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Real tips for patients

Ob/Gyn   (3,566 Views 20 Comments)
by JRapha'sRN JRapha'sRN (Member)

JRapha'sRN has 6 years experience and specializes in med/surg, rural, ER.

2,632 Profile Views; 127 Posts

I've read the "Rules for the OB Unit" and love that thread! It has so much I can relate to as an ER nurse (and I love the ER thread of the same nature!) :lol2: However, being about ready to deliver my first baby I don't want to be the PITA healthcare worker we have a reputation for. I know as an RN I enter L&D with a strike against me and want to be the best patient I can. Do you have any REAL tips for being a good patient? Obviously I already know that my nurses are not waitresses, so I don't need tips of that nature. I know the "Rules for the OB Unit" contains a lot of real thoughts, frustrations and rules you would like to post. I'm not asking for a repeat of that thread. I just know that healthcare workers make some of the worst patients and don't want to be "that nurse in room xx"... (I hope that makes sense.)

(I would like to clarify that I am not asking for any medical advice, just advice on how you would like your patients to act)

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SmilingBluEyes has 20 years experience.

2 Followers; 19,552 Posts; 65,005 Profile Views

Be yourself and keep your mind open. And be assertive in expressing your needs. Really, you don't have to do more.

Congratulations and good luck to you. I wish you the very best.

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Myxel67 has 15 years experience and specializes in Diabetes ED, (CDE), CCU, Pulmonary/HIV.

463 Posts; 5,376 Profile Views

Don't worry about being the perfect patient. If you need something you can't get for yourself, ask for help. If you have pain or distress ask for help. Unless you are having the baby where you work, don't tell them you are a nurse.

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Be yourself and keep your mind open. And be assertive in expressing your needs. Really, you don't have to do more.

Congratulations and good luck to you. I wish you the very best.

I couldn't have said this any better. And remember to relax, and that you aren't the first nurse who's concerned about delivering in an area in which she doesn't work. Don't feel bad about asking any questions which come up since OB isn't your field. The OB people probably would have questions if they were a patient on your floor. Don't worry about it. :)

I'm sure you'll do just fine, and I hope you have a happy and healthy delivery!

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I love taking care of nurses! It's your time to relax (well--you don't have to do any charting or the like, though you will be doing very hard work :) ) and be cared for...enjoy it! Be yourself, don't be afraid to ask questions...if I went to the ER I'd ask a lot of questions because while I know a lot about OB, there's a lot I don't know about other nursing/medicine ya know! Don't be afraid to advocate for youself or your baby. And don't feel bad taking your phone off the hook and putting a "NO VISITORS, NEW MOM SLEEPING sign on your door...well meaning co-workers can really cut into much needed rest when they pop in for a visit on postpartum. (My youngest is 3 months and I'm so glad I did this the day after I had him..only for a few hours but so worth it)

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KellNY is a RN and specializes in High Risk In Patient OB/GYN.

710 Posts; 7,478 Profile Views

Prepare yourself

~Take a childbirth class (I suggest one independant of the hospital-if you can)

~Know the basics. I don't expect you to be able to teach an anatomy lesson, but most pregnancy books and childbirth classes cover things like where your uterus is, what an amniotic sac is (don't get me wrong, I *love* Pt. ed...it's one of my favorite roles of nsg).

~If you plan on having an unmedicated birth, don't show up with no resources. Practice relaxation techniques, research different positions and maneuvers to help with the pain. Bring some lotions and massagers, etc.

~Know that your nurse is not your doula. You won't have someone sitting with you the whole labor rubbing your back and breathing with you. (although I'd love to do that....that's why I'm also a doula, but they're very different roles) By all means if you think you need someone like that, consider hiring a doula.

~Tell us if some info is private. If your mom doesn't know you have herpes, we'll lie when she asks what the valtrex is. If your partner doesn't know about those abortions before you met, I won't mention anything about it.

~TALK TO YOUR DOCTOR! Don't assume that s/he'll "let" you eat or drink during your labor. Or that s/he'll even be there when you're admitted.

~Likewise (and perhaps more importantly) tour the hospital and speak with the L&D nurses. I can't tell you how many Pts I have come in who's doctor told them they didn't need continuous fetal monitoring and could eat. During a Pit induction? Nope, sorry. Or who's doctor told her she could bring her 5 friends into the labor room with her. Uh uh.

~As they mentioned, don't worry about being a good patient! Most of my "bad" patients were those trying to be good. "Well, I didn't tell you when I first started bleeding and feeling that pain because I didn't want to bother you. Why is it gushing now?" or "I don't think it's a big deal, but I've been contracting every 5mins for the past few hours. It started right after you left and I didn't want to be a pain" (both on ante pts)

~On the same account, if you can, do. (Or if your support person can, do!) Meaning, if the nurses have shown hubby where the ice machine is, and the floor looks busy, it can be a teeny bit frustrating when you buzz every 10 minutes for more ice. Especially being a nurse, if you can measure your own I&Os, please do. Stuff like that.

~Try to bang out all the requests at once. Nothing is more annoying than a call bell going off every 5 minutes, with the following requests (one per call, of course) "Can I have some socks? Can I have some ice chips? I have heart burn, could I have something for that? Oh yeah, and my head hurts. Could my mom have a box of tissues?" There's really no reason that couldn't have been done all at once.

That's all I can think of for now...

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crissrn27 has 8 years experience as a RN and specializes in nursery, L and D.

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Don't worry about being a PITA. Worry about you and your baby. The good nurses won't consider you a PITA if you make sane, rational request for whats best for you and baby. And who cares about the other ones? I don't think, since you are concerned about this, that you are one of the pts that will demand a coke every 15 min., want 1 to 1 care for back rubs postpartum, etc. Of course no one wants to come off as a pain in the butt, but what I consider a PITA and what some of my coworkers consider a PITA are different. You can't please everyone always. Don't worry about it and have a safe and happy birth! And let us know when the happy day arrives!

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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 read the "rules for the ob unit" and love that thread! it has so much i can relate to as an er nurse (and i love the er thread of the same nature!)

(i would like to clarify that i am not asking for any medical advice, just advice on how you would like your patients to act)

i have never worked ob, and cannot respond to your specific concerns, but as to how i'd want a patient to act . . . i can add a few to the excellent suggestions already here:

 

don't "move in." honestly. i work in an icu, and we've had pateints bring boxes and boxes of junk in and none of it ever goes home. i don't want to be responsible for your laptop, dvd player, ipod or jewellry. you don't really need a whole library of movies, tapes and books, either. one or two a day will probably hold you.

 

since you're a nurse, you already know we cannot discuss the patient in the next bed (or the next room, or the one at the end of the hall who is screaming loud enough to wake the dead) with you. so please, don't wink at me and ask me to "share." i won't.

 

the fact that you're a hospice nurse does not mean you understand all the nuances of cardiac surgery and can tell me how to do my job. nor does the fact that your husband is a l & d nurse mean he knows all about the cath lab. and even if your mom is the don of the nursing home, she doesn't know all about the er. trust me, we can take care of you without the advice. this is your time to relax and be the patient.

 

i can tell because you're asking the question that you probably have a good handle on all of this -- but for someone who might read this thread who doesn't, this is for them!

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HappyNurse2005 is a RN and specializes in LDRP.

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well, why do you even have to tell them you are a nurse at all?

we don't ask anyone their profession when they come in to deliver, unless it is a social conversation making type thing.

first of all, don't worry about being " a good patient". this birth experience you will remember forever, do what it takes to make it memorable for you, not more pleasant for the staff. of course, this doesn't mean thinking that b/cy ou are a nurseyou can break the rules (more visitors than permitted, etc), but dont worry about not complaining or not asking for whatyou need b/c you dont want to be a "bother".

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JaneyW has 9 years experience and specializes in Perinatal, Education.

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I actually really like to take care of nurses or pts with nurse-relatives. Most of the time they are very helpful and it is so much easier to explain things to someone with a general knowledge of anatomy and physiology and how the medications work, etc. I try not to assume they know everything and always make sure they get their questions answered/addressed just like all other patients!

I had a postpartum patient a while back and her mom was a retired RN. The pt took a shower, and I started changing her bed. The mom popped up and took over and shooed me away saying, "I know you have other things to do--go chart!" She was enjoying herself and told me that she hadn't changed a pt bed in three years. What a pleasure fellow RNs can be at times. I know this isn't always the case (or you wouldn't have started the thread!), but I have had good experiences!!

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388 Posts; 6,234 Profile Views

I usually have good experiences taking care of nurses, too. Just go and have a positive, safe delivery of your baby. And, as previously stated, don't ask for coffee prepared "just so" every 5 minutes and you should do just fine. :)

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