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 🙂

19 Responses to “Patience.”

  1. 1 suzzy
    November 8, 2008 at 8:13 am

    My mom is a nurse, and reading this post made me realize all the more how much she has gone through for us, her children, in order to live decently.

    Nice post here!


  2. November 8, 2008 at 4:48 pm

    Yup, nurses are humans who have feelings, too, but sometimes we have to pretend we are not humans, that we just have to ignore whatever harsh words that patients (and doctors!) say. I think it is part of our job to be numb with all of these 😮


  3. 3 JEMSKI
    November 9, 2008 at 10:35 am

    At last, a post that describes how we exactly feel, but then we just try to ignore it. But there is a good effect of this in the long run… we become the most broad-minded and understanding professionals in the world 🙂


  4. November 10, 2008 at 1:11 pm

    when i get difficult patients like that in the ER, i just breathe deeply and say… “buti na lang may suweldo!!!” hehehe! cheers!


  5. 5 shoda
    November 11, 2008 at 4:38 pm

    Describing the ordeal you go through everyday, open up my mind to the daily struggles you go through and the extra ordinary patience required for you to do your job well. I’m quite impress with the kind of person you’ve turned out to be, after high school hehehe.

    Aside from your breathing exercises, hope it helps to think too, that these kind of challenges strengthen your character, the stress could be worth it then. Assholes like your patient were born to serve that purpose……

    Get slow on the painkillers, it might kill him, he’s such a PAIN IN THE ASS. 🙂 Remember?



  6. 6 nelson
    November 11, 2008 at 6:42 pm

    hi suzzy! you should be proud of your mom!

    hi marc! yup, it is part of our job to be numb at times!

    hi jemski! yes, we become very broadminded indeed!

    hi marcus! dahil talaga sa suweldo kaya ako nagtatrabaho! hehe!

    hi shoda! wow, thanks for dropping by! ur first comment on my page! i hope this is not the last! nyay, if only i can go slow with the pain killers… kaso baka mademanda ako… hehe!


  7. 7 Bal
    November 11, 2008 at 11:15 pm

    I can relate to your story… this is one of the dilemma in our nursing profession. Being a nurse here in the US, especially am working in a critical care unit, i always expect the worst duty every time coming to work.

    Generally, it’s not the patient that makes more complicated, BUT the FAMILY, RELATIVES and some idiots that are close to the patient. They are the PAIN in the ASS. Another thing is, these people knows that Nurses are getting well-paid that’s why they are always expecting the best from you.

    Sabi nga nila, na kalahati ng buhay mo ay nasa hukay pag Nurse ka sa Amerika kasi, BE CAREFUL…people here are “SUE” happy people.!
    kaya license natin pinaka iingatan!

    BUt inspite of this, I still consider Nursing is the noble profession on earth. Can u imagine, we can change lives of people, we take care and sustain their lives..and most of all… it help us build our future..be it personal or career wise.

    Naks! hehehe. kunyari!


  8. 8 digitalcatharsis
    November 12, 2008 at 4:09 am

    wow bal! thanks for dropping by!! missed our days in saipan!!

    yup, nursing is a very noble profession, so we cannot turn our back on it just because some patients destroy our days. there are still some patients who do appreciate us.

    kelan ka ba magbakasyon? mabuhay!


  9. November 13, 2008 at 6:46 am

    I watched the movie “Caregiver” starring Sharon Cuneta last night, at my friend Miller’s flat. I know I was a bit late watching it coz it was released in theaters last May or June pa yata.

    I have to admit I got teary-eyed on the part when the patient sincerely thanked his caregiver (Sharon) for taking care of him. I immediately remembered this post 🙂

    Cheers to everyone whose job is to take care of other people, while sometimes forgetting about themselves!


  10. November 13, 2008 at 8:31 am

    hello Nelson,

    a couple of days ago, my little girl Acey and I are doing her assignment, it was about pasting pictures of modern day heroes and Acey chose teachers & “nurses” because according to her, it takes a lot of patience, understanding and more love to become nurse and take care of people you just met for the first time. Acey wanted to be a nurse even before we did that assignment.

    thank you Nelson for being there for other people in need of nursing/medical help despite of…
    this world needs more people like you.

    God Bless!!!


  11. November 13, 2008 at 8:41 am

    hi aidisan! thanks for dropping by! Your little girl acey must have seen or met quite a few nurses and i admire her being able to appreciate other people’s jobs at an early age. she’ll do well if she chooses to be a nurse someday… she already has a big heart.


  12. November 15, 2008 at 2:21 am

    Nurses are indeed the heroes of our lifetime. They leave their loved ones to struggle abroad, in order to give a better life for their families they left behind. They take all the hardships and difficulties in their jobs even if they have to wipe somebody else’s ass. All these sacrifices are all for their families.

    Amazing people.


  13. June 22, 2011 at 6:14 pm

    Haha, there really are diificult people around. If it’s not the patient, it’s the relatives. Or worse: both as in your situation here. But we really can’t do anything much about this.


  14. June 24, 2011 at 7:50 pm

    your patience is being tested talaga lalo na pag nurse ka 🙂


  15. June 27, 2011 at 9:29 pm

    dapat marami ka laging dala nito..sobra..may mga pasaway na pasyente talaga..lalo na kaptid ko…hahahahha..

    I care about my job sir..and I care about you..hehehehe


  16. June 28, 2011 at 3:24 pm

    aba Mommy Shengkay parang linya ni Sharon Cuneta yang sinabo ah! hehehe


  17. June 28, 2011 at 3:25 pm

    I mean yang sinabi mo hehehe!


  18. 18 kat
    June 28, 2011 at 3:50 pm

    naku! kung ako yon, lalasonin ko pati pamilya nya hahahaha…..kakainis….


  19. 19 Anx
    September 8, 2011 at 12:41 pm

    great points altogether, you just gained a new reader.


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