What is your Nursing Kryptonite?

Posted

Specializes in Special Procedures. Has 23 years experience.

It can be silly or serious. Just what task or patient type is it that really pushes your buttons irrationally?

I can handle most any task handed to me as long as it doesn't involve dentures. I suspect this is because I had a couple different family members that would chase me around with their dentures when I was little and would use them to terrify me. To this day I just can't. I can digitally remove stool from a patient or handle their sputum and not bat an eye but if they need me to handle their dentures I have to put on the biggest of my big girl nurse panties and really put my mind in a special place to do it.

As far as patient types go, I used to think my weakness was OBGYN and pediatrics-- but I quickly came to realize that it was just a matter of educating myself and I found myself not nervous while caring for these populations.

But no matter how much educating myself I do, I seem to have emotional bias against obese patients and their families when they remain non-compliant and refuse to take any ownership in the position they have found themselves in. To paint a picture of the scenario I'm talking about; When you have a 40 something year old very obese patient and family who get extremely angry with the healthcare team when we aren't able to undo 40+ years of abuse done to their body with one procedure or hospital visit. When they buck and refuse nearly all of the interventions we offer (a heart healthy diet and the family sneaks in 2 fast food meals every day, non-smoking policies and the patient sneaks off the floor coming back reeking of smoke) and then get angry when they aren't in much better shape on discharge than admission. I KNOW I have this bias against this type of scenario and it takes conscious effort to ensure that I give just as good of care to them as any other patient. These patients make me irrationally angry and get under my skin like no other. I seem to take it personally when things don't go well. Again, I think much of this comes back to my own personal fears regarding my own parents being very unhealthy people and their unwillingness to acknowledge their contribution to their health problems.

There are all kinds of patient scenarios that annoy me (asthmatic kids coming in several times a month with parent's 'unable to afford' their Rx but perfectly able to afford the cigs they chain smoke in the closed car with their kids inside) but I don't really think those are as irrational. I think MOST people would be annoyed by them. I want to know what scenarios get under your skin in a "disproportionate to stressor" type of way.

The best thing you can do, in my opinion, is to self-acknowledge these areas and be prepared for them and make sure at the end of the day you can say that regardless of your emotions, you treated the situation as you would have treated any other situation. How do you deal with these weaknesses?

Farawyn

Has 25 years experience.

Colostomies. Hands down.

I deal by...muddling through. I deal by being empathetic towards the patient and giving the best care I can.

It is a challenge.

margin261

Specializes in Urology, HH, med/Surg. Has 15 years experience.

Trachs. And suctioning anything. That noise!! I can usually do ok unless something thick clogs it up, then I'm gagging! When I worked in the hospital, I would trade putting in Foleys (strangely, one of my favorite things to do) for someone else to go suction my patient!

Hollybobs

Specializes in ICU. Has 5 years experience.

What an interesting question!

For me, obese patients who struggle to control their eating to their own detriment fall under the same umbrella of needing compassion and care as any other patient with a psych disorder, physical health problem or addiction.

Also, I am immune to ALL bodily fluids (which I am secretly rather proud of!).

HOWEVER, I struggle with any patient who is sleazy, creepy or attempting to engage in weird abusive power-control games. I don't mean as a result of an infection or dementia or head injury or frontal lobe damage. I mean people who are demonstrably the same in their personal lives. When I have them I have to try so hard to be neutral and professional, especially if I see them cornering any younger nurses who are less able to draw boundaries or deal with borderline inappropriate behaviour. I am ashamed of this and maintain a professional care approach but I hate doing it. Not a situation where I feel any real compassion or care for my patient, I have to manufacture it so I fulfil the requirements of my job, I wish I could get round this.

Edited by Hollybobs
dithering

Farawyn

Has 25 years experience.

Trachs. And suctioning anything. That noise!! I can usually do ok unless something thick clogs it up, then I'm gagging! When I worked in the hospital, I would trade putting in Foleys (strangely, one of my favorite things to do) for someone else to go suction my patient!

*raises my hand*

I'll do both for you. :blink:

kiszi, RN

Has 9 years experience.

I know how important it is, and I just suck it up and do it, but I really have a strong aversion to mouth care.

Especially when it's a vent patient that hasn't been done for a while.. You know, the glob stuck to the suction swab that just strrretttches out :dead:

Edited by kiszi
Proofread, kiszi, proofread.

Farawyn

Has 25 years experience.

I know how important it is, and I just suck it up and do it, but I really have a strong aversion to mouth care.

Especially when it's a vent patient that hasn't been done for a while.. You know, the glob stuck to the suction swab that just strrretttches out :dead:

I get my hand in there with a gauze over my glove and dig. I'll do that, too. Just someone, please, for the love of all that is holy, trade off for my colostomies!

margin261

Specializes in Urology, HH, med/Surg. Has 15 years experience.

*raises my hand*

I'll do both for you. :blink:

You are the bestest!! Fortunately, I haven't had any trach pts in HH... Yet. If I do, I'll ship them to you, unless you fancy a visit to the deep south!?

margin261

Specializes in Urology, HH, med/Surg. Has 15 years experience.

I know how important it is, and I just suck it up and do it, but I really have a strong aversion to mouth care.

Especially when it's a vent patient that hasn't been done for a while.. You know, the glob stuck to the suction swab that just strrretttches out :dead:

I know exactly what you mean, I have nightmares about it!

Rose_Queen, BSN, MSN, RN

Specializes in OR, education. Has 16 years experience.

I hate hate hate oral secretions. One of the reasons I'll never be a CRNA.

As for patients, I can't stand the ones that start screaming in "pain" while the IV cath is still 1.5" away. If you start flipping out before the IV even touches you, how are you going to handle having your sternum split in half?

I second the trachs. I have a really hard time suctioning them without has having to run from the room.

Farawyn

Has 25 years experience.

I took a splinter out of one of my secretaries at school and she screamed so loud my SW said, from the next room, "Is it a boy or a girl?"

That guy. :sarcastic:

And she HIT me! Before I even touched her! Good lord.