Archive for November 7th, 2008

07
Nov
08

Patience.

dep-nurse1If you choose to become a nurse, I think you should have a lot of this: P-A-T-I-E-N-C-E. Last night shift was another test of how long my patience could be stretched.

 

I had another difficult patient last night. Not that his case was complicated. He was just a 16-year-old chap with fractured pelvis and femur post vehicular accident. He has external fixators on his pelvis making him unable to move a lot on the bed. These did not sound so complicated for me, but the patient’s behavior made me classify him as a “difficult” patient.

 

He pressed the buzzer several times to call for a nurse and I think I made about thirty trips to his room. Initially, he was having left foot pain. I gave him some analgesia. He called again several times after I gave his pain medicine, so I had to explain several times that the drug would not effect immediately, that he needs to wait a couple of minutes. Later, I decided to page his doctor to get a telephone order for a stronger analgesia. The medicine ordered was an intramuscular injection which took me a lot of my convincing powers before I was able to give it to him.

 

He also complained several times of itchiness on his back and left leg. I had to turn him several times in order to massage his back to apply some lotion or some damp wipes. I also had to do the same for his left leg and I had to reopen and close his knee immobilizer often for that.

 

I would not mind relieving all his discomforts, for that was part of my job. But the problem was the way he talked to me. He shouted and yelled at me as if he was talking to a slave. He seemed like a spoiled brat, because the parents were there and they just tolerated it and they even add to the shouts and yells. Initially, I had to tell them that they do not need to raise their voices, but then I felt I was talking to deaf ears. That explained why this patient was being rotated to different nurses each shift. Nobody seemed to like entering his room.

 

A couple times I had to be asked why I was late coming in to his room, when he was buzzing for a long time. I had to explain myself that I was looking after five other patients who were as sick as him. I knew I should not be explaining myself because I knew that they were not really waiting that long, that they were just exaggerating.

 

I never felt that he got satisfied with everything that I did for him, and I never even heard him or his family say some words of appreciation. All I got from them were complaints, smirks, and pouty faces. Each time I had to enter his room, I needed to take a deep breath, in order to give me enough powers to smile in front of them.

 

Every time I leave his room, I just tried to understand his behavior. But to feel bad about how people treat you is but human. I have my own emotions that can be hurt and I could not be blamed for feeling that way. Nurses are not stones.nurses

 

I know patients deserve all the care, and understanding they need, so I just shrugged everything off. I do not allow situations like these go through me, around me, and never ever allowing the emotions stay inside of me. If I do, I could not continue my job. I had other patients who need me and who knows how to appreciate other people. And it is because of them why I am coming back for my next shift 🙂

 

Nursing was never an easy job, especially if you work in a busy surgical unit like mine. You have to have a lot of patience in order to deal with the demands of the profession. Most of all, you need to have the versatile heart to feel for other people 🙂




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Health posts here are the author's opinion and should not be taken as professional advice. It is still best to consult your physician. Posts in this site protect patient confidentiality, so if you have any concerns regarding any of the nursing posts, please send me a message and I will be happy to address them.

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