What Kind of Patients Do You LIKE Most?

Nurses Relations


  • Long Term Care Columnist / Guide
    Specializes in LTC, assisted living, med-surg, psych.

OK, we have an active thread about the types of patients and conditions we don't enjoy dealing with......now let's have one about the ones we DO like to take care of. :D

As I said on the other thread, I love the grumpy old men.....once you get them talking, they almost always warm up and start telling you war stories. By the time your shift is over, they've fallen in love with you and never give you another moment's grief during the rest of their stay.

Another favorite patient is the one who is actually interested in their condition and thirsty for knowledge. They will often look to you for guidance in dealing with it because you are a nurse and they trust you. These are always the patients you bump into months later at the Safeway and they point you out to their companion as "the nurse who was so nice to me". They will also thank you profusely for teaching them about their disease and tell you what a difference you made in their life. Needless to say, this doesn't hurt one bit.

But the patients I love the most are the ones who face even the gravest conditions with courage, faith, and resilience. I am reminded of a 50-something gentleman who made frequent visits to the hospital where I worked about a dozen years ago; diagnosed with Stage IV esophageal cancer, he somehow became a beacon of hope not only to the legions of friends who came to visit him, but to all of us as well. We often found ourselves in his room even when we didn't need to be, drinking deep of his wisdom and bravery; he was like a candle in the darkness even as the cancer ravaged him and gradually robbed him of his ability to speak or swallow.

One evening after he'd had a stent placed to keep his esophagus from closing completely, he made me promise I'd go to the doctor for my case of GERD, to which I'd confessed after he insisted on knowing why I was always hiccuping and stifling burps. That was how his CA had begun, and he didn't want the same thing to happen to me. Typically, I never thought of it again until word came that he had passed away in another hospital.....Well, suffice it to say that I sought treatment shortly thereafter, and have rarely suffered with GERD since. And I owe it all to David. :saint:

Specializes in FNP, ONP.

Anyone compliant with the plan of care.

I like the patients who take an interest in their care, without going about it in a pain-in-the-butt kind of way. I've only taken care of one patient like that. Most patients I've taken care of are passive, frustratingly so.

Specializes in Emergency/Cath Lab.

I like patients who take the time to ask honest and thought out questions that really can make a difference to them.

The one that shook my hand the other night saying thanks for saving his life. Honest gratitude really makes up for the 100 thankless *******s you get.

And this isnt from patients but I still like it.

I like when my charge nurse comes to me and tells me she is glad I am working that night, that she trusts my judgement and that I have been doing a good job ever since I started working with them. Appreciation for what I do. Speaks wonders.

TheCommuter, BSN, RN

176 Articles; 27,610 Posts

Specializes in Case mgmt., rehab, (CRRN), LTC & psych.

1. Pleasantly confused patients who are low fall risks, easily redirected, and do not attempt to pull out peripheral IVs, feeding tubes, oxygen tubing, etc.

2. AOx4 patients who are easygoing, pliant, and gracious.


650 Posts

I love:

1) Spunky old ladies who drop inappropriate comments just for a laugh. (Actually, I don't mind the dirty old men either as long as it's all talk and no grabby-hands.)

One I'm thinking about in particular used to park herself at the nurses station during the doctors' morning rounds so she could check them out and flirt with them!

2) People who know their meds and/or want to know what's in the med up.

3) Palliative patients with supportive families.

4) Post-ops who WANT to get better and, while they often over do it, what they are not doing is being helpless.

5) Grumpy (but not rude) old ladies and men. I make it my goal to make them smile.

6) Anyone with a good sense of humour.

RNperdiem, RN

4,592 Posts

I like ICU patients who have made a wonderful recovery, are in good spirits and are waiting for transfer out of the unit. The more dramatic the recovery the better. I like seeing people do well.


465 Posts

All of the above! I love extubating patients and having them do well afterwards and everyone is so excited. I love people who say thank you, I love people that want to hold my hand, and patients who are funny and can make me laugh or just talk about random nonsense with...so nice. I've been TOO lucky I've had so many wonderful patients and families in a row...I think I'm doomed.

I like them ALL. Do you appreciate what I am doing.. do you fight what I am doing.. do you even realize what I am doing?

Doesn't matter. I will make sure you get the best care and I enjoy the challenge of making sure that it happens.


650 Posts

I like them ALL. Do you appreciate what I am doing.. do you fight what I am doing.. do you even realize what I am doing?

Doesn't matter. I will make sure you get the best care and I enjoy the challenge of making sure that it happens.

Of course we all try our hardest to give good care no matter what type of patient they are, but some are more enjoyable and honestly rewarding to look after than others, and I think that is the vein in which this thread is intended.

Having said that, what you say is true. We should all endeavour to provide the best care possible, regardless of who it is we are caring for.

KelRN215, BSN, RN

1 Article; 7,349 Posts

Specializes in Pedi.

When I worked in the hospital, my favorite patients were:

- The chronic kids who had awesome parents. You walked in the room with their morning meds and the parents had them washed, changed and dressed for the day, took their meds from you and had them into the kid in 14 seconds and then started their am feed.

- Independent teenagers who would put their own tray back in the tray rack, walk to the kitchen to get themselves a glass of water and order their own food. These patients tended to turn around very quickly because of how awesome they were.

- School aged kids who asked the best questions.

Specializes in LTC Rehab Med/Surg.

I like the gruff old guys best. Rarely have I scraped away the gruff, and found a mean old man. They make me smile with their attempts at being grouchy.

A close second are the couples. The pair that come to the hospital when only one is sick, simply because they can't imagine not sharing even that part of their life. Not the young ones. The couples who've been married 50-60-70 yrs. Their devotion to each other is a source of inspiration to me.

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