My pet-peeves about patients.

mean-nurseI just have to say this. Sometimes I just want to slap my patients! Nurses (stereotypically) are generally compassionate people. I have to say I would fall into that category but, there are certain times when I have just had enough and the nice flies right out the window. I am just going to touch on caring for office patients and leave the operating room, waiting room and all floor nursing stories out on this post.  (My bud Wendy recently wrote a post on difficult patients in the ICU.)

It seemingly never failed, EVERY Friday at 4:45 I would get at least 3 emergency phone calls and this is what I would hear. “Can you call me in a refill for #$%&*% I took my last dose this morning?” This drives me crazy! Your patient KNOWS they are running out of important medication/medications and wait until the absolute last minute to notify me their nurse. Always taking a proactive approach, I continually would educate my patients on the importance of notifying me before they ran out of medication. I found I was beating a dead horse but, I never gave up. Every Friday I would still get the same calls, lots of times from my repeat offenders on a monthly basis.

Another thing that sends me into a tail spin are the patients that throw a fit over having to wait to see the doctor. I have had numerous patients tell me that that their time was valuable too and they are going to send my doctor a bill because they had to wait two hours. Patients rarely come to the office by themselves, usually there is a counterpart. Let me give you a little of my office office/surgical nursing history. I worked as a private office nurse/surgical nurse for a neurosurgeon and an ob/gyn. One day I had had enough and I actually fired back at a patient for griping about waiting two hours to be seen. I said “Well, the Dr. just called and he’s on the eighteenth hole, he should be here any minute.” They looked at me and glared. I then proceeded to explain that he was in the operating room doing an emergency craniotomy on a child and asked them if they had any more complaints. Amazingly that shut them up.

This is for all the nurses out there regardless of what specialty you are in as I know you can relate to one of “those patients” or one of “those families”. Don’t get me wrong, nursing is a blast; it’s a new adventure every day. Medicine is constantly changing…Literally. Therefore, drug reps are constantly bringing in free lunches. All in all, every body wins. Like I have said in some of my previous posts, usually I am not easily irritated and am pretty giddy all around but, sometimes you just have to defend yourself or your doc!

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