Thursday, October 27, 2011

10 Ways To Upset Your Nurse

1. Deny a symptom (extra points if its something important like, say, chest pain), then IMMEDIATELY AFTERWARDS, report that same symptom to the doctor, adding that you've "had it for HOURS, and NOBODY treated you!": This will upset your nurse, because she will have been treating you based on the symptoms you REPORTED...and she will be mortified to have "missed" a symptom that could make a difference in your care. She may also want to strangle you a little bit.

2. Attempt to lunge out of bed after your major surgery, while still hooked up to tubes and wires: You might get hurt. Your nurse will have a heart attack.

3. Attempt to and/or actually grope your nurse: Then blame her negative reaction toward your loving caress on the fact that you're missing a limb. Clearly she would LOVE being groped by OTHER patients

4. Refuse hygiene care: We love clean people. We do. They're less likely to get infections. This is why, if you are unable to clean YOURSELF, we will competently do it for you. Head to toe. If you ask nicely, and i have an extra five minutes, i will braid your hair if it is long enough. After shampooing it. REFUSING TO BATHE AT ALL will upset your nursing staff. Also your doctors. What we do to you in the way of surgery, and meds, and immobility leaves NOBODY smelling like roses. please. Bathe.

5. Throw your dinner/lunch/breakfast: We get you might not be hungry. We understand if you dont like our food. But please don't throw it, at us or anywhere else. For one thing, I dont like smelling like miso salmon. For two, if you werent going to eat it, you could have left the cover on the tray, not touched it, and one of the techs would HAPPILY have eaten it. Hell, I might have happily eaten it. But now it's wasted, AND the room is a mess. and i'm probably a little scared of you.

6. Eat Things You Shouldn't: I'm not talking about an extra cookie. I'm talking about the uncontrolled diabetic ordering and eating a large extra-cheese pizza in his room. While on an insulin drip. Your sugars will go crayzee, and I will spend the next dozen hours sticking your finger every 30 minutes and cranking up and down the drip rate. Neither of us will enjoy this, but I'm the one catching flak from the docs for "allowing this to happen"...

7. Push Your Call-Bell every Five Minutes: I understand that you're scared, uncomfortable, and possibly alone in there. But there are five of you, and one of me. Pushing your call-bell constantly to ask for "slightly more ice in this" and then "no! now there's too much ice!" "i need the thermometer up! no! down!" etc. will just make slower at answering your light if i'm in the middle of something. The patients who only call me for things like "help! i cant reach this!" or " this blood?" are the ones who, when their light goes off, I drop other things and scurry in there. Because I know that for the little things, THEY WILL WAIT FOR ME TO POKE MY HEAD IN. I check in on my patients at least every hour, much more frequently on the ones who are immobile. Somehow though, the people who ring for more blankets, for ice, for juice, for LESS juice, for their meds NOW instead of in half an hour? they're generally perfectly ambulatory.

8. Dont let me know when something IS wrong: If you wait until i poke my head in, and you have been bleeding out your eyes, bellybutton, etc. for the past 20 minutes, i will be upset with you. That's a reason to push your call bell. Unexpected bleeding is actually a good reason to not just push your call bell, but to yell "help!" if necessary. Please don't wait until i find you passed out!

9. Take off your oxygen mask, wait until your oxygen saturations drop and your pulse-oximeter alarms like crazy to get my attention. While quite clever, and DEFINATELY creative, it falls into the category of screwing with your nurse. Do this too many times, and we will turn your alarms down, since we KNOW you're okay. Then, what if you're NOT okay? WE WONT KNOW. And that's not good for either of us.

10. Wait until patient services interviews you to tell us we've screwed up: if your room isn't clean, if you feel the docs don't spend enough time with you, if you dont like the way i made your bed, or you feel like your pain meds arent working, DONT TELL THEM BEFORE YOU TELL US. Some things can't be helped, but others can, and i'll happily tell you which are which. AND refer you to the patient services people to help you if i cant. But you make us feel like terrible people when you whisper our mistakes to others. Especially if its somethign that, had we known, we would have fixed IMMEDIATELY.

So...did i miss anything?

No comments: