Don’t get me wrong, I love my job. I truly love my job. I think I’m one of those nurses that actually enjoys what I do – the good and the bad. I don’t view our profession through a pair of rose colored glasses (at least I try not to). I keep it realistic. There are good and bad days, good and bad jobs, good and bad patients.
Sometimes you wonder what gets into our patients. I completely empathize and understand that we see them at some of the worst times of their life. I also can appreciate the level of fear and anxiety they must endure while they are recovering – but sometimes…. I mean… sometimes… our patients must be ‘outside their minds’!!! (sorry, yet another movie quote)
Here are some things (and some patients) that just blow me away:
- The patient who thinks that the hospital is really a Howard Johnson hotel/motel. I’m a nurse not your personal assistant. This is a hospital not a bed and breakfast.
- The patient who all of sudden loses their ability to pick up a glass of water that is within arms reach. There is tired, then there is just down-right laziness.
- The patient who thinks I won’t figure out they have been smoking in the bathroom. What’s that I smell in the bathroom? No, someone isn’t burning leaves outside your window. Nice try.
- Honesty truly is the best medicine. Lying will only make you feel better – not get better. When referring to your version of your alcohol use, and I can smell it on your breath – don’t tell me it was mouthwash. C’mon. Seriously?
- The pain scale is not open for interpretation. Telling me your pain is a 15/10 will not get you your medication any faster. Especially when (according to you) the pain medication I bring you (and that was ordered by your physician) is not strong enough.
- Oh, along the same lines of the pain scale example, referring to your pain medication as ‘Percs’ or ‘Vics’ or your ‘Oxy’ does not help the situation.
- By the way, the nursing staff does talk amongst each other. When you tell me, “that other nurse said it was ok / that other nurse allowed me” do you really think I’m going to let you have something to eat when you’re NPO.
There truly is a method to our madness, I promise. We don’t have it ‘in’ for you. We nurses are here to help you get better, get healthier and get the heck out of the hospital. But we can’t help those, who can’t help themselves.
(Please be sure to notice the heavy sarcasm and humorous tone of my sensible nature)