once I had a patients wife that showed up the next night after her husband had died and requested to see the body. I guess she thought we were going to let him keep the room forever.

RN1982

Specializes in ICU/Critical Care.

The patient I took care of a few days ago had a chest tube that was placed to water seal way before my shift started so when I came in and got my report, I did my assessment, she was in respiratory distress and the chest tube had to be placed to suction. She accused me of making her feel worse but in subsequent stories to other staff she would say that it all started after she burped at noon. Ok, I don't get it. It started at noon after you burped but it's my fault anyways even though I was here at 7. Ok.

Edited by RN1982

mama_d, BSN, RN

Specializes in tele, oncology. Has 10 years experience.

The one who told us "you know, that one nurse broke my ribs when she did CPR on me. I hate having to do it, but I had to call a lawyer. It's her fault that my ribs hurt so bad now." And the alternative would be not feeling pain at all b/c you would be dead, ever think about that one?

Or the daughter who told me when discussing code status..."We want mom to have CPR, but if she dies just let her go." My flabergasted reply..."We pretty much only do CPR on dead people."

On a different note...I was taking care of one of our frequent flyers last night, but one of the really nice, compliant, polite ones who you don't mind having. She's supposed to be d/c'd today, so as I left this morning I jokingly told her that I enjoyed taking care of her but try to spend more than two weeks at home between admits this time. She told me, very sincerely, that the next time she comes in she's going to tell the ED people to make sure she comes to our floor and request that I take care of her as much as possible b/c I'm her favorite nurse that she's ever had. Keep in mind, this is a woman who hasn't been home for more than three months at a time over the last two years, probably every tele nurse in house has cared for her at one point or another. I was floored. It made my day.

kakamegamama

Specializes in MCH,NICU,NNsy,Educ,Village Nursing.

To RNontheroad-

I know that that woman who came in the day after her husband died & wanted to see his body probably seemed weird to you, but I hope you were kind when you explained to her that his body had been removed. She was probably not thinking too clearly--after all, her husband just died. And, when that happens, one can easily lose the ability to think clearly. Sometimes, we ask what seem to be ridiculous questions, but in our minds they make perfect sense.--that's part of the brain fog that grief produces. We just need some compassion and kindness from the staff who have taken care of our loved ones, not to be left feeling dumb for asking what seemed to be a good question at the time.

talaxandra

Specializes in Medical.

Or the daughter who told me when discussing code status..."We want mom to have CPR, but if she dies just let her go." My flabergasted reply..."We pretty much only do CPR on dead people."

No wonder so many families decide to have their critically ill, frail, elderly relatives for full resus.

I've had two relatives of unrelated stroke patients ask about brain transplantation. My favourite was the second one, who told me he knew his wife loved her father more than him and would be devastated by her father's death so he'd be happy to donate his brain to his father-in-law. Well, he clearly wasn' using it! I felt like saying "How would your brain in her father's body help your wife?" Ick, ick, ick on the sex front!

I once had a hysteria of family members tumble into the corridor yeling for help because their mother's "pressure's dropping!!!" As you can imagine, half the staff pour into the room... to find the patient, looking perfectly fine, sitting up in bed and not a sphygmo in sight.

Me: What makes you think her blood pressure's low?

ER-watching daughter: I could see it

Me (looking around the room again): How?

Daughter (with exaggerated patience at having to explain basics to the idiot nurse): On the machine

Me: That's an IV pump

Lorie P.

Specializes in Med/Surge, Private Duty Peds.

was doing my assessment on a terminal pt this past week, he stated he felt like he was going to pass out. i asked him if he felt light headed, dizzy, faint, seeing stars, etc, he looked at me and said " i see monkeys", his wife replied, i never heard him say that before!!

a first for me.........had to bite my lip to keep from cracking up!!

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