Archive for June, 2009
Dear Nurse Marge,
I’m writing you because I honestly don’t know what to do. Two nights ago, we had a new admit on the floor who, when I came into his room, looked me up and down, snorted, and said I was too fat and ugly to care for him. He refused all care and DEMANDED another nurse.
My nurse manager supported me 100% and told him this behavior was unacceptable — either he let me care for him or he could leave. An exact quote from her: “We don’t have time for this nonsense!”
He stayed — but the whole time I took care of him, made snide comments about how I was disgusting and how every time I touched him I made him sicker. Looking at me was “marginally better than death.” We were flat out crazy that night, otherwise I would have swapped with someone. I was never so glad to see a shift end — and I was off for two days, so when I went back, he was gone.
My question is how am I supposed to handle this? I’m not a supermodel by any stretch of the imagination, but this guy makes me feel
Too Ugly to Nurse
Dear Too Ugly to Nurse,
What a jerk! I’m sorry this happened to you. It’s one of those ugly truths — just because someone’s a patient doesn’t mean they’re pleasant. This guy sounds like he had real issues. He’s the one with issues here — not you. It doesn’t matter WHAT you look like: if someone is rotten like this, he’ll be rotten to everyone.
It’s good your NM stood up for you but there was certainly more that could have been done. Abusive patients don’t need to have this type of behavior rewarded. It would have been nice to boot him out — let his health get worse than his opinion of your looks, and we’ll see who comes crawling back.
They say beauty is in the eye of the beholder, but I say that true beauty comes when you’re the one that be-holding that 14 needle! If he’s already disturbed by having you touch him to start an IV, he might as well have the full experience. We wouldn’t want to disappoint his expectations — after all, failure to meet patient expectations is one of the leading causes of patient dissatisfaction.
And we certainly can’t have that.
Horoscopes Just For Nurses!
This week will be full of temptations for you. Try hard to resist! While calling a cab for the PITA patient who wants to go AMA because you won’t give his freshly-showered self a bed bath MIGHT be helpful, it’s probably contraindicated on the care plan!
Financial pressures dominate your stars, Leo. Prudence and careful watching of the budget should get you through the week — or you could try filing a counter-suit that litigious pt who threatened to sue you every 2.2 seconds of your 10 hour shift. The grounds? Pain and suffering — not to mention a massive headache remedy bill!
When the previous shift greets you with apologies and prophylactic ativan, you know what type of week it’s going to be! Keep your chin up, Virgo: the end of the week holds great promise!
Libra longs for organization and structure this week, perhaps in an effort to squash feelings of being out-of-control. You might get your unit to go for the color coded scrubs, but the effort to assign beds based on how annoying the patient is likely to be won’t go too far…
Gossip and innuendo fill your floor this week, Scorpio. It’s not enough to ignore the back-biting: stand your ground and squash the negativity. Unless, of course, they’re talking about someone you don’t like…It might have worked for Dorothy Parker, but we don’t advise it for you!
Time management would be a snap, Sagittarius, if it wasn’t for all this pesky work that kept interrupting! Try to go with the flow: your stars show heightened levels of tension early in the week, but the situation shall straighten out by Wednesday.
Spotting sleeping sitters makes you envious Capricorn — but we assure you, there’s no where you can hide out and grab a quick 40 winks that isn’t within earshot of the call light. Visiting family members help you boost your energy levels: there’s nothing like a quick sprint away from “Grabby McGrabhands” to get you on edge.
Feelings of tension and stress are not alleviated when your latest admit comes accompanied by 4 security guards and enough chains to get an 18 wheeler through a snowstorm. Remember: appearances CAN be deceiving, but they don’t HAVE to be.
You will change someone’s life this week: potentially a patient’s, but more likely a colleague or peer facing burnout. Helping them helps you find clarity on a situation that’s been troubling you. Generosity of spirit is its own reward…but OT paychecks seem awfully tempting.
You know what “Do you really want to do that, Doctor?” means, and your charge nurse knows what it means, and it looks like the patient even knows what it means…but trust us, the Doctor doesn’t know. Communication difficulties can be resolved through persistence…or you could try therapeutic application of your hand to his forehead!
Confidence and composure trump actual nursing skills this week, as you’re faced with a number of *unique* situations. Kudos on your calm, cool, collected nature — or your ability to hold it all together until you get to the bathroom!
Solving scheduling problems takes up much of your week, Gemini — but we may have your solution: Time Travel! If you can just figure out how to be two (and sometimes three) places at once, you’ll have a no-stress week!
Star Charts by Suzanne LaBarne are for entertainment purposes only.
If you’re a woman over forty, you absolutely, positively HAVE to read Gina Barreca’s new book: It’s Not That I’m Bitter. I’ve just finished it, and it is HYSTERICALLY funny!
Here’s an excerpt: (more…)
Allergic to penicillin? So’s everyone and their best friend: good old PCN tops the charts for the most common medication allergy, followed closely by cephalosporins and sulfonamides.
But you know we’re barely scratching the surface here. We’re looking at the top of the proverbial allergy iceberg! So we turned to you, all the great nurses out there, and said, what’s the most uncommon patient allergy you’ve run across?
Here are some of the best answers: (more…)