Saturday, October 22, 2011

Me? I'm Nobody!

People deal with hospitalization in different ways. Some are patient and forbearing, some have taken that horrible advice from Reader's Digest et. al. ("What Your Doctor Isn't Telling You!" "10 ways to INSTANTLY GET WHATEVER YOU WANT IN HOSPITALS!" etc) and hope that by being the "squeaky wheel" they'll get better "service". Some prefer to take a different tack; or their families do:

I was in a patient's room this morning, my last shift of orientation. The patient was in A LOT of pain. Seems he'd been taking a few more painkillers at home than he had reported initially...oh well, too late to deal with that, it happens. I'm hooking him up to a different opioid for his PCA, and he's moaning in pain, writhing around, refusing to look at/deal with/acknowledge his colostomy (why is it always men who act like someone else is going to change/empty the damn thing forever?), and he says "god i hate people to see me like this!!!!"

Dude...i sympathize. I would rather have all SORTS of pain than have someone LOOK at me while i'm in it- but then his girlfriend (the 50 year old wearing the tweeny bopper sweatshirt)turns and goes "oh's okay...she's not people...she's just the nurse. she's nobody".

And I got just a little pissed off. I know people deal with pain and stress in different ways. Get mad at me. Swear a blue streak. Remind him that I'm pretty much cool about pain- dude had one HELL of a midline incision...he can get whatever he wants to numb that sucker- see it all the time, he's not my first guy in pain. But please PLEASE don't tell him "she's nobody". That sort of thing encourages people to treat us as interchangeable cogs in a wheel. As brainless automatons. As less than the professionals we are. I was in their changing his meds BECAUSE I CHASED DOWN HIS DOCS AND SUGGESTED THEY CHANGE HIS ORDERS TO A MED I THOUGHT MIGHT WORK BETTER FOR HIM.

But hey- who am I to argue- i'm Nobody.


Dana said...

Ohh that sucks! Makes you wish SHE had a wound you could just jab your finger into (k, that was really mean!) I also HATE when people say "She's JUST a nurse!" Ohhh....

Cait said...

Well that stings. And at that point, any favours for