Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Nurse Follies: The Drug Seeker

We can smell you a mile bastards.

If you went around and talked to nurses and doctors nationwide, they would probably tell you that one of the things they don't like about their jobs are the drug seekers. They clog up our hospitals with inflated claims of pain, just to suck down meds, and J.Q. Public generally gets stuck with the tab.

Oh, there are people out there who have legitimate claims...I'm not talking about you.

I'm talking about the stipper who comes in with an ankle injury claiming she twisted it doing something off the pole, only for the nurse to discover that the big purple bruise on her ankle is really eyeshadow.

I'm talking about the person who comes in and tells us their allergies are every narcotic on the planet, except for the one they want.

I'm talking about the person who deliberately dislocates something so they can come in and get shnockered up on mild sedatives that we use so we can pop whatever it is back in place.

I'm talking about the crack whore who comes in claiming to be afflicted with a blood disorder that causes great pain, to be admitted, suck down narcs (while being an asshole to the staff), only to find there is nothing wrong from her from the TEN other hospitals she has visited before us with the same problem.

I'm also talking about he asshole who's calls us back after being discharged claiming he lost his prescriptions for his pain meds, and can he have another copy? Only to call back later saying he found his scripts, but the pharmacy only gave him an empty bottle.

I'm talking about the man who asks us if we have any cocaine, because that really helps with his headaches.

Or that lady who demands we push her pain meds fast, full strength, and at the closest IV port. (Most nurses never give narcs full strength)

Or the little shit who feigns a heart attack so they can move to the head of the line and be seen first, while the little old man in the triage area keels over with a massive coronary.

Drug seekers are usually flagged, but sometimes that's not necessary when their charts come in volumes, and the visits are all the same. I've heard of some even banned from certain hospitals, but I don't know how true this is.

We are told that pain is subjective, and we should always believe the patient. We are told to treat whatever pain is indicated by whatever means necessary. The very idea of customer service is crammed down our throats so much, that some docs just give these people whatever the hell they want because it's easier than arguing with them, and they don't want to lose that hospital another patient. In some respects, we are creating a problem of drug seekers all for the sake of high patient satisfaction numbers.

But there are some doctors out there who don't cowtow to drug seekers. These are the guys who give you Extra Strength Tylenol for your pain and tell you to lay off the crack pipe. After a couple visits of not getting what they want, the drug seekers usually move on to the next hospital, and in KC, there are many other places to chose from.

I'm fortunate enough to work with good doctors who don't give in, and refused to be bullied.

We are in the practice of healing...not in the practice of making you high. I didn't put myself through years of hell (nursing school) just so I could make you see pink elephants.

You want to get high, go see your drug dealer and leave us the hell alone so we can take care of the people who are truly sick and need help.

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