Stuck between a rock and a hard place

Nursing Students CNA/MA


Specializes in none as of yet.

I intend to give the perfect amount of information here without giving out too much here. This p***** me off so much that I cannot sleep.

I had a resident who got a skin tear on her leg in the shower room; immediately told my nurse and she took off. I finished the shower and tried to wrap up the best I could so blood wouldn't get everywhere. I put said resident in bed. Same resident ran the call light literally every two minutes (I timed her in between my rounds) for the nurse to come in and deal with said skin tear. After I had put resident in bed, the nurse called me over to the nurses station and asked for v/s (for impending incident report) while she was eating her dinner (which she usually sends two hours trying to find out what she is going to get). After half an hour of this resident ringing their call light for the nurse and telling her "the nurse is aware of the situation", I reminded her about this resident needing their skin tear addressed. She claimed that she had to get doctors' orders before she could proceed (not doubting her, just frustrated this took so long!) I went on break after another half hour of this (an hour had passed since incident) and she supposedly addressed said skin tear while I was on break.

This lady was concerned about bleeding to death and it bothers me that it may have taken the nurse as much as an hour and a half to address this situation (resident was being overly dramatic, but still....). Nurse knew about the constant call light ringing and the desire of the resident to have skin tear addressed. If I am over-reacting, feel free to say so. I do care about my residents and I think many of you can understand where I am coming from. I am not going to lie and say that I wasn't bothered by the extensive call light ringing but I understand the residents' perspective.

Did I do the right thing and if not, what should I have done?

*have switched minor detail around to protect privacy

I'd be enraged if I were you.

And for the record, it could be different in your state, but here, nurses do NOT need Dr. orders to take care of a simple skin tear. They might have to notify the Dr. of some point of the wound (not sure about that part), but the actual looking at and bandaging the wound generally happens immediately here.

I also would probably have lost my patience and told the nurse that SHE could answer the resident's next call light and explain why she was being kept waiting so long. That's just ridiculous!

Staying on top of the situation and trying to resolve it to the best that your position would allow was absolutely the best thing. You did nothing wrong. As a student nurse, I had a similar experience - but fortunately this included a change of nurses half way through my shift. I had an 85 y/o female who was not tolerant to having her BP taken with the automatic cuff. She bruised easy and in fact, she showed me the bruises from earlier that day. The automatic puff seemed to go up to 200, which was way over her systolic value. I suggested (and offered) to take her BP manually. The first nurse scuffed, stating that the Pt was just confused. I actually ignored that and went around to other nurses, asking where the manual cuffs were (they had the manual types that are mounted on the walls).

I took her BP that way and while the Pt still experienced some discomfort, she thanked me up and down for causing (by far) the least amount of discomfort during her 4 day stay in the hospital. The new nurse came in, to which I reported what occurred and she wrote in her nursing notes that BP should be taken manually with this Pt - so it was nice in the end having a nurse who heard what I (and the Pt) were saying. I'm not going to comment on the first nurse.

Specializes in none as of yet.

I truly wish I could have told the nurse to answer her call light. We have been told by our management that if we don't answer call lights that we could be accused of neglecting our residents. Not to mention that if our residents need so much as a refill on their ice water that our nurses will actually look up and down the halls for a CNA to do it.

When the nurse saw I was getting frustrated by the whole situation, she had the nerve to tell me to "...have some sympathy for this resident" and was told to " her because she is upset over her boo-boo...". Really?!? These are grown people and this resident just wants her nurse to do her d*** job. Right before I left for break due to being really p***** off, I said to this nurse "You are not the one answering her call light every TWO minutes and having to tell her that the nurse knows what is going on." The resident even called one of their family members to complain about this nurse and I was more than happy to hand them the phone since I could at least do that for her!

Our head CNA even told this nurse that she needed to take care of her resident. She saw me answering all these call lights back-to-back and said it was ridiculous. I'm thinking if a similiar situation happens again that I am going to go straight to the supervisor on duty. I know this is a drastic measure but it would hopefully put some fire under this nurses' a**.

Specializes in LTC.

Oh wow. That would really **** me off too, most especially after the way she talked to you. Doctor's orders or not (in my facility they don't need to wait for them for something like this, but whatever), she could have at least went to see the resident just to *look* at the skin tear and explain why she couldn't do anything right away. That's probably all the resident wanted. Geez. Sounds like this nurse was playing games. I've had that happen too, to some extent- the resident wanted a PRN med and I tell the nurse and she gives me a look and says, "well isn't that too bad" What am I supposed to say? So I have to keep bugging her and answering this resident's call light back and forth, wasting time being in the middle. It was ridiculous.

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