We’ve all had a patient like this…
1) The guy covered in tattoos who is whining about you starting an IV because it is going to hurt. I’ve had both, a tattoo and multiple IV starts. I will take the IV any day. Don’t tell me an IV hurts worse than your body ink.
2) The bossy patient who tells you where to put their IV because “my veins roll.” Here’s a heads up. EVERYBODY’s veins roll. That’s why we can bend our arms.
3) The mom who tells you that her 5 year old won’t take the medicine because they ‘don’t like it’. Since when is being a child part of a democratic process? You will take your medicine because I am bigger than you. To illustrate this point, I will make YOUR kid take his or her medicine. See how easy that was?
4) The patient who has had abdominal pain for three days but suddenly is starving and annoyed at you that they can’t eat because they haven’t eaten since breakfast. A quick rule of thumb: you can go three weeks without food, three days without water, and three minutes without oxygen. When you are here for three weeks without food, let me know.
5) The patient who starts freaking out on you because the cardiac monitor is reading a flat line. A lead fell off. You are not dead or you couldn’t be yelling at me.
Now your turn…I wanna know YOUR favorite patient ‘types’.
Rebekah Child attended the University of Southern California for her bachelor's in nursing and decided to brave the academic waters and return for her master's in nursing education, graduating in 2003 from Mount St. Mary's. Rebekah has also taught nursing clinical and theory at numerous Southern California nursing schools and has been an emergency nurse since 2002. She is currently one of the clinical educators for an emergency department in Southern California and a student (again!) in the doctoral program at the University of California, Los Angeles.
By Rebekah Child