Friday, September 12, 2008

Nurse Follies: Dealing With Assholes

Why, oh why, can't I just have a job where everyone is nice and grateful that you are trying to keep their loved ones from, oh, DYING!?! Noooo, instead I get folks who make the mistake they are some sort of 5-star hotel, with narcotics! That's what happens to these designers that think making hospitals look more "homey" is a good thing. It should never be this way. Patients should always remember they are in a hospital, and the threat of a foley or milk of molasses enema is ALWAYS PRESENT.

One patient brags that they sued a hospital and got a big, fat settlement. Then, they proceed to sabotage their they are trying to set themselves up for another lawsuit. It probably wasn't a good idea to brag about their little windfall to the nursing staff and the big boat you purchased with it, because then the staff charted every little thing they do from refusing care, noncompliance, and being an overall asshat. Brownie points earned when they step off the unit to go smoke in the hallway. I fly down the hall and read him the riot act, and he denies doing it (even though we had proof), and goes on to blame "some black lady". Because apparently only black people have little regard for rules. This is the same guy who claims various nurses tell him it's okay to do things he's not supposed to be doing, and these things are such things that only a nurse should be doing, and no nurse in their right mind would ever tell a patient to do these things. Asshole. I wanted to punch him in the crotch. Even his wife thought he was being a colossal prick, but she never said anything. Hell, he probably beats his wife at home. Douchebag.

Second asshole of the weekend is the family member who's Precious Snowflake is my patient. This is the type of scenario where self-entitlement runs high, nurses don't know what they are doing, and everything Precious Snowflake says is gospel. If Precious Snowflake doesn't get her way, she calls Mommy Dearest IMMEDIATELY, who in turns calls the nurse and calls them incompetent. As an added bonus, Precious Snowflake embellishes the story for more dramatic effect, and Mommy Dearest believes her. Precious Snowflake is also a drug-seeking crack head.

Mommy Dearest: You told Precious Snowflake she was going to die!!
Me: I said no such thing, I assure you. I would never tell a patient that. (I save that bit of cheerful news for doctors to share.)
Mommy Dearest: Precious Snowflake also said that she could get brain damage from not wearing her oxygen.
Me: I did tell her that by not wearing her much needed oxygen, she deprives the brain and it can cause damage. It's imperative that she wear it at all times. I cannot stress this enough. I wouldn't be doing my job, if I didn't.
Mommy Dearest: Why did you have to tell her that??? You didn't have to tell her that!!
Me: Uhhh...yes, I did.

We love these patients because they will inevitably "fire" the incompetent nurse in question. (And by incompetence, I mean those who do not willingly and readily put lips to ass.) For a patient to "fire" a nurse simply means the nurse will not have to care for this patient anymore, but rather their care is assigned to another poor, unfortunate nurse. Being "fired" is not generally a bad thing. It's actually a blessing that upsets only the unlucky nurse that has to assume care for this patient. And Bosshole who usually has to go in the room to be diplomatic and listen to the unreasonable rantings of a botard.

Fire away, people. Fire away!!

There have been a few times where patients have "fired" most every staff member they have come in contact with. You'd think that having someone tell you that there is no nurse to care for you because you have fired them all would impose some sort of self-reflection period where they realize that the problem isn't with the nurses. That maybe perhaps they are the problem? HAH! We'll see John McCain wearing his wife's underwear before that happens.

I seldom lose my temper at work, but I do come across situations where the only thing I can do is walk out of the room to prevent myself from delivering "anterior pillow therapy". There are some people out there who think very little of nurses, and truly feel that we are paid to stand there and take verbal abuse as part of our jobs. If you are lucky, they will even tell you so. Were do these asshats come from? Why do they think the way they do?

No where in nursing school was I taught the appropriate posture for sucking up. Knee pads optional.

My job is to save your ass.

Not kiss it.


Tony said...


I love these stories, this is why I actively follow this blog.

m.v. said...

if I am ever in the hospital the only time they will hear from me if my monitor flatlines. otherwise, I will not be prancing around annoying medical personnel.

bobbie said...

Oh, MAN, Heather!!! I could SO have written this myself!!!

And then there's the ones who have FMP-BMS syndrome... Yu know ~ "Fluff my pillow, bend my straw... move my water glass 3.75 inches to the SSE"...


Eolaí gan Fhéile said...

I just don't get those people. I don't try very hard, but I just don't get them.

Can a hospital sue patients for incompetence - I don't mean defend itself against a suit, I mean actively say patient is an asshole who wastes people's time that could be otherwise spent on giving healthcare to patients more inclined to recovery?