Why I hope my patients hate me

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That got your attention, didn’t it!? Now, before you fly off the handle, let me explain.

As nurses, our job is to improve the patient’s current health situation. We impact lives by delivering interventions that maximize health and wellness. These interventions often are some of the most difficult things a patient’s ever done.

I’ve said it time and time again, but everything we do has a purpose. Nurses don’t do something simply because it seems like a good idea. Our nursing practice is based on sound evidence that has been researched and proven effective in improving patients’ health situations.

For instance, after surgery, we don’t have patients breathe into those funny plastic devices (incentive spirometer or flutter valve) just to see them turn blue in the face. Nor do we do it because we like to watch them choke on phlegm.

No, we do it to help fight and prevent pneumonia. Increased lung expansion will help deter atelectasis (lung collapse) as well as move, mobilize and remove a lot of lung secretions. All of which are a good thing.

Along the same train of thought, early mobilization and continued mobilization also has been proven to decrease post operative pneumonia and decrease loss of physical strength and function. The sooner and more often you move, the better.

I don’t get patients out of bed, into a chair and then ambulate them around the room and unit just to see them writhe in pain. I do it because I know it’s best for their health. It’s getting them one step closer to going home. And it will get them out of the hospital that much sooner.

I hope my patients hate me. I’d rather they hate me for doing my job of getting them better…..than love me for ignoring them, letting them sleep all day and watching their health decline.

If you hate me, I must be doing something right.

P.S.–take this post with a hint of sarcasm. I don’t want any of my patients to truly hate me. I like to call it a little bit of “tough love.”

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