We’ve all had a patient like this…

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OK, you know you have had a patient or two 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’.

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Rebekah Child

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.

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12 Responses to We’ve all had a patient like this…

  1. Pingback: Some patients… « My Strong Medicine

  2. ARN

    The patient who says “I wont bother you at all”….ohhhhhh brother.

  3. Maria

    The patient awaken by his cellular phone alram clock, to remind him that his pain medication is due. PRN means that the med should be taken as needed, not as “scheduled”.

    • onlyme

      Yes there is indeed a big difference between ‘as needed’ and ‘as scheduled’!

  4. Nancy

    My all time favorite: The 10 out of 10 pain patient with the 21 mg nicotine patch who yells at me because I won’t “sneak her out for a cigarette.”

  5. S.Wormwood

    the teenage pt who tells me “you don’t understand…I don’t like shots” Nobody “likes” shots, but you suck it up and take it!
    Or the parent of said teenager asking if it’s ok that their kid get 2 or more shots on the same day??? I just gave a 2 month old 4 shots and they only cried for 2 min!!!

  6. Bob

    The patient who is is standing on his bed jumping at the ceiling trying to get the bugs that are “everywhere” who told you yesterday he only drinks “socially”

  7. Bob

    I love the patients that tell you they quit smoking today!

    • onlyme

      It’s always today or tomorrow that the quitting is supposed to happen, right? :)

  8. Vince

    The one that always gets me, is the patient that gets woken up from snoring loudly for an hour who tells you they need more pain medication because they’re in SOOO much pain. Here’s news for you; if you were hurting that bad, you wouldn’t be sleeping.

  9. Your nameTerry

    The one I always have to shake my head at is the 6ft 250lb man who has been in bed for weeks that will try to get up without help even though they can not even sit on the side of the bed without help.

  10. Abby Student

    I’ve been a patient, and yes I did think about setting an alarm for my prn. However, outside the hospital it was not a prn, i took it tid to prevent the pain. I don’t get it because all of the textbooks say that scheduled pain meds are more effective than prn