The top 10 things you wish your patients would stop doing!

Thinkstock | Polka Dot

They may be the reason you have a job, but sometimes patients can be a giant pain in the you-know-what! We wanted to know what you wish they would stop doing (over…and over…and over again!), so we asked our Facebook fans for their top patient pet peeves. We know some of these will sound very familiar to you! Get ready to nod in agreement…and laugh while you’re at it!

The top 10 things you wish your patients would stop doing!

1. When they call me into their room to get Cokes or snacks for their visitors. Also, when they refuse care when the aide or I offer it, and they tell their visitors that they haven’t been bathed or had their linens changed…when they’ve refused it at least twice. Okay, and when they special-order wonderful-looking food (when I don’t have time to eat) and then insist it’s disgusting. Hmmm, this was all just yesterday!
—Cindy Flynn

2. I wish they’d stop hunting me down if I don’t come to their room IMMEDIATELY for a nonemergency.
—Ar Gy

3. Asking before they even see a doctor when they are going to be discharged…
—Mary Christa Wright

4. I am tiny and look young. People assume I am a student and ask, “When will you be a real nurse?” This real nurse has a master’s. =)
—Nancy Elisabeth

5. When the patient’s family in the delivery room asks, “How much does the baby weigh?” one minute after birth…when you are trying to get the baby to breathe. I always want to say, “Do you see a scale?” LOL
—Tammy Beemer

6. What I hate is how they see us all as one person: “You never gave me my meds yesterday” when “I” have had the last four days off.
—Marjorie Hays

7. I’m a nurse practitioner and I wish my patients would stop showing up late for their appointments and expect to be seen. It puts me behind and makes it bad for everyone who comes on time. And the lies they tell me about why they are late! The best is when they tell me they got a call to come later because I was running behind. That simply does not happen!
—Wendy Adams Rivard

8. I wish some patients would stop having 100 family members in the room when I’m trying to work. I don’t mind them having visitors at all—in fact, it makes me glad when they do. I just wish they would leave the room for the moment I’m there so I can maneuver around appropriately. It’s a lot of “fun” stepping over a bunch of feet or children, or having 20 eyes all on you when you’re just hanging a bag of fluid or meds.
—Andrea Webb

9. Being asked “Who’s ‘waiting’ on me?” If I was a waitress, I could’ve saved a lot on tuition. I usually answer with “I’ll be your nurse this shift.”
—Christine Steele

10. My big pet peeve is when the family calls at odd hours of the night (I work in a nursing home that has minimal staff on third) to get information on their family member and say, “Well, I called because I know you can’t be too busy when everyone is asleep” and expect a full report. Another is when family members ask me when the patient is going to die. I recently had someone call me and say they needed to know when the patient was going to die so she could have the plane tickets ready and time off from work. When I told her I had no way of knowing, she stated, “You’re a nurse, you’re supposed to know this stuff!”
—Lauriel Finch

What do you wish your patients would stop doing?!

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16 Responses to The top 10 things you wish your patients would stop doing!

  1. Smithteamracing RN

    When a patient has every flat surface in the room covered with “stuff” and half a dozen visitors that sit around & watch as I try to juggle the food tray and clear a spot to put it.

    • htarceno RN

      when you bring them their meal tray and they say “But I didn’t order this”

      • htarceno RN

        all these are great, and I can relate to them all.
        How about the patient who’s chatting on her cell phone while eating a snack, telling you “My pain is a 10”

  2. Dee Caption Contest

    Short-arm-syndrome upon admission – who wipes their butt at home?

  3. nursejacki

    Have had recently several family members of several different patients texting other family members who are ‘medical experts’ EVERYTHING we are doing OR not doing for their family member! You can just see their busy brains going, ‘Aha, I am texting that right now’! And then there go the fingers, tap, tap, tap, looking at us doing our thing, tap, tap, tap, looking at us, tap, tap, tap…………..that is a drive me crazy thing!

  4. hallen1992

    I hate it when family members crowd up the rooms so much that other residents can’t get in

  5. ahamby

    As an aide I completely relate to #1, I’m here to take care of the patient, not wait on their families hand and foot, if you haven’t been there all day helping with your family member, you don’t get a courtesy tray just because you showed up at meal time. And I get super frustrated when nurses or my supervisor tell me a patient has claimed to not been offered a bath or linen change when I’ve asked and they refused or told me they’d let me know when they wanted it. I usually have up to 18 patients by myself, that’s 18 linen changes and 18 baths on top of everything else I have to do, and I kill myself to get it all done…so please don’t lie when we both know you were offered both.

  6. Pingback: The top 10 funniest explanations your patients have given you | Life Line Alliance

  7. rnowakowski

    I hate it when a patient asks me for something, and then as soon as I walk out of the room they ask the next three people so they end up with extra, like towels or sugar, or I have three people telling me that the patient needs something, like pain meds.

  8. dfgoodrich

    Inform me they pay my salary, the way I look at it, I pay in to a system of taxes in which I will most likely never see a return from, so therefore I am self employed…. Another is, sending family members to hunt you down including walking into another pts. room if necessary to tell you they need assistance, when they have yet to use the call bell, or are to impatient to wait for assistance after less than 30 seconds of ringing for assistance.

  9. nurseSunshine

    I wish my patients would stop thinking we nurses are maids! I get emergency calls constantly to open the blinds or change the temp in their room or to remove the food tray…It is sooooooo annoying-but I show up with a smile anyway! :)

  10. suemet

    I work in the ER. My biggest pet peeve is when people come in “sick”, asking to eat & drink, and being picky while at it, claiming not to have eaten in hours. Policy is, no food or drink til results come in, and FYI, the ER is not the place to go for gourmet food…It is for Emergencies!

  11. b.festino1

    When you are performing peri care and the patient won’t stop moaning or saying “that feels nice… ” I feel like my job description just expanded a little to far..

    • mariebug924

      I know what you mean. I have patients that do that when I’m bathing them and I feel like if someone came in when they make those comments they might think something else is happening and it makes me feel a little uncomfortable. I also had a patient who was obsessed with a male aide I worked with to the point of stalking him. It got so bad that the facilities management had to step in and talk to her about it.

  12. htarceno RN

    I had a patient say his drug screen came back positive for cocaine due to ‘passive inhalation’

  13. erccrn

    Gets old when you inventory pts and ask if they have hearing aides and every one responds HUH?